How to Conduct a Team Briefing in an Organization?

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By: Site Engineer, Staff

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Team briefing is a system of communication operated in organized establishments where employees are regularly informed by their immediate superiors on what happens in the organization, what the management is doing, why and how such things are done. It could be called a management information system.

It brings top management staff together with junior staff on a face-to-face basis so that information can be delivered, questions asked and feedback achieved. This is a brilliant way to allow communication upwards, downwards and sideways throughout an organization.

History of Team Briefing

This system of management communication was originated from the organized Roman Army that used the system as the secrets of their success during battles. They always organize briefings in small teams to inform the soldiers on the war situations and new strategies and tactics to adopt in order to move their ways to success.

It was only in recent times that industrial companies and business bodies started introducing briefing groups which always passed from superiors to subordinates in the organization.

The benefits of team briefing are:

Benefits are many when team briefing is used as it makes the organization more efficient as employees appreciate being kept in the picture and may be happy as well.

The other benefits are stated below:

(a)        It Prevents Misunderstandings

Lack of proper communication at the right time to the right people in the organization allows rumors to grow and it is always costly, time-consuming and occasionally embarrassing when not checked. Any little change made in an organization must always be communicated preferably from top management to down the line through team briefing to avoid misunderstanding.

(b)       It Helps to Accept Change

Continuous team briefing for any change will help to water down the forces of resistance which the staff may oppose as human beings are always aversive to change in any form but when briefed properly may change their minds to accept the change with minimum or without resistance.

(c)        It Improves Upward Communication

When there is no proper information flow in an organization, employees will become confused about what is happening in the organization and be deficient to offer suggestions upward when asked to proffer one, but when proper information by way of team briefing flows from above to the employees, they can now be much aware of the happenings in the organization to proffer any required suggestion.

(d)       It Helps to Control Rumors

The activities of the informal group through rumors from the grapevine are devastating to organizations. Grapevine information always spread very fast like wildfire in organizations and the menace is always reduced or curbed through team briefing, which always acts as the official voice of the management.

It is imperative to note here that people will always still listen to the grapevine even if there is a regular briefing but will always wait to hear the official version from their managers. Managers are always better informed through briefing meetings to handle staff questions unlike before; but in a situation where he has no answer to the question, the briefings will have opened a channel through which he can find out the answer.

(e)        It Increases Commitment

The constant briefing of staff makes them have a sense of belonging and it develops a sense of commitment in them as they are now well-informed of the progress and problems of the organization and hence can now fight for the organization, having now understood the importance of their contribution through team briefing.

(f)        It Reinforces Management

“He who communicates is he who leads” – goes an old saying which is true. Team briefing gives management credibility and makes sure that the staff hears information from management. It conveys authority to whichever level of the team leader; the briefing operates, because of the very reason of getting the team together and talking means that the supervisor and manager are seen to be the leader who should be listened to. It makes team building easy in the organization.

It should be noted here that the team briefing forum should not be used for consultations and problem solving rather than feedback from the result of the team briefing which will help to keep the upward communication kindled and revitalized.

How to Implement Team Briefing

Team briefing is a very important project in any organization that it should not be taken with levity during implementation. When an organization has taken decision to implement team briefing, it has to endure to put down the structure and drill to make sure that everybody knows who briefs who in which teams, by way of the structure while drill lays down when it should happen and how often.

However, these structures and drill differ from the organization to the other but they must be formed under basic principles for guidance thus:

  • It must be delivered by a team leader
  • It must be face to face
  • It must be in teams

Important Things to Talk About in the Team Briefing

These can be classified into four major categories:

(i)         People

Generally, good or bad news about the people in the organization is always discussed here, such as promotions, appointments, resignations, transfers, new employees, visitors to the organization, births, and deaths of the employees.

This heading covers these points listed below:

(ii)        Point for Action

The point for action which the management wants to re-emphasize here should be clearly done for the workers to understand, such as, maintaining a strict docking system, keeping offices tidy and being more conscious on safety, thus on the fire alarms, service floors and even first aids ideas.

Point for Action covers these points listed below:

(iii)       Progress and Performance

The core brief should contain some information about the organization’s overall performance, either in the previous month or in the year-to-date. How the organization is performing should be communicated at this point. Though this progress is always ascertained easily where profitability and production are measured and not easy when they are not measured. The aggregate team performance is equally highlighted either in the progressive or retrogressive side as the case may be.

Progress and Performance cover these points listed below:

  • Contracts Gained
  • New Products Launched
  • Significant Achievement
  • State of the Market
  • Acquisitions
  • Financial Result
  • Production Figures
  • Orders
  • Sales Figure
  • Quality Indicators

(iv)       Policy and Plans

It is under this point of the briefing that the organization will have the opportunity to explain some existing policies and talk about some plans for the future. There is equally a reinforcement of the existing policies and procedures that workers may have forgotten their usefulness; most especially the grievance procedure. So we have now answered the question of ‘how are we doing’? Under progress; we may want to answer, ‘where are we going’? Under the policy or plans, managers or team leader should always keep workers informed in advance on where the organization is going.

Policy and Plans cover these points listed below:

  • Reorganization
  • New Services Planned
  • Company’s Objectives
  • Building/Office Moves
  • Investment
  • New Product Planned
  • Marketing/Advertising Plans
  • Change in Producers
  • New Projects
  • Exhibitions
  • Computerization

 

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