In my last posting I discussed a couple of ways that any meeting participant - at any level - can make that meeting more effective for themself and for the organization. Not surprisingly, I heard from some people that they are "meeting'd out". They told me that with today's smaller workforce sizes, their companies can't afford to have meetings because there is already so little time in the day.
I get it. It's tough out there. And not getting any easier. What's a guy/gal to do?
But how would you handle it if you moved into a company where virtually all the workforce was located outside of your head office? And in most cases, those people weren't even in the local office for more than minutes a day? It's a real situation. One that's addressed all the time in one of the US' more famous corporatations: UPS.
UPS has about 1/4 million drivers and package handlers. Early on, they invested in all the technology they could put their hands on to try to ensure that any and all communication made it out to their modern day delivery folks. And they found out that the #1 rule of communication remains as true today as when it was raised back in the 1970s. Maybe even more true. The best communications (meaning: the most remembered, the most motivational, the ones which people talk about afterwards) are those delivered by an individual.
Every morning, and throughout the day as well, managers at "the brown company" gather workers for mandatory meetings which last approximately 180 seconds. During that time, the staff hear about changes in process, events of the last few hours or day, new software upgrades, local information and customer complaints. UPS says these mini meetings ensure that everyone is kept in the loop and that anything of importance is known widely and immediately. This, of course, makes certain that any problem affecting the company is so well known by everyone that it can be addressed and dealt with more quickly and at the right level.
The UPS method and practice has sound application for every employer and manager. It is now being implemented by office workers around the country. If you can spare 180 seconds at your place, why not try it?
John M. McKee is the founder and CEO of BusinessSuccessCoach.net, an international consulting and coaching practice with subscribers in 43 countries. One of the founding senior executives of DIRECTV, his hands-on experience includes leading billion dollar organizations and launching start-ups in both the U.S. and Canada. The author of two published books, he is frequently seen providing advice on TV, in magazines, and newspapers.