How to Tell if Your Team's Rhythm is Off

Posted by The Align Team on Feb 17, 2017 9:01:00 AM

Many companies employ the core fundamentals of the Rockefeller Habits in their daily business practices to keep their team aligned to their goals. The habits focus on three main factors which business leaders need to be aware of and incorporate into their strategy: priorities, data, and rhythm.

Finding the Right Rhythm of Communication

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When your company’s teams communicate in a consistent rhythm of communication, you can better manage your projects, and supervisors can address issues as soon as they arise.

Noted business author Verne Harnish suggests that establishing and sticking to a meeting rhythm is one of the key factors that affects a company’s ability to scale up successfully. Your meeting rhythm will affect your daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly meetings, including when you need to have them, who needs to be there, and what you need to discuss.

While there are a variety of recommended practices for meeting rhythm, there’s no one-size-fits-all. While we all hope to launch a structured rhythm of communication that directly aligns with our business needs, learn how to tell if your team’s rhythm is off and what you can do to adjust.

While each company is different, here are several tell-tale signs that your team’s rhythm is off.

1) Targets are not being met on time

If your team is not meeting your business objectives and your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) demonstrate that your performance is falling short, you know that something is wrong. While this symptom can be a result of a variety of underlying business problems, a lack of strategic execution is your first signal that you need to alter the way your team is handling your priorities, data, or rhythm.

In particular, missing deadlines shows that your team’s communication is not as clear or frequent as it needs to be. Either your team members don’t understand when items are due to be completed, or they don’t have the necessary resources to finish on time. When leadership and employees communicate consistently, these types of issues should be nipped in the bud and resolved before they start affecting your project deadlines.

2) High levels of confusion/miscommunication

Possibly the biggest sign that your meeting rhythm is off is when your team encounters high levels of confusion on their tasks and has trouble communicating effectively. Several indicators include:

  • Employees are working on superfluous or redundant tasks
  • Activities don’t ladder up to overall company priorities
  • Meetings are interrupted by frequent questions, tangents, and a lack of direction

These signs demonstrate that your flow of information is not up-to-speed or that key details are not making their way to the right people.

3) Uneven distribution of labor

If some employees are working eighty-hour weeks while others can barely find enough day-to-day tasks to complete, it’s possible that your meeting rhythm is not as consistent as it needs to be.  Overworked employees likely have not had the opportunity to alert management that they need assistance. With a frequent rhythm of communication, your team leaders should be able to delegate projects and redistribute the team’s workload as necessary in order to ensure an even distribution of labor.

This is why many leaders are switching to a daily huddle meeting format, so that they can quickly solve day-to-day problems and ensure that team members aren’t stuck or overwhelmed.

A structured communication rhythm helps keep meetings short and relevant. When you set up guidelines on what each meeting will cover, who will attend, and how long it will take, you can avoid distractions and improve your overall productivity.

For more tips on how to align your team around your shared goals, download our Rockefeller Habits Execution Checklist.

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Topics: employee management, team alignment, communication

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