We are all busy professionals and we are looking for small changes that can make great improvements in our organizations. I would argue that one of the best changes you can make is to get more coffee…. How does coffee lead to such lofty ends you might ask? Well it is more the conversation than the coffee but the general idea is that you schedule a time or “coffee catch up” with each staff member every 6-8 weeks. You use this time to check in with your staff and have a dialogue about how things are going, what things they need to make them more effective in their role and how you can support them. When things are not going as well as you would like, this is a great opportunity to make a course correction before it becomes a bigger problem. One of the best things I was told as I became a manager for the first time was that there needs to be open dialogue with your staff and when performance review time comes there should never be any surprises. In reality, I have often found that even when we have the best of intentions, we don’t have these conversations often enough. We are overwhelmed with putting the fires out and don't think we have time; however, I have found that if we schedule these “coffee catch-ups” and make them a priority, we have fewer fires to put out because we have a happier more engaged staff.
Give it a try and let me know how it goes.