We all know everyone hates meetings. Whether they’re quick “what’s everyone doing” confirmations or those long soul-suckers that could have easily been handled over email, Karen — you hate them. We hate them, too. We hate them so much that we adhere to policies like Get Shit Done Wednesdays to limit the need for meetings in order to keep the Stryve machine humming at maximum efficiency.
But here’s the thing — not all meetings are bad. Sometimes you need a meeting to pull you away from the wall you’ve been banging your head against. Sometimes, communication actually is clearer in person. Meetings can be a waste of time, but it doesn’t mean all meetings have to go. Take our new Mini Resourcing Check for example. From Tuesday to Thursday, we meet up at 11:30 am for a 10-15 minute stand-up to figure out who’s busy and who isn’t. As Sarah would say, it’s not rocket surgery. It’s a quick meeting with no required prep that has increased both efficiency and production. We’re still anti-meeting, but this one is worth trying. Here’s why:
Spread the workload
Before we started our Mini Resourcing Checks, we held a “Pulse on Resources” check every Friday. It was essentially the same meeting with each employee ranking their week’s workload on a scale of 1-10. The goal was to keep tabs on capacity to help plan for staffing new projects and balance workloads. The intention was there, but by having the meeting on Friday, we missed the chance to actually react and take action against people getting underutilized or underworked.
With our Mini Resourcing Checks, we find out where everyone stands throughout the week. If Joey is looking swamped while Chandler is looking light, we redistribute some things and balance the ship. At Stryve, we encourage our employees to get in, get shit done, and get out. We’ll take a few people working an extra half hour if it means preventing a single person from grinding it out all night.
Put out fires before they happen
The typical formula for a stand-up meeting is to ask everyone the following three questions:
- What have you accomplished since our last meeting?
- What’s on your plate this week?
- Are there any obstacles that are keeping you from doing your job?
That third question is a key one for us. If your team isn’t on top of tasks that are being blocked in the pipeline, it’s a recipe for disaster. Nobody likes putting out fires, and those small problems can easily turn into bigger ones. By identifying those obstacles early on, we can work through them as a team and keep projects moving smoothly.
Transparency, communication, and trust
It’s important to understand that daily stand-up meetings are not just for status updates. These meetings are key for team communication and transparency. When working in a collaborative environment, whether it’s client-facing or product development, having a unified understanding of the project requirements is important for success. Having open communication on where things are at — and how you’re going to get it to the next stage — will help everyone involved.
Sometimes it can be difficult to ask hard questions when we don’t have visibility into each other’s responsibilities. Knowing that Monica is slammed from Client A will probably make you a little more empathetic when the report you needed from her was delayed. With free-flowing communication, increase your team’s awareness and minimize micromanagement. It’s great hearing the confirmation from your teammate that “Yes, I’ll have that done by the end of the day” without feeling the need to follow-up and babysit them.
Stick to the point
Though daily stand-ups can be a very effective tool, it can be easy for them to run off the rails. Make sure the meeting happens on time, is kept short, and stays on topic. A stand-up is not the place for people to gush about wagyu steak or ramble about their latest idea for a side business, Ryan. These speed bumps aside, our Mini Resourcing Check has had a positive impact on the way we work by keeping us connected, keeping us organized, and keeping our plates full, but not too full.