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CEO Tools Blog

1/2-Hour Weekly Gets Employees Engaged

Here's a wonderful employee engagement tool from one of our fellow Vistage members, pretty much in his own words:  We have a small manufacturing business with about 15 employees.   We have a weekly meeting on Wednesday from 8 to 8:30 AM.  First item on the agenda is "What I did for the company this week."  We use an easel board and write their comments.   We have been doing this since April 2009.  Here are the benefits:  

1.  We have a flat screen TV in the lobby and put their contributions on the screen each week.   Lots of visibility.  Visitors comment on the goals and accomplishments of employees.  

2.  We record each employee's contribution in a list.  It becomes a history of their efforts in the company.    

3.  Delegation gets a lot easier.   Such things as cleaning bugs out of lights, dusting, organizing, not to mention meeting goals...gets recorded.   They get "credit" for doing the small things that keeps us looking good.  

4.   We will use this documentation instead of an "annual review".   We'll take their comments and contributions and summarize their "strengths and contributions" in a one-page cover that will become their property as well as a copy for their files.  Better, we think, than a letter of recommendation if they go elsewhere.  (Turnover is about zero here).     

5.  Recently our ISO consultant said that this documentation is very helpful to demonstrate ISO compliance in that our employees are trained and involved in continuous improvement. 

We are working this program into our Quality System.  Here are our rules about our weekly meeting:   

1.  It's all positive.   No negatives from employees or management.   Negatives happen, but not at 8 to 8:30 AM on Wednesday. 

2.  Meeting starts at 8 AM.   If you are not here at 8 AM, go to work and miss the meeting.  Don't speed or get in a car wreck to get here on time.   Things happen and no one is mad, it's just that we don't wait, and we are 8:30 AM.    

We started this in April, wondering if we would get responses at all.  We  thought some employees might think that this was corny.   We were very pleasantly surprised how the majority of employees went for this right away.  Those that were a bit skeptical saw the majority of support and got quickly on board. 

Now, some of the most reserved of our employees are the first to raise their hand.   We have a new goal each month in sales.  If we reach the goal in the previous month, we have a catered breakfast at the next meeting.  If not, we have bagels and coffee.  This really works for improved delegation, communication and employee involvement.