Once a quarter I gather all of Nova Creative together for a company-wide meeting we call the “State of the Union.” I share an overview of our business performance and how we can all contribute to reaching our goals in the coming months. Nova’s State of the Union isn’t just an opportunity for me to speak in front of a room, it’s also an opportunity for my team to ask questions and give feedback on how they feel.
I didn’t always have a State of the Union address at Nova. Years ago I would share with one or two people that we landed a new client or an update on why I made a decision about our 401K and assume everyone in the building knew what was going on. Not communicating with the whole team was a mistake that I refuse to make again today.
Evaluation before the meeting becomes a must.
Designating one designated time to update my team created a new layer of accountability. For each State of the Union address I give, I must step back from my day-to-day responsibilities and take a deep dive into our business performance. Reporting to the team forces me to take the time to review financial goals and unexpected expenses while comparing it to historical data.
Transparency becomes a foundation for teamwork.
Without a company-wide meeting, members of my team could be left in the dark. People need to know the kind of year we are having and what they can do to contribute to our success. If the developers or designers can work a few more billable hours this week to push us over the goal line, they should know the value they bring to our success as a group.
Education becomes an added benefit.
While evaluation and communication are valuable benefits to our State of the Union, I also view our meeting as an opportunity to educate my team on how a small business is run. I openly discuss the Human Resources process if we bring someone new on board or need to purchase new equipment. I let them know how I added Dental Coverage to our benefits and the thought process that led to that decision. Running a business takes many moving parts and teaching my team the importance of each part emphasizes the importance of collaboration and patience.
Engaging your team becomes a habit.
Many small business owners may not see the value of a regularly scheduled company-wide meeting. Maybe they think their employees don’t care or that the paycheck alone is enough to maintain motivation.
I haven’t found this to be the case at Nova.
To foster a truly engaging culture with your team, you must have an empowered team who possess true buy-in with your mission. Only an engaged team will help you reach your business goals and you can only create that engaged team with honest, open communication. When your team begins to ask thoughtful questions and look forward to time spent as a group, you know you’re on your way.