Seek dialogue and feedback

Whether you’re running a small contact centre, delivery operations or professional services firm, it’s incredibly important to establish routines that get people in your business talking. Many small business suffer because there’s not enough dialogue and interaction.

One of the first steps you can take is to create regular dialogue and feedback channels between staff and management. Does your workplace encourage daily team huddles or stand-up conversations?

  1. Schedule 10 minutes in the morning for the team to come together
  2. Encourage staff to share what is happening in the workplace
  3. Brief the team about upcoming changes and industry trends
  4. Talk about at least one good thing e.g. customer compliment
  5. Repeat daily

Allowing staff to connect with others is a great way to foster a knowledge organisation built upon collaboration and problem solving.

What problem does it solve?

How many workplaces do you know where staff arrive in the morning and sit at their desks, start reading and responding to emails and begin the workday with minimal conversation with colleagues? Setting up regular routines – preferably daily  – allows your teams to discuss and share knowledge with others in your teams.

What is the benefit?

Typically problems are solved through one-on-one conversations between two or more colleagues. When a solution is identified, the outcome is rarely shared with the wider team because teams can often find themselves stuck doing daily tasks in isolation. By setting time aside each day, staff can discuss workload and solve problems together as well as opening dialogue with management.

How much does it cost?

In face-paced work environments such as call centres, establishing 10-minute routines daily can add appear to add cost to the workplace productivity as this takes staff away from valuable time answering enquiries from customers. However, if planned correctly, short team huddles can be staggered throughout the day to minimise impact on customers.

Is it right for you?

As a business grows, it becomes more and more important to create deliberate routines for feedback and dialogue. Usually smaller businesses with intimate teams manage this without any effort, however larger organisations where staff are chained to their computers and cubicles will often need allocated time to meet.

Example

Marie manages a consulting firm of 38 staff where each consultant works offsite at different organisations, helping their clients with different projects. The clients sit across different industries – telephone, banking, insurance, energy and travel sectors.

Although each of the contractors specialises in different industries, Marie sets up a twice-weekly check-in where all 38 staff are required to dial-in to a short 15-minute teleconference line. The 15-minute call is separate from the monthly team meetings where all staff are expected to attend at the head office.

On a rotating basis, she allocates three of the consultants to give an update on the projects they are working on, their key challenges and successes. During the team huddles, consultants can share their experiences, find out about emerging trends in other sectors as well as find out about key business changes impacting their own organisation.