“Building trust through consistent two-way communication is at the heart of a great workplace. The bi-product of listening to your employees, soliciting their input on a regular and consistent basis is that we learn how to run the business better. They become the catalysts of great changes in our business.” — Dwight Cooper

As part of Microsoft’s Small Business Makeover for Guardian Strata (where I work as a business consultant) I’ve been working closely with Small Business Expert Glen Carlson, CEO of Key Person of Influence.

Glen and I stress tested a few ideas and decided the best way to utilise Glen’s experience and knowledge was in improving the workplace culture here at Guardian Strata.

Our key pain points are no doubt similar to what many businesses face; we struggle prioritising tasks and having a clear deliverable each week amongst a mountain of work and limited time – sound familiar? Based on this, my aim is to improve our workplace culture and ultimately create a High Performance Environment. I put this to Glen and he asked me two vital questions about our current practices:

  1. How often do you have team meetings?
  2. What areas are covered in your team meetings?

My answer was that we held a monthly team meeting (about 1.5 to 2 hours each time) and I had to admit that myself and the team did not really ever walk away with clear outcomes/action items. As I explained what was and wasn’t covered I also realised that the company objectives were rarely, if ever, discussed!

Glen had two simple suggestions for me:

  • Monthly to Weekly Meetings
    Glen explained that weekly meetings keep the momentum on business projects flowing. We can quickly identify road blocks and keep the team motivated. Importantly, the meetings are only to be 30 minutes in an aim to keep them high energy and relevant for everyone involved.
  • 3 High Value Activities
    According to Glen, the content of the meetings is also highly important and each team member must identify their 3 High Value Activities for that week to present to the team. This gives the rest of the team an opportunity to comment and provide feedback; ultimately ensuring we’re setting goals together as a team and being held accountable for those goals.

The Aftermath

Since we have made these changes, our meetings have been much more powerful, productive and effective – and in only a quarter of the time!

With our new weekly ‘Guardian Elite Meetings’, everyone is now engaged, a contributor and an owner of their activities each week. It has given the ability for the team to understand what each team member does, how to support each other and most importantly work as a team to achieve both personal and business goals

This simple two-step process has changed the mindset of the team, and has paved the way to an improved workplace culture at Guardian Strata.

Please leave comments for thoughts and any other suggestions that have worked for you. I’d love to hear them.

For more information on the Gaurdian Strata Small Business Makeover check out www.ModernBiz.com.au #ModernBiz