All businesses desire a rising productivity graph. And this rise is possible only when you have competitive employees and smart strategies in place. But how does one achieve these two elements? In order to keep up with the ever-changing market scenario and to upgrade employee potential, regular trainings are a requisite. On the same grounds, regular staff meetings are monumental for attaining coherent organizational output. But arranging and conducting these sessions is a headache for the people responsible, as it requires a lot of coordination with employees. And while trainings are not so frequently happening, meetings are a regular event in every organization. Be it a five minute stand-up meeting in restaurants or hour long round table conferences in corporate houses, meetings form an integral part of every setup.
To conduct meetings staff availability is a major concern, especially if you are a 24*7 organization with employees working in different shifts. There are firms that follow shifts-culture like BPOs working for different time zones, restaurants open round the clock or manufacturing houses where production never stops, come what may. Such firms with employees working in varying shifts regularly face problems whenever they need to gather the entire staff for conveying any message. It can be information sharing with the staff for an upcoming organizational audit or finalizing a date for anniversary celebrations gathering employees from different shifts for any collective task is tough, as some employees work in early morning shifts whereas some in afternoon and evenings. And since every employee contributes to company’s annual revenue generation, it’s important to include all the employees in organization level trainings and meetings.
Rules of the game change with the purpose you hold in mind. If you aim to conduct a staff-training, it could be arranged at any time irrespective of your shift schedules. But meetings require physical presence of employees, or virtual in case of distributed locations. However as both these events are a regular occurring, a proper resolution needs to be put in place.
Here are a few steps which can simplify your job.
To hold successful meetings:
1. Select a convenient time
You can select the time that suits most employees. Or you can also schedule meetings and trainings in day shift which has maximum number of working employees than in any other shift. This way you can ascertain maximum attendance in your meetings with less effort.
2. Train the managers
You cannot be present in every shift especially when they are scattered across a span of 24 hours. In that case you can train a few managers that could conduct the meetings on your behalf, in the shifts you are not able to make up to. This will divide the work and deeply instil the meeting agenda in the minds of people conducting it.
3. Create Meeting Notes
As meetings are a one-to-one event where everyone is allowed to speak, interaction of different employees can give rise to new thoughts or pinpoint a problem which was not contemplated so far. Whatever be your output, note it down for later reflection. These notes can also be shared in the proceeding shifts to gather maximum employee inputs. A problem raised in one meeting maybe answered in another.
4. Inform in advance
You can plan meetings well in advance and keep your employees pre-informed about them. Along with the timings also mention the meeting agenda, so that the employees come prepared for discussion. These meetings are mostly conducted to ensure a consistent product or service across different shifts, and help drain out any doubts amongst the staff, which otherwise cannot be cleared owing to the intermingling schedules. It is through these trainings that you can convey your expectations, changes in the work strategy, important warnings and instructions or even the list of important customers that are to be attended on priority. You can also mention the benefits of attending the meeting to concerned people.
5. Reward your employees for attending
If the meeting is crucial for your business and employees don’t seem enthusiastic about attending it, due to work deadlines or personal commitments. You can allure your employees by rewarding them with incentives or compensatory-offs. Such gestures will motivate your employees for future meetings too.
To conduct trainings successfully:
1. Record your trainings
Personal trainings cannot be conducted for all the employees simultaneously. If new employees have joined immediately after your training, and you don’t want to let them miss the important instructions you shared with rest of the team, what you can do is – record the training. This way it will be accessible to everyone from the workers in night shift, to new joiners and even to the management. This way you will successfully instil the feelings of equality amongst your staff bringing them to the same level, eradicating any doubts of discrimination prevailing in their minds.
2. Keep one trainer
Delivering an impactful training session is not everybody’s cup of tea. Personal trainings are person-dependent. You can be a good speaker but training is an entirely different pitch. If you are conducting such trainings, ensure the same trainer conducts sufficient number of training sessions to cover maximum employees. Even if you have to shell out extra cents from your pocket for additional sessions, don’t bother it will pay its rewards on the later run. Ensure participation of employees from all the shifts, be it early morning or past midnight.
3. Online training material
If your company has an internet connection, you can make the best use of it by uploading the training material on your intranet or other places, such that it is easily accessible by all the employees whenever they login. You can also make it available in offline mode depending on the urgency. To keep uniformity you can upload each chapter one by one, as this will ensure all the employees are on the same level, irrespective of their shift timings.
4. Appreciate participation
As trainings are skill development programmes perceived as an additional time spent, you can reward employees registering up for them by waiving of their time spent in these sessions. Distributing freebies and consolation gifts can keep up the tempo of attendees.
You can employ different methods to inform your employees for such official gatherings, for example put up the message on a notice board where emails are not prevalent or distribute pamphlets at the entry gates. Once your session is over remember to log in your staff’s feedback. This will not just communicate to you failings of the current session for future improvements but make your employees feel valued.