We’ve all heard the saying ‘work on the business, not in it’.
Reflecting on what we do and making adjustments is a natural, innate part of being human. From the moment we stood upright and left the cave we have looked for ways to make the difficult easier. That’s why a woman invented the wheel.
But what about you and your team? Have you any formal continual improvement processes in place? Formalising and properly structuring your team’s Continual Improvement processes means you’re putting in place the mechanisms to work on your business.
Step 1: Agreed team structures
I once asked a manager when discussing the business outcomes he wanted to achieve; ‘I understand that you have goals for your team, but are they the team’s goals?’
Teams must have an agreed understanding and acceptance of:
The team goals you and your team could set could include:
Work Health and Safety goals e.g. Nil lost time through injuries.
Rework goals e.g. Less than 30 minutes of rework per staff member per week.
Sales and Margin goals e.g. Achieving a 2 per cent uplift in gross profit.
Client Surveys e.g. Meeting with all high value clients and getting them to critique your business.
Successes e.g. Discussing and celebrating both team and individual success.
Step 2: Team Accountability
The team goals then forms your monthly team meeting agenda. Reporting on team progress in achieving team goals creates team accountability.
Conducting regular team meetings where team members support each other does not just contribute to a healthy bottom line, it also contributes to team members health too. Social connectedness and social support, being part of a supportive caring team, has positive personal health outcomes too.
Step 3: Individual team member accountability
Team goals are then broken or cascading down into individual team member Position Descriptions and critically Team Member Report Templates (accountability). At each monthly meeting each team member provides their report on their progress in achieving their individual goals which contribute to their team’s success.
A client once complained about a staff members performance, particularly in regard to punctuality and not completing weekly stock takes and orders. So, we included these in the staff members team report template. They reported on their punctuality and how they were going with the weekly stock takes and orders. This was not punitive; we did this in a supportive manner. When they reported on improvement the team celebrated the improvement.
Individual report items could include:
Work Health and Safety: On a rotating basis conduct a monthly site walk around and present their safety observations to the team.
Rework: How much time was wasted completing rework. They also report on who they would like to thank for making their job easier.
Sales and Margin: How many discounts and value of discounts did each staff member pass on and why.
Client Survey: The results of meeting with our high value clients.
Successes: My wins for the month were…and my objectives for next month are…
Everyone works on the business.
Collaborative problem-solving works on your business and has a positive impact on staff morale and wellbeing.
When we follow this process, it creates the circumstances and mechanisms for a group to transit into a team by developing team members small group social skills, problem solving, conflict resolution, listening, challenging, clarifying etc.
Research reveals that teams:
Email us if you would like a best practice Team Meeting Agenda, Team Member Report or Client Review template.
And remember there is no ‘i’ in team, and to quote Bart Simpson, “there’s no ‘u’ either”