Stay tuned tomorrow for a podcast episode about why communication is vital to institute, especially during your busiest seasons.
The business is in full swing. Busy season has hit, whether it’s harvest, the holidays, or just peak season.
Why should a communication model be at the top of your list to implement NOW?
For starters, poor communication can lead to big problems, especially in busy seasons. Take a few minutes to establish a connectivity model like the one I’m going to show off today and you’ll understand why communication is essential to a smooth and safe season.
This is for immediate communication.
- How do employees communicate throughout the day?
- How are emergencies or urgent matters distributed?
Group messages or group texts are excellent for this, but this may change based on a business’ needs. A trucking operation or one with frequent driving is a terrible match for texting; calls or video messages might be better.
Whatever the method, everyone in your operation needs to know and agree on the method of communication. More on that in an upcoming episode of the Ag Lead Podcast!
Video meetings or conference calls work best for accountability check-ins every week to every other week.
This is a prime space to allow new situations to come to the surface, get quickly resolved, provide coaching or training, and overall provide accountability for tasks.
Do you really need monthly check-ins if you’re already doing bi-weekly ones?
Monthly meetings, whether live on video or in person, provide a longer format that is set aside for general updates, team updates, and during peak seasons, can be a spot of stability and consistency in a hectic time.
Here’s where the connectivity model really begins to take shape. Once you have the basics down of daily, bi-weekly, and monthly, schedule time for an off-site meeting.
Half a day (3-4 hours) dedicated to new strategies for the following quarter, setting and assigning goals, and setting accountability metrics is enough time to really hammer out details and a plan without pulling too much time away from the operation.
Lastly, have an annual meeting with all staff members.
Don’t combine this with holiday parties or calendared celebrations if you can; it should be focused on the business, not combined with a time that is typically focused on team building and relaxing camaraderie. Make it a structured retreat away from the operation to review processes, procedures, barriers, and accomplishments of the operation.
Roll out the plan for the next year, new goals, and how to keep the momentum going. This can also be a time for long-standing issues to be addressed, things that don’t get talked about at the more frequent meetings; that’s fine, but plan some time for addressing these roadblocks.
At the end of the workday, a structured, agreed-upon connectivity model is a building block for communication in the operation, but it’s an essential one. Buy-in from everyone is key, but so is tweaking the model to suit the business.
A few of these steps can be implemented quickly; others take time from the leadership to implement well. Altogether, a connectivity model that is known and followed by everyone in the business can reduce conflicts before they start. More on those conflicts in this week’s Ag Lead Show episode dropping soon!
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