Working with thousands of small businesses here at Foot Traffic, I hear how most small business owners talk about their employees. Business owners all seem to want their employees to read their minds, and as much as we would love that, it doesn’t happen like that. When we break down the training process, we realize a lot of the processes and systems to have our team read our minds are non-existent. If you don’t know what your employees are doing, you need to take ownership here. I could go into our project management software right now and see what my employees are doing. We need to be able to have a pulse on your team’s projects at all times.
We use Monday.com – we are obsessed and have been using it for years! While using Monday.com, we have been able to stay organized, and allow people to prioritize the work that needs done. These are my steps for helping my employees read my mind through Monday.com!
Step #1: Everything is written down and assigned to one person
So when I say I have a pulse on it… I don’t mean my employees are texting me all day with the play by play. I mean that I can go into Monday.com and can figure out what they are working on and the status of the project. When I look at the project board, I can see the team member who is assigned and what updates the team member has done. If the task is done, the team member marks it done and I can see it. In fact, I can tell when she hasn’t started it, it is still gray. When she is working on it, it is marked in progress. If she is working with someone on it and waiting, it will say waiting for review. So at the end of the day I can see all the “done’s”. That one tip alone will help you start to see what your team is doing!
Step #2: Prioritize for them
When you start to incorporate a project management software you will quickly realize that people pick what they want to do. You must set expectations and order of importance with deadlines. If you are anything like me you have a million ideas and those ideas require a lot of tasks and we THROW them at our employees and expect them to figure it out. On Monday.com we have columns we are able to edit and we have chosen one of them as a priority column. Ours say, high, medium, low. You can’t work on low until the highs and mediums are done. My team knows that a low is not touched until it works it’s way up on the priority scale.
Step #3: Follow up System
Inspect what you expect —-or don’t expect the end result to be what you wanted it to be. If you don’t ask about a task or assign it and never discuss or follow up 3 months later, I guarantee most organizations will have dropped the ball. Your follow up system needs to be set to a frequency that will be different for each person. When we have team meetings – Monday.com is pulled up and the screen is shared so we are all on the same page. My assistant, who has been with me for a year, her and I have a weekly meeting. Every Thursday we revisit her Monday.com board. I see what she completed, where she is stuck, what is left, and AFTER i review on Thursday, she moves the “done’s” to a finished folder so it stays nice and clean.
I know for some of you the visuals will be incredibly helpful which is why I have added them here for you. Let me know what was most helpful and what your biggest takeaway was.
If you don’t have a project management software or maybe you realize yours might be holding you back, I highly recommend checking out Monday.com and experimenting with their 14 day trial. Hopefully showing these boards will help you get started.
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Stacy Tuschl is a speaker, business coach, and the owner of The Academy of Performing Arts in Wisconsin. She is the author of the book “Is Your Business Worth Saving?” where she reveals proven strategies for pulling entrepreneurs out of a rut and launching them toward business success.
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