It’s becoming increasingly common for companies to not conduct meetings as a critical part of internal communication. Managers defend this by telling me that “we talk all the time, so we don’t need to meet”. The truth is that we don’t recommend corridor chats for companies who are serious about moving forward. Corridor chats lack structure and only happen when the opportunity presents itself. Meeting rhythms on the other hand are essential. They happen regularly, and are more than the average company meeting. They are the pulse of any business, and ensure execution of plans and implementing this communication practice into your business is imperative.
What exactly are meeting rhythms?
Meeting rhythms are frequent meetings that hold a permanent place in everyone’s calendar. They occur daily and/or weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually, to drive accountability. The create the critical interaction of discussing your team’s activities and their progress. Meeting rhythms also give the team an opportunity to ask for help and assistance where they need it.
Another point is that as the business owner, you need to constantly be selling, reiterating, restating, and refocusing your team on its priorities. Regular meetings enable you to remain in touch with your team, keep you alert to patterns and challenges they face, act on new opportunities as soon as they appear, and establish an increased awareness of what changes need to be implemented to produce greater results.
How to implement meeting rhythms in your business
Start with a daily huddle which is a 5 to 10-minute meeting to discuss tactical issues and provide updates. Ensure that the team stands during the meeting to ensure that the meeting remains focused and participants only present the highlights. One person must lead the huddle and ask three questions:
- What’s happening in the business? Provide firm feedback about activities from the day before.
- Report your daily key measure. This allows you to track progress against your team or business’ key performance metrics. If there is no daily measure then share what you achieved yesterday and what you have planned for today.
- Were you stuck? This is an important question as it uncovers issues, bottlenecks and problems. Uncovering a problem is the starting point to problem solving. Don’t solve the problem in the huddle though as this will take too long.
These verbal reports will create accountability and awareness in your team and give you the opportunity to communicate your key priorities and keep the team focused and on track.
Your business does not have time for unnecessary meetings, so ensure that your other meetings (weekly, monthly, etc.) have a clear agenda and clear objectives that are non-negotiable. If your staff are connected and aligned with each other, you will get better and faster results. Meeting rhythms will provide your staff with a communication tool without wasting invaluable manpower hours.
By James Hughes, GROW Business Coach