A good friend of mine recently said to me “ask your team to give you good news on a Friday and save bad news until Monday”. It immediately resonated with me. I love going into the weekend feeling upbeat and energised by good news – even if it’s a relatively small win in the grand scheme of things. Equally, I’ve spent more weekends than I care to remember mulling over a problem presented to me at the eleventh hour on a Friday afternoon. Sound familiar?
I know this is something that most business owners can identify with – in fact, it’s something that most of your team will connect with too. I know this because recently Engagement Multiplier’s team of analysts spent many hours reviewing thousands of confidential and anonymous comments submitted by our clients’ employees.
Drilling down this extensive, in-depth study to its core fundamentals, they identified that there are eight core categories that this feedback falls into. One of these is a desire for employees to see improved communication within their organisations.
The communication challenge
No matter how large or small your business is, whether you’re based in one location or spread across many, in today’s fast-paced world, keeping team members connected to the right information, at the right time, can be challenging. Get it right and your team will throw their weight behind helping you to achieve company goals. On the flip side, getting it wrong (which, sadly, many organisations do) and it’s damaging to morale, leads to confusion, and at its worst can be self-sabotaging.
A simple strategy to connect your team…
As I continued my conversation with my friend, I shared with him a simple strategy to connect your team that I implemented with my own team at Engagement Multiplier some time ago that not only helps to overcome the communication challenges but also ensures that the whole team leaves the office every Friday with a smile on their face – me included. It’s a strategy that I’ve also shared with our community of clients and partners – because it works.
Like many businesses, we run regular team and individual focus meetings to keep everyone on the same page and excited by the progress. But, we wanted to do more – so we created The Weekly Energy Sheet – aka The WES.
It’s brilliant in its simplicity. A one-page sheet that’s split into three sections and shared with every member of the Engagement Multiplier team at the end of the working day every Friday.
The WES structure…
First, there’s a space for every employee to look back over the 7 days that have just passed and share what has been really great about their week. It may have been a great meeting, some feedback received from a client, a new piece of marketing collateral they’ve produced – anything they’re proud of that made them feel good about their role that they want to share with the wider team. It can be one thing, it can be ten – it doesn’t matter. If it energises one employee, the chances are, it will energise the rest of the team too – and it does.
Looking back over the week that’s just gone is great – but then they make a commitment to absolutely ‘nail’ one thing in the week that’s before them. It’s a subtle energy shift to look forward with energy and intent – and also introduces an element of accountability too.
Finally, at the bottom of the page, there’s a gratitude section – an opportunity to recognise a colleague for a job well done or for going above and beyond in helping to create an extraordinary outcome.
The WES works…
The beauty of this strategy is that everyone feels connected to each other in the organisation – even if they haven’t spoken for a week or two. It can be accessed by any team member at any time and takes just a few minutes to complete each week. It’s also an incredible document to share with new joiners – they spend an hour or two in their first few days learning about all the great things the team has been energised by over the previous few months. It provides them with a great insight into what has motivated individual team members and immediately provides a discussion point as they start to form new working relationships within the business. What better way to start a new role?!
To keep the Energy Sheet ‘engaging’ in larger organisations, we’ve suggested establishing separate WES sheets for different departments or locations to avoid the exercise becoming unwieldy – but allow employees to see other teams’ Energy Sheets to create a global connection.
Shared every Friday afternoon, it’s a wonderful way to end the week on a really positive note. Share your WES on a Friday, have an energising weekend and if there are any woes to be dealt with, you can tackle them with gusto on Monday!
And, as a business owner, every so often, I’ll take a few minutes over a coffee on a Saturday morning to look back at the preceding weeks/months WES sheets and see just how much has been achieved by everyone in my business. It fills me with a huge sense of pride and accomplishment – and always puts a smile on my face.
Why not put a smile on the face of everyone in your business by introducing this simple strategy to connect your team in your organisation?