I have a pet peeve.
I can’t stand seeing managers who stay isolated. It bothers me when I hear about bosses who stay locked up in their office or spent their days in meetings.
They never get out to see their employees. They are disconnected!
Look – I know what it’s like to be busy.
As the co-founder and CEO of a start-up manufacturing business, I’m swamped. I’m the head of sales, HR manager, CFO, and Operations Manager.
I wear many hats and work long hours. I’m as busy as the next guy,
But I also know the importance of getting out of my office. I know the importance of connecting with my team.
I also do something very specific each day to make sure our entire company stays connected and everyone is on the same page. It only takes 15 minutes a day and you can do it too.
It’s a morning stand-up meeting.
Now, before you tune me out and tell me how much a waste of time meetings are, let me tell you that I hate meetings as well. In fact, what I’ve found is that our daily stand-up meeting actually prevents us from needing other meetings throughout the day.
But, if you’re still skeptical, hold on. Because I think you will become a believer once I’ve made my case.
So what is a stand-up meeting?
For us, we all meet on the factory floor at 8:30 AM in front of a giant whiteboard. Written on the whiteboard are all of the current orders.
The meeting starts with a briefing from the production manager on what jobs we are going to build that day. We discuss what major shipments will arrive and depart the factory. Then we go around the room and everyone has the chance to add anything that is important to the whole team – Part shortages, quality updates, customer questions, product changes, field issues, and people issues – who’s absent, who’s traveling, who’s leaving early, who has vacation later in the week.
We allow enough time for questions, clarification, and to resolve any conflicting priorities.
I give a quick update on what’s coming up in the future – big orders anticipated, visitors coming in, status on landing new customers, my travel schedule. And I wrap up the meeting by telling everyone to be safe.
That’s it. The whole meeting takes about 15 minutes.
And yes, we stand the whole time.
So, you might be thinking – How does this meeting help with human connection? How does a 15-minute meeting each day make us a more connected team?
Well. I’ll tell you. There are 5 things:
1. There is a personal connection. Like a family gathering around the breakfast table, we learn how everyone is doing. These meetings help us to continue to build relationships with each other.
2. We get everyone on the same page. At the end of the meeting, we all know what needs to be done and our role in it. We’ve resolved any conflicts and we understand the priorities. We have focus and clarity. We have a plan for the day.We get everyone on the same page. Click To Tweet
3. We have a better view of the future. We know who is taking a vacation, who’s sick. We know when customers are visiting. We know when to expect the next big order. We can better set out daily priorities knowing what’s more likely to happen in the coming weeks
4. We reinforce our mission and values. For me, every discussion helps me reinforce our mission daily as we discuss various topics.
5. These stand-up meetings set the tone, the pace, and the routine in our business. I look forward to each meeting because I know I will come away with all the answers I need for the day. I also know everyone will be there, so I know I don’t have to have any other meetings throughout the day.
These meetings regularly set the cadence for our business.
There is a personal connection every morning, we get on the same page, and we reinforce our mission.
I like this quote from Hilton Barbour. He says, “Small rituals make a culture”“Small rituals make a culture” Hilton Barbour Click To Tweet
And that’s what our morning stand-up meetings are for us. They are small rituals that help us set and maintain our culture.
So what about you? Do you have a regular way to connect with employees and ensure everyone is on the same page?
Do you have a daily method to reinforce your mission and values?
If not, you may want to try a daily stand-up meeting.
If you hate meetings as much as I do, you’ll love this 15 minute morning ritual.
If you like this idea, get a copy of my latest book – “I Have the Watch: Becoming a Leader Worth Following” It is filled with 23 practical ideas like this on how you can become a more effective leader.
And, If you want to get more out of your daily commute, listen to my podcast, Deep Leadership. It’s available on all podcast apps.
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