Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Starting the day off right

Every weekday morning, about 7:50am, in office buildings throughout Japan, managers and their teams get together for a brief overview of the day. When I lived in Japan, this meeting was announced by a bell, and ended about 10 minutes later with everyone saying they will work hard together that day.

The meeting gives the team a chance to fill everyone in on who is going where, doing what, and what is important to be handled for the day.

The meeting participants speak one at a time round-robin, starting with the most junior employee and working up to the manager.

I liked this type of a meeting, and recommend it to small businesses. Once you have more than one or two employees, it is amazing how disconnected the owner gets from what his employees are doing each day. Many times I have spoken to exasperated owners remarking they can't understand why their employees are not doing what they are supposed to!

A daily quick recap meeting allows the entire team to know what's going on:
  • When the phone rings for Sam and he is gone - everyone knows where he is - and why he is out of the office,
  • By getting a sense of what his team is doing for the day, the manager understands where to better place staff or arrange schedules,
  • Each team member is able to show that his or her work is important,
  • There is a sense in which saying what you will get done out loud, motivates you to get it done.
Try adding a short - very short - daily recap meeting and see if it helps overall communication in your company. You may be surprised at what your employees are doing each day!

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