Posted by: Andy Porter | June 16, 2011

Word of Mouth Know-How: Weekly Staff Meeting

Hold Weekly Staff Meetings

There are many reasons to have a staff meeting each week.  The most basic reason is that if you want to have a team that works together then you have to enable the employees to communicate.  Yes, there is an investment of time, and it’s hard to schedule, etc.  But, NOT having weekly staff meetings, as outlined below, will decrease your bottom line, period.

Often staff meetings are rather boring affairs (at least from the viewpoint of the employees!). They are usually one-sided with management doing most of the talking. The actual purpose of staff meeting is to co-ordinate actions and get everyone working together as a team.

In all my years of experience I have never seen any system for staff meeting work better than the one outlined below:

  1. Schedule a set day of the week where the staff meeting can be held.  This should be done at a time when there are no customers in the office and there are no distractions.  It needs to be held the same day each week.  Set an exact time.  The meeting should be between 30 and 60 minutes long. If you have a large number of staff, the meetings could be for smaller groups, but ideally this ‘word of mouth meeting’ would include everyone.
  1. Before the meeting, make sure that all comments are in the log; including any customer surveys, notes from follow-up calls, and comments from your web site – any and all comments should be gathered up.
  1. Read aloud each item from the Customer Comment Log.
    1. Congratulate any department or employee named in the compliment.
    2. Take time to discuss each complaint from the viewpoint of what could be done better.  You may come to the conclusion that there was nothing that you could have done better.  So be it.
    3. Invite the STAFF to solve the problem or come up with the new policy or procedure that will make sure the problem does not repeat.
    4. The manager should not be lecturing here, he or she should invite the staff to talk and come up with the answer.
  1. Ensure a record of the meetings are produced and made available for staff not in attendance.
  1. Additional Notes:
    1. Read all comments no matter who they are about.  If the complaints are about a manager or owner, address them as you would any other complaint.
    2. Staff who are upset about this program tend to quit fast.
    3. Make certain the no one is EVER chastised for writing a customer complaint in the Log.

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