by Grooming Business in a Box®, originally published in eGroomer Journal Spring 2012
Too many staff meetings feel like management is just talking at employees. That manner is acceptable to start staff meetings but the floor must be opened to discussion. Management needs to know what is on the mind of every staff member. We suggest using The Wheel illustration on the next page.
We didn’t use common organization charts based on hierarchical structures with management always on top over all other employees, and supervisors over all other non-management positions. Invariably these types of charts lock Pet Bather positions at the bottom.
Teamwork is poorly communicated with hierarchical structures. The Wheel format has no top or bottom. Everyone is connected to others. The spokes between job positions imply the connections between all team members regardless of their departments. Wheels collapse when spokes are lost. The same is true with teams. Each team member is a supportive spoke in “the wheel of the grooming operation.”
At staff meetings have a copy of The Wheel (representing your staff organization) on display. Open a period of discussion between departments. Start with one department and ask them to follow the spokes of their job positions across the wheel to positions in other departments. Ask them how their jobs have been affected recently by other departments. You may notice that the attendees have sorted themselves by departments in your audience.
You need positive discussion between departments in staff meetings. You may need to prime the pump to get them going. For example, ask the pet groomers how they have been affected by the bathing department lately. Perhaps a groomer will say the stretch-drying has been poor as evidenced by frequent curly cuffs. Allow the bathing department to respond. Resolve the issue with your lead.
Next, the bathing department may comment. Service orders taken by receptionists may have been hard to read, or incomplete. Bring it to a resolve. Keep discussions going without temper tantrums and anger, you are the coach. Listen to what they are even not saying.
If you do this correctly all of the employees will realize how vulnerable they are to the work of others. Teamwork is subject to decay but when it is valued by the staff lead by an aware coach, it is the best method of operation. Employees tend to stay hired longer, and drama becomes a thing of the past. ▲