Written By: Joel McGinley   

Is anyone interested in growth? Having your employees feel important and involved in decision making for the minimal expense and maximum value? 

Make the investment in a process improvement team and see how well this will work for you.  A process improvement team (PIT) is a group of workers who get together on a regular basis to discuss how to make your business processes better. 

The concept is that they take on one process at a time and come up with a way to make that process incrementally better than it currently is. They do this, again and again, getting each process a little better each time. 

This process improvement works for small transportation companies of two or three people as well as for large fortune 500 type organizations.

These 10 steps will lead to effective PIT meetings, with positive results: 

1. Keep the meetings to no more than three employees and another management leader (total of five including you) and limit the meeting to one hour or less.

2. Include your entire group. Leave no one out of the process discussions. 

3. With five employees per meeting, topics are discussed in six consecutive meetings. Don’t change topics midstream. Stay focused.

4. Hold these meetings every two weeks, perhaps over a lunch period. You’ll have six meetings per quarter.

5. Solicit ideas from your entire staff before the beginning of each quarter as to what topics/processes may need review.

6. Prior to your first meeting, you as the leader, choose three to four topics for the discussion period, rating each topic in order of importance. Leave the remaining topics for the next group. Do not forget anyone’s topic submitted or you will lose participation. If a certain topic doesn’t require review by the team, advise the employee who submitted the idea, and share the reasons why the review isn’t necessary. 

7. Once you have your core topics, they are discussed in each meeting so all employees have input to include suggestions for fine-tuning processes, if any is required. 

8. Review the final outcome and group decisions of the content of your meetings. 

9. Make necessary revisions or changes to procedures, functions, or systems, notifying your employees as soon as the revisions are complete.

10. Supply your entire group with the necessary feedback from each meeting. Send them an e-mail with the meeting minutes. Praise those who develop a “fix” for you. Keep your staff informed.

By putting aside an hour every two weeks, PIT meetings can be exceptionally beneficial to managers and to your business. 

If you are already using a process improvement method, we’d love to hear about it. Give me a call and tell me how you do it. Need some help with process improvement? Give me a call and tell me about your needs. 

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