by Mike Walter
A good friend of mine owns a pretty big Multi-Op. We were talking a few years ago and he said something about communicating an idea to his staff and how tough it can be. I said, “Do it at your next meeting.”
And he went, “What meeting?”
I was floored! I couldn’t believe someone with more than three units could function without a regular meeting with their crew.
At Elite we have our meetings on the first Monday of every month.
These meetings are one of the biggest reasons I can confidently say that our staff is incredibly consistent from top to bottom.
A Sharing and Learning Experience
The newest MC on our roster gets to share and learn from the most veteran MCs at Elite every single month.
We talk about new songs we are playing, new ideas we’ve had, new games and anything else that will make us all better DJs and MCs.
I also get to keep the entire staff informed about the DJ industry and our local event planning-community (for example if a banquet hall we work at regularly has a new manager or Matre De my entire crew will know about it right away.)
The Unwritten Rule
We have an unwritten rule at Elite that of the dozen meetings we have every year, you are required to make ten of them. Meaning if you miss more than two in a year, you and I are going to sit down and have a heart to heart about how much you really care to be on the team. After all, I run our meetings to make it worth while for every one to attend.
What We Do
We’ll often start with a trivia contest or goofy game that results in a prize (gift certificate to the local Movie Theater or iTunes for example) to the winner. This is an out of pocket expense for me but I think it is worth it to keep attendance at a maximum.
After the ice breaker we will fly through some “house cleaning” topics. For example, since we live and operate at the “Jersey Shore” it’s always important to remind the staff about traffic and increasing their departure time to gigs when the weather starts heating up. Many of the towns by us literally triple in population from Memorial Day to Labor Day so what is a twenty minute trip in March becomes a forty-five minute trip in July.
After we’ve gone through these brief but informative topics, we then delve into the “Theme of the Month.”
Some meetings we’ll talk about client appointments. Some meetings we spend the bulk of the time on ceremonies. But whatever the Monthly Theme is we attack the topic with as much thoroughness as possible.
These are important aspects of our careers and I always feel much better after a monthly meeting when we’ve brought the staff back up to speed in one area and reminded them about all the intricacies of a specific topic.
Some of our meetings are a competition. For example once a year we host what we call “The Battle of the Bridal Party Introductions.”
Every MC is required to perform Bridal Party Introductions. I bring in a half dozen people from outside the company to judge the competition (usually a local wedding photographer or two will help out and this year I had a good friend of mine Marcello Pedalino there to judge.)
The judges are scoring my staff on Overall MCing and Music Originality meaning it’s up to the staff to pick all new music for Bridal Party Introductions (no more “Rock and Roll Part II” for us!)
Why Regular Staff Meetings Are So Important
The synergy that flows at our meetings can really be palpable. I believe that regular meetings not only keep our staff informed but they keep everyone at Elite close.
I hate to use the word “Family” when it comes to a company because we all have only one true family, but my staff is tight and friendly and everyone getting together once a month certainly helps that.
In fact a number of us will often go out for a burger after the meeting adjourns which only underscores the fact that we enjoy each other’s company and can benefit from being together.
What activities and topics do you have at your staff meetings?
Mike Walter – “Quality Corner”
Mike Walter is a nationally recognized expert in the areas of DJ staff training and multi-system business development. He is also a writer for Disc Jockey News and Producer of the International DJ Expo’s “DJ of the Year” competition. Mike is the owner of NJ’s Elite Entertainment, selected by The Knot and Modern Bride magazine as one of the country’s top entertainment companies. Mike’s highly praised DVD set is available at TrainingYourNextGreatDJ.com. To contact him about his on-site training services or for general inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org.