Do I have to get all my retail staff together for meetings?

Your Life
Jim Berlucchi
June, 2016

I'm the owner/manager of a franchise retail store. Our staff of six needs to be in good communication as a team, but I don't know what kind of meetings would be most helpful. Also, some of the staff think meetings should be optional. What do you advise?

There is a phrase called “death by meetings,” but there’s also a kind of “death by no meetings.” The biggest challenge in every organization is communication. The best companies do it well.For starters, I recommend a 30-minute weekly meeting, same time and place. Focus on the operations and tactics, with a look-back at last week, and look-forward to the next.1. Get clear in your own mind. What are the top three things you and they need to know? What are the success indicators? What’s bugging you? What’s bugging them? At a minimum, meetings should solve problems. And if problems actually get solved, even anti-social folks will get converted.2. Have the meeting when most are scheduled to work. If they’re absent, get their input offline.3. Keep the meeting short and sweet. Start and end on time. Pass out a simple agenda, along with something tasty to eat. Your naysayers need immediate gratification. Then short-term gratification should come once practical decisions make a positive impact.4. Lead with values. Make it a habit to include one habit that’s important to your business – great service, friendliness, resilience – tie in how someone demonstrated it last week.5. Ask questions. You are curious to know what they think. Questions keep people involved and make meetings go faster.6. Record decisions. Pass them out next week. It shows the meeting produced something and puts our feet to the fire.