As corporate America realized that with technology they could have people work “remote” they found that they could save in terms of hard costs on real estate and office furniture etc. That they did not realize was the soft cost of going remote.
In the past team members would assemble and work together from shared space. They could share best practices informally at least. I remember my best call center managers had daily accountability check-ins with the team and monthly (sometimes bi-monthly) wrap ups. And the team leads and assistant managers were there listening into calls and providing live coaching on call resolution and sharing of best practices.
Now that people are working remote in all sorts of teams the “meeting” has become a place for many people to check in on Facebook and clean up their email. This is not a good practice. I can remember cleaning up email during ones such call. While “replying” to Stephanie, I addressed my reply to Tom, who was speaking on the call. Ooops.
According to a study by Inc. and Fuze we spend a lot of time in meetings. They report that Middle Managers spend 35% of their time and Upper management 50%. I have spoken to countless Healthcare leaders who tell me they have 6 – 8 meetings per day and they are often triple booked. Yep triple booked.
That is not going to move your needle.
When I ask why and how that can happen, they tell me:
- Others can put meetings on their calendar
- There is just too much going on
- They have to stay up to date
Regardless of whether the team is remote or in your office, let me suggest an alternative. Have the right kinds of meetings. Ones that are structured, that have a rhythm and that cascade initiatives and goals throughout the organization. And say no to the meetings that do not affect your team.
I think there are 3 – 5 meetings that a leader needs to create team accountability. Here are three:
- What is going on in the organization? What new initiatives are out there, how is the organization performing, anything that may impact the team, (such as closing the parking lot by the patient accounting entrance so we need to redirect patients that are walking in). How the teams activity impacted the organization.
- Accountability – Many people are afraid of accountability. They think it equates to blame. It doesn’t, it is an accounting of our commitments. By measuring and reporting on our goals and performance in a visible and transparent manner everyone can see where the team stands and if necessary make adjustments to shift performance. (I can remember leaders holding mid-month contests to spur enthusiasm to help reach goals when we were behind).
- One to One meetings. This is where we check in with our team to see how they are doing in pursuit of their goals, what success they are having, where are they struggling and how the manager can support them. Gallup reports that 70% of employees in the United States are not engaged. Number one reason for employee disengagement is the relationship they have with their boss. The One to One meeting is perhaps the most valuable meeting in that it is where a manager creates leverage in their role. Sadly it is one they often cancel due to other “fires”.
As the pace of change increases and market demands shift our ability to get teams to perform is critical. If the manager will create a series of conversations with structure, and rhythm they can see dramatic results.
If you would like to learn more about how I work with individuals and organizations to create Teaams that perform, are accountable and productive contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org