I always talk about developing and tweaking connectivity models during the busiest seasons because it’s then that clear channels of communication are the most vital.
Let’s look back at the connectivity model from just a few months ago. (If you didn’t read it then, that’s ok! Follow along with me today.)
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 maintaining and growing your business during even the most hectic times.
When you roll out something as complex as a connectivity plan, you may not have the time to explain every step to everyone. That’s ok; print out the infographic and email or hand them out as a quick reference, or make your own with the kinds of topics you want covered at each time.
This is for immediate communication. You need this one RIGHT NOW even if you don’t keep reading.
- How does the team communicate throughout the day?
- How are emergencies or urgent matters distributed?
- Is the method of communication the same across everyone?
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. If there is an emergency or a change of plans, you have to know that one method will reach everyone, and trust that everyone is checking that method.
If you don’t have time right now to go any further, that’s okay. Schedule a time in the future to revisit the connectivity model and a second time to go over it with your team. Start at Daily and grow from there.
Every other week, schedule a conference call or video meeting at the same time. This is when everyone understands that new situations should get brought up and get quickly resolved. Gaps in training or opportunities for coaching also happen here. Lastly, bi-weekly meetings provide accountability for everyone’s tasks.
These meetings are not long, and they’re also not rushed. Allocate about 30-60 minutes, more at the beginning if there are a variety of issues you may or may not have known about. Once you have an established format and there is a level of comfort, adjust the meeting length and time.
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. This is 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 normal, but plan some time for addressing these roadblocks from the beginning to avoid feeling like there isn’t time or it bumps other items (like meal times).
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 is a simple but effective way to know what’s happening but not get bogged down in meetings all the time.