Today, a client asked me to clarify the purpose of the Client/Employee Feedback item on the Weekly Meeting Agenda. It got me thinking and reminded me how important it is to step back sometimes, reevaluate things you do out of habit and ask "why." What's the purpose?
The weekly meeting agenda recommends talk time around 3 things: Your Company, Yourself, Your Clients/Employees. The company talk time is when you discuss and adjust Yellow/Red Priorities. The individual talk time is when you share your Week In Sync Notes. At the end of the meeting, you should ask the open-ended question: "Has anyone received any feedback from clients or employees that the rest of the team needs to hear?" This includes positive and negative feedback.
It's a simple, but important question to consider. It's essential for information to flow up to the executive team from the front lines - especially in companies that are growing quickly. It helps to keep the executive team connected to the heart of the business. It also provides valuable information that will be helpful in strategic discussion.
From a practical standpoint, the facilitator of the Weekly Meeting can simply record stories in the Client/Employee Feedback section of Rhythm as people share. Or, if you receive feedback during the week that you want to make sure you don't forget before the meeting, you can enter a feedback item in Rhythm at any time. It also creates a nice historical record of feedback items that you can revisit to help identify learnings and trends.
This practice can also make teams more efficient with fewer back-and-forth emails. If there is a feedback item you want to share, instead of sending a mass email (that might get overlooked), put it in Rhythm knowing everyone will see it and discuss it at the weekly meeting.
This exercise was a great reminder of the importance of revisiting the original purpose of an activity that is part of your routine. What's even better is when you are reaffirmed that you've been doing it right all along!
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published on Apr 10, 2013, and has been updated.