Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Meet Me Before Work

A good leader is going to provide a supportive environment for his staff. You have to encourage them to think (and act) like they belong to a team. In order to do this, you’ve got to give them the “time of day”. Provide staff adequate time for short pre-work meetings to start each day. It doesn’t have to be anything extravagant. “But we don’t have time,” you say. A mere ten minutes a day will add up to more than 40 hours of free education a year! Imagine what that much training would cost if you sent staff to seminars for that long.

Pre-work meetings provide opportunities to:
- have two-way communication daily,
- tell staff what’s important,
- thank them for their great performance,
- answer any questions,
- provide product and service knowledge,
- find out what they need to perform properly, and
- inspire them.
And on top of everything else, demonstrate faith in their ability to succeed.

A common mistake leaders make is trying to cover too many issues in a pre-work meeting. With too many points to concentrate on the group learns "everything and nothing." The key to holding successful pre-work meetings is to stay focused on one or two short objectives. If it helps, think of your pre-work meeting as a pre-work “moment”. In a world of “too many meetings”, that’ll help you stay clear of the meeting “stigma” and you’ll be able to get everyone to focus in a more relaxed manner.

You want to be able to keep your teams attention so make the meetings interactive. Have questions ready so you can bounce them off your folks so they have to respond. Don’t ask “test questions” where everyone’s going to dread getting together before their shift. It should be an enjoyable interactive communication experience.

Remember that pre-work “moments” are opportunities to teach, inspire and pump up energy levels of your teams before they "go on stage." Your enthusiasm for both teaching and having FUN learning together will drive the day. Toni Kottom, Director of Training at Perkins (yum) puts in it perspective when he says that, "Attention goes where energy flows."

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