Over the last few months, I’ve been writing about staff meetings, and I hope I’ve given you some good ideas on how to conduct effective production and sales meetings. Today I want to talk about getting together with your entire team, something I think you should do at least once each month.
The agenda should have five components. First, your team should be aware of your sales goals, operational goals and certain components of your profit goals. During the first few minutes of each monthly meeting, I would let my team know how we performed against those goals over the last month, and where we are for the year-to-date.
The second component of each meeting should be about policy and/or procedures, perhaps a discussion of a new policy or procedure you want to implement, or a reminder regarding a policy or procedure that isn’t being followed as well as you want it to be.
The third component should be the opportunity for your employees to bring up problems that they’re seeing in the operation. This may be the most important part, because it’s been my observation that employees often have a better grasp of the problems in a printshop than the owners do. What they don’t always have, though, is the experience to know how to solve the problems, or the feeling of empowerment to try to solve them in the first place.
This can be a big part of meeting the challenge of turning your staff into a team. Listen to what they have to say. Think about what they have to say. But don’t feel pressured to solve every problem in a 30 minute meeting. I hope you’ll see how the problems identified in this component of your meeting can be addressed by the policy or procedures you put into place at the next one!
The fourth component should be an educational component, and the material presented can reflect either product knowledge or operational knowledge. Last month, one of my clients had his salesperson speak for 10 minutes about why the first jobs he gets from new customers are usually rush jobs. I hope you’ll agree that this is not just education defined as the presentation of knowledge, but the development of teamwork as well.
The fifth and final component of a monthly team meeting should be a reading of the goals for the coming month. In that way, you close every meeting with an understanding of what you want to accomplish over the next month, and you start the next meeting with a look at performance against those goals.
Here’s my final thought on the topic of staff meetings. The better everyone understand the goals, the processes, the procedures and the performance, the more likely it is that you’ll have a happy and successful company. I hope you’ll agree that’s worth some time and effort.