Scarborough Making the EXCEPTIONAL Normal Part 2 - More Benefits
Author: Dale Furtwengler
SIX more benefits
Are you the type of person who likes to get more than one benefit from everything you do? Then you're going to love this segment of the Making The EXCEPTIONAL Normal series. Last month you learned how peer pressure works to your advantage in helping employees do a better job of setting goals and priorities. Now we're going to discuss SIX more benefits you'll gain from a weekly meeting of 2 hours or less:
- Shared vision
- Better coordination
- Better workload allocation
- Cross training
- Team spirit
Let's take a look at each of these in more detail.
Do your employees know how they fit into the "big picture"? Often employees working side by side know little, if anything, about what their colleagues do, much less how all their jobs fit together to achieve the company's vision. The weekly meeting is the ideal forum for keeping the vision fresh in everyone's mind including your own. Without this focus employees become task oriented and the "big picture" gets lost in the daily grind.
Many deadlines are missed because one employee relied on another for information - information that didn't show up on time. As leaders, this type of thing drives us crazy. "Why can't they get their acts together? Don't they know how important this is?" Unfortunately, often they don't; remember the discussion on shared vision?
One of the advantages of the group meeting is that your employees get to hear each other's goals, priorities and deadlines. When your employees see the relationship between their work and that of their colleagues and the importance of the work to the company's success, they do a better job of coordinating their efforts. The result is fewer missed deadlines and a lot less frustration for everyone.
Better workload allocation
Most employees work very hard. I'm sure yours do too. The key to exceptional results is getting them to focus on what's important to your company. Daaa, Dale.
If it seems that I am stating the obvious, then why is it that in any given week some employees have a lot of important tasks, often more than they can accomplish, while their counterparts, who are equally busy, are working on non-critical tasks? If you're serious about creating exceptional results, reallocate the workload so that everyone is working on what's most important to your company's success. Let the secondary tasks slide. How will your employees react? Let's take a look.
In the group meeting your employees see what's important and what isn't. They willingly accept new assignments when they see that their time, energy and talents are being devoted to important work. Why? Who among us wants our time wasted on trivial tasks? Plus, working on important tasks increases self worth. How's that for a winning combination, exceptional results AND a satisfying work environment?
What reaction would you expect if you went to your employees and said, "Today, we're going to start cross training"? Do you think they might spend some time at the water cooler trying to figure out who's losing their job? You bet they would. The weekly meeting format removes these concerns. How?
Workload allocation creates the need for cross training. It's as obvious to your employees as it is to you. A shift in work must be accompanied by instructions to be successful. Don't talk about cross training; just let it happen naturally.
Employees' comfort with this form of cross training comes from two sources. First, they know exactly why the training is occurring. Second, they see that there is a lot more work to be done than time to do it. These facts remove the fear that anyone is going to lose their jobs. Without the fear there is little reason to resist the training. The absence of fear will help you gain the next benefit as well.
In an open atmosphere like the weekly meeting, you and your employees get to see what's getting in the way of accomplishing your team's goals. As long as these problems are viewed as system problems, not performance issues, the group will attack the system with a creativity that you haven't previously witnessed.
No one likes to fail. Your team will not let obstacles get in the way of producing the results it wants. The inherent conflict between desire for success and an obstacle to that success stimulates creative thinking.
Further stimulation occurs as each employee hears what his or her colleagues are doing and how they're performing those tasks. You'll hear questions like, "What if you did this instead of that?" or "What would happen if…?" The employees who are not involved with the task bring an external perspective to the work. It's like having your own internal consulting group.
When employees have a say in setting goals and priorities. When the frustration of missed deadlines is removed. When they know that their time, talents and energy are being devoted to important work. When your employees begin to learn from one another and help each other accomplish more than any of you thought possible. They begin to feel and act like a team.
They celebrate one another's success and help each other through difficult times. The "me" attitude is replaced with the "we" attitude as pride in their accomplishment grows. This sense of being a part of something bigger than themselves is addictive. It keeps them moving forward, always wanting more success because success feels GREAT!
Besides the increased productivity and related financial success, you'll gain a remarkable sense of control. Winston Churchill, after adopting a similar weekly meeting format, used these words to describe the change. "Instead of struggling through the jungle on foot I rode comfortably on an elephant, whose trunk could pick up a pin or uproot a tree with equal ease, and from whose back a wide scene lay open."
The weekly meeting format offers so many advantages and takes less than 2 hours a week. Treat yourself to the incredible power of this system and watch your employees create exceptional results.
Copyright © 2000, Dale Furtwengler, all rights reserved
About the Author:
Dale Furtwengler is a professional speaker, internationally-acclaimed author and a business consultant who uses counter-intuitive thinking to help his clients increase profits without adding resources. For more information on how counter-intuitive thinking can work for you visit www.furtwengler.com/theinvaluableleader/.
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