Getting more into building and working with strong teams
Sharing Docs and Notes:
Project and Team Management Apps:
Try to have some sort of agenda ahead of time, this will keep things at least somewhat productive. If you don’t have an agenda or game-plan ahead of time, try to outline with your team when you start a new meeting what you need to discuss. Hopefully that will keep things productive.
Take good notes!
These will come in handy for the work to follow, or even for the next meeting.
Make sure to have a good collaborative way to share and work from these notes. Google Drive or Google Docs or Evernote are great collaborative platforms.
Project management apps can be really, really helpful for teams and keeping things organized.
Basecamp, Asana, Podio, Trello, Slack. These can play a few roles for your team.
1, they kind of act like a social media stream for your team to post about projects, questions, etc.
2, they can provide customizable platforms to setup project channels to work from. For example, maybe your marketing team has a channel where they post about projects, maybe there is a channel for your brewing team, etc.
3, they can also be central places to store important files, documents, meeting notes, etc.
These management apps can also be great because any employee can access this information at anytime, from anywhere. Many have mobile apps, so they can access all this stuff from their phone or devices.
Essentially, having easy, effective and streamlined management of your team will result in everyone being more happy and productive!
Nic B mentioned about having a bottle of whiskey on the table. These meetings should also be ways to build stronger teams with deeper connections. You want to be productive, but also don’t want to be too rigid. Maybe you set aside some times during meeting days for some hangout time. When your team has strong connections and each others backs, your brewery and brand will be stronger for it.
They picked Friday for their meetings. As they mentioned, at first it might seem to be a bummer and why would people want to meet Friday evening? Their explanations really proved why this is a good idea.
These Friday meetings ended up becoming fun ways to end their normal weeks (the whiskey probably helps too) It became something to look forward to, a great way to end your week and a good way to start your Friday night and weekend. I also really liked the idea that this gave all of their team the weekend to ponder what was discussed during the meetings. Often, good creative problem solving can happen on your off-time, so the weekend can be great for that! When Monday roles around and it’s time to get back to the grind, you have a fresh start after the weekend and maybe some new creative ideas as well. This also then gives you the entire week to work out those new ideas and projects before your next Friday meeting.
Empowering your employees
When hiring, screen for character rather than skill. Obv, don’t hire someone that you think couldn’t perform the needed tasks, but skills can be learned. It’s much harder to cultivate a good attitude and character.
The Nicks mentioned having a document that explained the full history and idea behind the 14 Cannon brrewery. I think this is a great alternative to the stuffy, corporate style employee manual that they are trying to avoid. Having something like this can really help new employees understand who your brewery is, it’s history, and maybe even it’s plans for the future. When they get started, they will be able to represent your brand much better and likely will have less questions about things as they get started.
* Tip * For new-hires, it can be a really beneficial idea to require each of your current team members to schedule a hangout with the new employee, one-on-one. This can be coffee, beer, or a lunch break. Ideally this can be done within the first 2-3 weeks of starting. This really gives a chance for these new folks to feel apart of the company and get a much deeper connection early.
Delegate more than just typical tasks or work duties.
Ask a staff member to lead a meeting. Ask employees to head-up special projects or teams. Try to share projects that people and customers notice, anything that will show employees they have a real effect on the business and brand.
Publicly acknowledge employees.
You can post highlights of your employees or employee work on social media. This not only stokes out your employees and makes them feel good about their work, but it also delivers an inside look and personality to your brand and team.
Also mentioned, not having job titles. This is a fun and unique way to empower employees. You don’t want to limit what employees feel like they can do or contribute to. Having collaboration and open interactions between roles can be beneficial. Also, if an employee feels like they have their hands in many aspects of the brewery and brand, they will feel much more confident when they represent your brand.