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Short daily meetings to improve the efficiency of your business

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business_team_meeting.jpgAfter many discussions with business owners and managers over the years, I have come to the conclusion that short, daily, morning meetings can improve the efficiency and profitability of businesses.

These meetings are solely intended to improve management and performance levels in business. It should be implemented by managers as their daily, early, morning meetings with their staff.

Time allocated for these meetings should ideally not exceed half an hour, maximum 45 minutes. It is imperative, however, that these meetings be conducted in a formal manner, according to a structured agenda and chaired in a disciplined way by the manager or chairman.

It must be made clear that this is not a social meeting. It could be preceded by a few minutes for social interaction and early coffee/tea, if so decided by the manager.

An agenda should be set for each meeting. This provides for daily discussions of a specific theme chosen for the week. This could be regarded as an ongoing, informal way of in-house training that provides for active and spontaneous interaction by all present.

Generic agenda for short daily meetings

A list of themes for discussions at daily meetings has been compiled below. The list covers a wide variety of themes or topics that influence good management. By brief, interactive discussions of these themes, a business forces itself to be aware of important issues that can help to improve performance and profits.

  1. Attendance
  2. Short report on previous day’s meeting by the chairman, focusing only on specific decisions and important issues
  3. Brief report by each individual on the previous day’s work
  4. Brief evaluation of work by chairman
  5. Identify failures, weaknesses and mistakes and correctional steps
  6. Emphasize  successes of previous day
  7. Goals for the day – involving every individual
  8. Summarize the theme discussion of  the previous day
  9. Short discussion of the theme selected for the week
  10. Action steps that can be taken as a result of the theme discussion

One day in every week should be allocated for the evaluation of progress with weekly goals and setting new goals for the next week, followed by the daily theme discussion.

One day per month is allocated for a longer meeting, discussing the monthly budget and determining new goals, target dates and action steps, followed by the usual short theme discussion.

70 themes and 350 ideas for staff discussions

Although there are 52 weeks in a year, and therefore only a maximum of 52 themes needed, a list of 70 themes have been compiled – to give a chairman a choice of themes appropriate to the business.

The recommended themes are divided into three categories:

  1. Themes relating to the ability to work hard
  2. Themes relating to working smart/effectively
  3. Moral and ethical considerations in the work place.

Each of these themes is highlighted by 5 relevant items for discussion. Ideally, each individual should define his/her own positive affirmations for demonstrating these ideas in his or her conduct in the workplace and life in general. However, the meeting should decide on possible action steps to be taken to improve operations – as a result of the week’s theme discussion.

The chairman can select a theme from the list and lead the discussion or let alternate employees select a theme and prepare for introducing the theme. Having said this, it's of paramount importance that once started, consistency with having these daily meetings and theme discussions is imperative.

To allow circumstances and excuses to cancel meetings randomly will minimise their value. It will also be a sign of inability to adhere to a very effective system through a lack of commitment and discipline. And it will set a bad example to employees.

Benefits of implementing the SDM meetings

  • Daily planning
  • Ongoing in-house enlightenment and training
  • Goal setting – daily, weekly, monthly
  • Reporting and control
  • Hands-on management
  • Interaction and involvement of all staff
  • Improve staff relations
  • Pro-active actions
  • Raise motivational levels
  • Improve planning and organizational quality
  • Performance evaluation and improvement
  • Detect problems, weaknesses and mistakes, timeously
  • Determine remedial action steps in cases of mistakes and failures, timeously
  • Ongoing interaction, communication and synergy between staff
  • Applying an effective management strategy
  • Demonstrate to all staff the serious and scientific approach to managing this business – nothing is being done ad hoc and randomly
  • Creating a well-managed business with the best possible results and profits

Dr. Ben Cronjé has owned his own retail stores and has been involved in franchising for many years. He developed the Business Skills Assessment system, approved by FASA, for the assessment of prospective franchisees. Business owners and managers who are interested in implementing these meetings and getting the list of themes can contact me on bcron@iafrica.com.

Copyright (c) 2016, the credited author
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