Benchmark Business Group

Three Key Systems

June 14, 2016

Last week we showed you the need to have a Quick Reference Guide (QRG) for your business. This week's focus on "while you are away" is how to make sure each staff member has clarity on what they own within their role in your business.
We believe your business has a responsibility to set your employees up for success. This means every position in your organization needs three key systems in place to free up your leaders, empower your employees, and create a business designed to get results without your (or any one persons') presence. The three key systems are:
  • Position Descriptions
  • Business Activity Guides
  • Upside Down Meeting Agendas
Position Descriptions
A well-defined position description clearly states the purpose of the position and how it contributes to the overall success of the business. So, while you are away, you can be confident your business has provided each employee clarity regarding their position purpose, scope of responsibilities, standards of action and have clearly identified who they report to. If (per the Position Description) an employee reports to you, make sure you either assign a temporary manager in your absence, or that you meet with the employee to clarify your expectations prior to your departure. Position Description templates are not hard to find, click here for our template, and we recommend they include the following elements:
  • Position Title
  • Reports To
  • Position Purpose
  • Core Activities
  • Position Standards
  • Collaborates With
  • Qualifications
  • Signatures
Business Activity Guides (B.A.G - the job is in the "BAG")
The Business Activity Guide is a listing of the daily, weekly, monthly, and annual activities for each position in your business, including yours. A BAG ensures each employee knows what needs to be done and when they need to do it. The BAG also identifies the timing criteria for specific activities such as a specific time of day, specific day of the week, specific week or specific dates of the month, or month of the year. For example:
  • Time of Day: outbound mail goes in the box by 2:00 pm daily
  • Day of Week: documents in recycle containers are shredded every Tuesday
  • Specific Week/Specific Date of Month: commission reports are printed the first Monday of each month
  • Month of the Year: April, June, September, and January quarterly payroll taxes are due
If you or any other employee of the business will be absent, you can easily identify the activities the business needs to have completed by looking at the BAG for that position. The BAG is a great resource for knowing WHAT needs done, WHEN it needs to be done, and is an excellent step forward in systemizing your business. Keep in mind that many activities need a documented process for HOW to get the results.
Upside Down Meeting Agendas
Every business needs quality communication systems and every employee needs to understand their role in communicating and providing information to others. Upside Down Meeting Agendas are clear and easy catalysts for each employee to participate and play a role in business communications.
Meetings need to continue even if you're away - especially if you're away! Sales meetings, finance meetings, daily operating team meetings, all need to continue in your absence. Each employee should be provided with agenda templates for the meetings they participate in and every meeting participant should have a clear and compelling reason for their presence. Employees should understand how they add value to a meeting, and how the meeting helps your business achieve success. Meeting Agendas outline what employees should be talking about, looking at, and collaborating around. Insisting your employees come prepared to every meeting with the information, reports, or other resources they are accountable for providing will pave the way to ensuring your business is getting what it needs when you're away. If you and one other employee meet consistently, that meeting agenda can serve as a catalyst to guide the employee to use that time to focus on what the business needs from them. This has them own their role and with ownership they will perform their role while you are away.
By putting in place these Three Key Systems that provide clear direction to your employees, the interruption to your business will be minimal during your absence and you will have peace of mind while you're away.  

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