How do I start sending regular team updates?
Getting started is the hardest part of building any habit, so here are some tips to get you going.
Keep it short and simple
It’s tempting to include a lot of information, or try to cover every area of your business. Don’t give in! You’re better to start with a short update and include more as you build a rhythm and get feedback than you are to try to talk for twenty minutes right out of the gate.
Set a schedule you can be happy with
Once per week works well for a lot of leaders: that way, your information will always be up to date and no-one will go too long without hearing from you. Regular, short and sharp updates are the most powerful way to keep your team aligned without interrupting them.
Try a Wednesday in the middle of the day rather than Friday - avoid getting lost in the Friday afternoon scramble.
Get some feedback
Sending out updates can sometimes feel like shouting into the void and may leave you wondering what your team are actually hearing. Make sure you have a way to ask them what things they find useful, and what things might be missing. Tools like All Hands will show you detailed analytics so you can see precisely what is most effective and engaging.
What do I say?
It’s easy to feel a bit self-conscious when you’re just kicking off updates. Your team definitely wants to hear from you - but if you need some help figuring out what to say, here are some ideas. Sketch out a quick plan before you hit “record” and you’ll find it a lot less daunting.
- Three things - what are the three things that have been most on your mind this week?
- Progress on numbers - how are you tracking on your most important KPIs? Which numbers have you been keeping an eye on this week?
- Highlight something awesome - something you’ve seen that was remarkable, or really shows someone on the team exemplifying your organisation’s culture or values
- Demonstrate something - show off a new product feature you’ve been loving, or something interesting you’ve seen somebody else doing
- Tell a customer story - sometimes you’ll have met with a customer directly or heard from them via email. Talk to the team about it, what worked and what didn’t
- Include someone from the team - perhaps there’s someone else who has some unique knowledge or a perspective worth sharing
- Tell us about you - it can be hard to remember your boss’ boss’ boss is a person too! Recommend the team a book, or talk about a favourite hobby
- Open the floor to Q&A - the most direct way to find out what the team wants to know
Let us know how you get on - and if you’ve got a great idea of something to include in your updates, tweet us: @allhandshq.