How do you run meetings?
In operations a daily stand up meeting is typical where a supervisor covers the day’s shipments and safety. In an office setting, meetings can overtake an organization where employees aren’t productive rather just meet all day. There’s a fine balance between no meetings at all and an outlook calendars booked solid with meetings. A standard meeting should include an agenda and action. Agendas include the objectives, discussion and next steps. The action items are assigned to a specific person and a due date. Without these two points (agenda and action), a meeting may have no clear objective or resolution. Reoccurring status meetings can lose value if they don’t create action for the team. The goal of meetings is providing an effective setting for collaboration.
Firefighting at work is common because so many urgent problems arise throughout the day. When a customer is short an order or supplier doesn’t show up on time, it requires immediate action. You can’t tell the customer, “Hold on, I have a staff meeting for the next hour.” See how long you keep that customer. However, a weekly or monthly meeting with a clear agenda that outlines the product that is consistently short or a supplier that is continuously late creates real value. Once meetings are scheduled in advanced and the agenda is sent in advance with real problems listed, see how many people want to attend the meeting to solve problems. Effective collaboration starts with well ran meetings and communication between stakeholders.
How does your team resolve conflict?
Conflict in the workplace or any organization is inevitably. The problem is not the conflict, but rather how conflict is resolved. Do supervisors or senior employees always pull rank? Are front line employees timid to make a decision? There are different methods to resolve conflict, but they key is to empower employees to make decisions. When employees are timid, and management always pulls rank, innovation and creativity are stifled. Collaborating and Compromising are critical to managing teams and solving problems. It’s rare one person is always right (unless you’re married…). Warehouse Engineers provides training on effective collaboration and meetings. Belbin North American also provides great training on effective teams and problem solving.
How do we get effective collaboration?
Effective collaboration starts with a shared goal or vision for the organization. Goals can be principled centered or quantitative metrics, but employees must know the goal of the organization? Is the goal to ship all orders on time? Amazon’s first leadership principle is customer obsession, “start with the customer and work backwards.” Once management sets the goal for the organization, employees can work together to reach the goal. The next step is scheduling meetings on a regular rhythm. Depending on the urgency of problems and time to resolve, meetings can be daily, weekly or monthly. Lean refers to these meetings as the daily SQDC (Safety, Quality, Delivery and Customer) Meetings where operations cover these topics in the morning. After the goal and meetings are established, data collection and monitoring are required. To be truly effective, decisions must be objective and based on data. The team starts monitors data trends to solve problems and improve performance. Warehouse Analytics covers data collection and reporting where each solution is unique. Warehouse Engineers can work with your organization to develop a custom process to collaborate and solve problems.