So you know you should be having calls with your team (no matter how big or small), but now the issue is what type of calls to be having so they’re not just ending up being one big hang out. Or worse, everyone hops off feeling that “this could’ve been an email” 😬.
As much as I love chatting with teams, I’m not a big fan of a lot of Zoom calls. There’s a time and a place to have them for sure, but more often than not if you’re using a platform like Slack, the need to have lots of team calls can be reduced.
There are three main types of calls that you need to be having with your team to ensure everyone is on the same page, to encourage your team to get to know each other, and to assess how they’re doing in their role.
01 | Quarterly team calls
Meet with your whole team every 3 months
My preferred team call frequency? Quarterly. If you’re talking with your team as much as I do (cough daily cough) there’s only so many situations in which having a weekly call or similar makes sense. Plus, it can be even more difficult to try and get everyone on the same call more frequently. Quarterly calls make it so that you’re all still seeing each other a few times a year, but not so much that there’s nothing to talk about.
The main question I get from clients about all-team calls is “what do we even talk about?”. There’s a lot of things you can cover, but you definitely want to make sure that you have an agenda. Here’s some suggestions to get you started:
- Client wins that relate to the work your team has done for them
- Team wins, did anyone’s role change since that last time you met
- Business wins, how did y’all do with last quarter’s goals
- Do you have any business goals for this quarter that are appropriate to share with your team?
- How did your goals from last quarter shake out?
- Are there any changes to your services or inclusions that will affect your team
- Are there any new team members that will be coming on soon or leaving
- Are there any process, workflow or platform changes that your team needs to be aware of
- This is typically more important during the end of year holidays especially if your business closes down and you need to adjust projects or timelines
- Feel free to remind your team to let you know when they expect to be OOO over the next few months
02 | 1:1 Calls
Meet with your team one on one
Pretty obvious by the title, but these are the calls that you’ll have one on one with each team member. Depending on the role of your team member, that will determine how often you’re meeting with them.
There are 4 call frequencies I see most often:
- As needed
Weekly calls work best when you have an OBM or a VA who you need to get on the same page with constantly or during a particular project/launch. Looking to scale back on weekly calls? Check out these three tools help streamline communication on your team.
Bi-monthly is great when you use a secondary communication tool like Slack or Voxer and have regular conversations. Bi-monthly calls allow you to still have that touch point with your team member while not overloading your calendar with calls. This is my preferred frequency with clients, as we communicate daily in Slack and use our Zoom calls for bigger conversations.
Monthly, like bi-monthly is also great and allows you to have bigger conversations and to keep a pulse on what’s happening with them.
As needed is best if you use Slack or Voxer to communicate regularly and they’re a team member who is not a part of your core team.
Something I love to ask on 1:1 calls with team members is what their goals are personally and for their business (if they own one). This will help you not only be able to encourage them in those goals, but also to see where they’re heading and if any changes may be coming down the line.
On these calls I always make a point to ask if there’s anything that I’m doing (or not doing) that holds them up. I never want to be the bottleneck, so if there’s something I can either adjust in my tasks or give them permission to do, I want to give them that opportunity to tell me.
03 | Performance reviews
Meet with each of your team members 1:1 for an annual review
While I don’t love this term (because we’re not in a corporate setting anymore) it does get the point across. This is the call you’ll have 1:1 with each member of your team to assess how they’re performing the work assigned to them. I don’t think you need to have this one as often, once, mayyybe twice a year is perfect. On your 1:1 calls if you’re feeling any disconnect in the work your team member is doing you can always address issues. Otherwise, once per year you can chat more specifically with your team member about several things:
- How you feel they’ve been doing in relation to the work they do for your business
- How do they feel they’re doing with the work they do for you
- What are your goals for them over the next year — and likewise, what are their goals for themselves in your business for the coming year
- Are there any changes that need to be made to their role, their hours, or their rate
- What can you celebrate with them for having accomplished over the past year — were there any client wins that they were a part of you can share with them
Based on the results of this call there might end up being a larger conversation that might need to be had. Although, if you’re having at least monthly 1:1 conversations with them, you should be able to keep a pulse on the bulk of these things and the performance review call shouldn’t be a big, scary call. This call is just more hyper-focused on them and what they do rather than any active or previous projects they’re working on.
So there you have it, the 3 types of calls you should have with your team. Whether you have a large team or a small team, you need to be meeting with them regularly. When I say regularly, I don’t mean you have to be meeting with them daily (gah!) or even weekly on Zoom if your schedules don’t allow it, but find the timing that does work for you and stay consistent with it. Oftentimes the best option is to incorporate a tool like Slack so you can create channels for different purposes, directly message team members and keep everyone on the same page more often. All without having to hop on a Zoom call every other second.