Communication is the most important concept in any successful business. It doesn't matter if you are running Microsoft or Tony's Pizza Parlour down the street, in business, people are the number one commodity. It may be your customer, staff, or vendors, but the only way to emulate your vision or achieve the results you want, starts with communication.
As important as communication for getting things done, it can also be one of the biggest obstacles in achieving your goals. We sometimes fail to properly communicate how and why we want something done or a miscommunication leads to confusion and ultimately a mis-execution of the businesses vision and brand.
Over the years, I have found, the most effective way to get everyone on the same page is to hold weekly managers meetings. Now you might think that because you have a small operation and little to no managers, it might not be for me. It doesn't matter about the size of the operation, results happen when you regularly sit down with your staff and go over strategy, expectations, and assign goals. No matter if it's two partners sitting down each week or a full front and back house managerial team, the key is to set aside uninterrupted time to go over the most important aspects of your business.
We have all sat in on these meetings before in previous jobs, and most of the time they have been a waste of time. This does not have to be the case. Here are some tips on what your meeting should include and techniques to structure them.
~ Go over prime numbers ( Food & Labour Costs). Labour cost need to be
examined every week. As this can be the fastest way to hemorrhage money, it
is very important to be on top of, so as to, control spending. If you do food
inventory monthly than go over it at the beginning of the following period or
month. If your food costs are high or out of control, then I suggest doing it
~ Discuss the previous week, issues that arose, and more importantly
successes of the week. It is important to bring forth positive feedback to the
table, as it helps keep people engaged.
~ Look at things coming up in the future. This is a great opportunity to plan
ahead, as well as, strategize about up coming events, marketing promotions,
capital expenditures, and/ or repairs needing done.
~ Have your staff participate in the meeting. Have them do a showcase
presentation like dish samplings, safety topic, or beer / wine tastings. The
group would try it, discuss, and then give feedback.
You can get as creative as you want in your meetings, but the two outcomes you are aiming for are to 1) Keep your staff engaged in your meetings 2) Make sure your staff I very clear on what your expectations are, how they are gonna execute it, and manage it with their staff.
Here are some rules of thumb for designing your structure for the meetings.
~ Hold the meetings every week religiously, on the same day at the same
time consistently. Make sure no one is coming in on their day off for it if
~ Take notes- Assign someone to jot the minutes of the meeting for
reference in the future and to avoid MISCOMMUNICATION.
~ Don't use the meeting t single out any one or department for reprimand or
negative tounge lashing. No matter how frustrated you are or how much they
have messed up, never use this as a vehicle for reprimanding your staff.
~ Don't let the meeting dwell on a particular topic. If the topic needs further
discussion, then slate a separate meeting for this. Keep the ball rolling, every-
ones time is important.
~ Facilitate the meeting, but that being said you should really only hold 25%
of the conversation. This will force your staff and managers to be engaged and
participate. This is key for you to not fall into the "Well that was a waste of time"
~ The meeting should be a sanctuary where your staff can be open and
honest about speaking their mind. Do not make it an environment where they
are made to feel stupid for not knowing aspects of the business they need to.
As well be open with information pertaining to their departments. If they know
and understand all aspects then this will help them make informed decisions.
Good luck and I truly hope you start implementing these meetings into your operations. Any questions please reach out to me I would love to help you get rolling with these.