Systems, scheduling, delegating, and reporting are all part of business as usual. The problem is that most of us entrepreneurs can’t be great at all of them. We focus our time on creating and building products, but sometimes we lose sight of the processes we should be establishing in order to grow our business.
Reporting and employee check-ins are often overlooked and seem mundane in the face of recurring priorities that overload our inboxes. But let’s face it – those are just excuses, right? Though the little devil on our shoulder tells us to keep ploughing through email after email, the angel on the other side keeps tapping at our ear telling us to check in with the crew.
How do we become void of giving and receiving feedback? Why can’t we accept that five minutes a week of employee engagement will not only help us create seamless processes and delegate tasks to the right people, but will also save us time and huge amounts of money? We need to build out human systems in order to grow our businesses and with a little help from 15Five, I have been able to do that seamlessly.
Have an Open Door but Don’t-Interrupt-Me Policy
Being the main decision maker is not easy. Having people pulling you in all directions not only takes me away from my tasks; it kills productivity. I have implemented an open door policy, allowing me to spend as much face time with my team as possible. I like encouraging random interactions and clear lines of communication.
When I am not chatting with the team, I avoid distraction by working in 30-90 minute intervals, always focusing on the big picture items first. I take breaks here and there to recoup my thoughts and get into focus for the next task by turning off all electronics, changing locations, grabbing a coffee, and – yes – even daydreaming.
Visualize a Slice of the Week
With 25 full-time staff, it can be tricky trying to manage everyone’s feedback and expectations. Because it’s important to maintain a certain level of communication with everyone, I tried sending out emails to the team each week but it only proved to be impersonal and time consuming, not to mention it took a toll on my productivity.
Since I started using 15Five, I have been able to see a slice of everyone’s week very quickly and effectively. No need to set up meetings. The random exchanges I’d become accustomed to have been replaced with consistent weekly feedback, which as a result, saves me five hours a week.
Check For Patterns in Reporting
Not surprisingly, over time, the system starts to surface patterns within the organization. It helps me to spot defective processes, identify unmotivated employees, and notice overworked teams. Though these things aren’t typical of a weekly report at Zirtual, they can be quite shocking at first. These little ‘surprises’ then let me go about fixing the problem(s) before they get too big to manage.
It takes me less than five minutes a week per employee to check in with my team and the results are outstanding. While I continue to embrace my open door policy, it certainly doesn’t revolve as much as it once needed to and yet I still feel in control and conscious of the matters (both good and bad) affecting my team. I couldn’t recommend a better employee feedback tool better than 15Five. Try it out for yourself.
About the Author
Maren Kate Donovan is the CEO of Zirtual. Growing up in Las Vegas, Maren gained a passion for customer service and the world of high-end personal assistance from an early age. She started Zirtual in late 2011 to save people’s time so they could focus on what’s important and to provide purposeful employment to smart people who enjoy the freedom of working remotely. Maren has a background that includes biker bars, Chaucer, and has a penchant for science fiction—she’s also never met a cat she doesn’t like.