Leadership 101 tells us that it’s important to set clear and specific goals for ourselves and for our teams in order to achieve business goals and objectives. In other words, all of our business goals should be “SMART” (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely.) In order to craft a good smart goal, you need to take a couple of steps back and look at the whole picture - why are you doing this? The best SMART goals always start with “why.” Are you taking an educated guess at what you think a good goal is going to be that will equate to business success? Are you confident enough in defending that guess to someone else? If you fully understand the “why” behind the project, it is much easier for you to define your time-based goals. Goal setting theory clearly states that the better you write your SMART goals, the better your team will perform.
"Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts." -Arnold Bennett
Whether you or an external force initiated the changes that are about to take place, preparation is essential for you and your organization. Change management tools can be the catalyst for immense success or supreme failure.
Early on in the process, develop a think rhythm about the future adjustments, the impacts of change management, and an employee focus. Change management is much harder than project management or business processes, as you are dealing with human beings that have feelings that they bring to the workplace.
As the middle market strategy execution experts, we get asked a lot of questions about KPIs or Key Performance Indicators for firms to manage the metrics that matter. In fact, we get hundreds of thousands of yearly views on our KPI blog posts alone! Our comprehensive KPI Guide is one of the most valuable free resources that we offer to the middle market community free of charge to help companies determine the right set of KPIs for their business if they don’t have the resources to utilize our expertise and KPI dashboard software to create a balanced scorecard of their performance.
Weekly staff meetings are often a huge waste of time and money. Too often, they are just boring status updates that could have been better solved by sending out an email. People have gotten into a rut and just don’t think that there is anything they can do to fix their meetings and they have given up hope. You can change your weekly staff meetings quickly and easily following the four simple steps outlined below. Putting in the effort is well worth the reward of being able to solve problems each and every week in a fun environment that you actually look forward to attending. Just imagine how much better your company’s results would be if every department solved one of its biggest challenges each and every week!
At Rhythm Systems, we have been fixing weekly staff meetings for more than a decade with our unique methodology and patented strategy execution software to focus your most important resources on the most important projects. It isn’t all that difficult once you have a clear execution-ready quarterly plan in place. Once you have you have a clear quarterly plan, aligned with your annual plan, you have the basis for your weekly meeting agenda. If you aren’t connecting your strategic planning with your execution, of which your weekly staff meeting is the cornerstone, you aren’t having the right discussions to move your strategy forward to achieve your BHAG.
There are 11 million meetings in the United States alone every work day. Up to 50% of the time in those meetings is wasted, and that’s probably a conservative estimate, and costs about $37 billion per year in lost productivity in the United States alone. The real question is how much this is costing you and your organization by not fixing your weekly staff meeting?
What is a skip-level meeting?
As defined in an article by Jared Lewis, "In a skip-level meeting, upper-level management bypasses mid-level management to talk directly to non-managerial employees. Although there's not typically a special position known as a 'skip-level manager,' senior managers conducting these types of meetings are considered skip-level managers." The manager meets with employees to try to better understand their team members, build trust in the organization and get a better sense of the work environment challenges facing your front line employees. Skip level meetings for employees are just as important as they are for managers, and both should be well prepared prior to the "skip meeting."
In working with middle market CEOs and their employees and they often wonder about their employee productivity and professional development. I often find that they are overlooking one of the biggest components of productivity, are your employees engaged or are they motivated? The team members may be motivated by a bonus and they will be productive, but if a team member is also engaged with their work - and its purpose - they are almost a third more productive. Let's talk about employee motivation and engagement, as they aren't the same thing.
As an employer, you want your workforce to be both engaged and motivated. With employee engagement at around 32.6%, it is important to know the difference between employee engagement and motivation. Engaged employees will decrease your employee turnover rate and you'll have much happier and longer tenured employees! This reduces training and recruiting costs to help the bottom line over the long term
How an employee moves through the ranks and advances in a company usually starts with them being an exceptional entry-level employee. The manager recognizes the talent, the perseverance, the alignment to core values, and develops that employee towards a promotion. This employee continues to dazzle — they hit all of their KPIs and grow revenue by leaps and bounds. They reach their targets each quarter. They’ve earned a promotion to Senior Employee.
High performance teams are critical to success in today's fast-paced and ever-changing business environment. In order to remain competitive, it is imperative that organization's build high performance capacity. Some common characteristics of high performing teams include:
Verne Harnish notes in his book Mastering the Rockefeller Habits that the difference between organizational vision and organizational alignment as drivers toward success is a whopping 99%. He demonstrates that vision = 1%, while alignment = 99%.
I hear time and time again from people that their meetings are a complete waste of time. In fact, they can often be a huge productivity killer. When I dig deeper, I can easily find out why. They typically don’t accomplish anything - the team gets together, but they don’t work on solving the problems facing the company. Team members often update the status of their pet projects, highlighting their accomplishments and glossing over the challenges. Many people get the feeling of Groundhog Day as they talk about the same topics time after time and never make any progress on the real, pressing issues facing the company. However, they don’t get the comedic genius of the great Bill Murray to keep them entertained during their problem solving meeting. It doesn’t have to be that way. There is a better way to run meetings.