Industry Report - Human Resources - October 2017

1710_SPRPT_HR_1Start Early, Start Right

Create meaningful morning rituals—for you and your team—to ensure productive and successful days

by Daan Duijm

As an attraction leader, your morning briefings can—and should—be a breeding ground for inspiration and a place to set your team up for success that day. As we know, though, that’s not always the case. Successful managers must start with themselves first; your morning rituals can lead to more productivity, improved leadership, and a stronger team connection. Here are practices managers use to facilitate successful days:

Wake Up Earlier

A simple trick to productivity is starting your day off at your own pace. Waking up 30 minutes earlier will allow you to find more time to get things done. Very few people became successful by sleeping. Waking up at 6 a.m., or even 7 a.m. gives you the ability to make time for yourself and your family, exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, etc., so when you leave for work, your mind is ready. You are focused and already have a sense of accomplishment.

A simple trick to productivity is starting your day off at your own pace. Waking up 30 minutes earlier will allow you to find more time to get things done. Very few people became successful by sleeping. Waking up at 6 a.m., or even 7 a.m. gives you the ability to make time for yourself and your family, exercise, eat a healthy breakfast, etc., so when you leave for work, your mind is ready. You are focused and already have a sense of accomplishment.

Exercise

Many successful CEOs start their days with exercise, and there are many reasons for this. Increasing oxygen to the body tissue and brain causes nerve cells in the brain to multiply, strengthening their interconnections and protecting them from damage. Also, exercise causes the brain to release endorphins, which combat feelings of pain and stress. Research published in the International Journal of Workplace Health Management showed 72 percent of participants had improved time management during days begun with exercise, versus days without exercise. Seventy-nine percent reported improved mental and interpersonal performance during days that included exercise; 74 percent said they managed their workload better. Those who exercised regularly also reported feeling more than 40 percent more “motivated to work,” and scored more than 20 percent higher in concentration and finishing work on time. If you are not a gym person, the ideal way to bring more exercise into your life is a morning park walk where you combine exercise with a visual inspection of the park before opening.

Take Time to Set Yourself Up for Success

Ensure there is a time each day where you take charge of your own personal development, not just the development of your team. Often managers are so busy “managing” others they forget their own development and education. A perfect way to do this is to take 30 minutes to an hour and read a book in the morning. You can also listen to an audiobook or podcast on your way into work (great podcast tip: “The Tim Ferris Show,” which deconstructs world-class performers). Webinars, educational videos, or an e-learning portal are great resources outside of the traditional school system that can ensure constant development, and to lead your team by example. Managers who take the time to work on their own development are successful in the long run.

Plan Your Strategy for the Day

Choose your focus area carefully each day. There are many different management theories on how to prioritize work. From “The Eisenhower Decision Matrix (Urgent vs. Important)” to Tim Ferris’ “Lead Domino” strategy where you answer the questions, “What is the one thing I can do now that will make other things easier to do? What is the lead domino for productivity?” Make intentional choices about how you prioritize your work. The top managers in the industry often have a preferred way they arrange their days. Plans often change, so if you do not know what you want to accomplish in a day, it is easy to get distracted by other issues that come into your path.

Make Morning Briefings Count

Morning briefings are a perfect way to connect with your team, debrief on yesterday’s events, provide information for today, motivate team members, and inspire. Here are some ways to make these meetings impactful rather than rote:

Connect with Your Team

Team spirit and the connection between management and the team can be strengthened if done right. “Doing it right” means having a positive attitude, creating a cheerful environment, and focusing on improvements rather than a list of “what not to do.”

Debrief Yesterday’s Events

If you do not do an evening briefing, a morning briefing is the perfect way to discuss learning opportunities from the day before. Other items to discuss would be recognition for returned lost-and-found objects, an employee of the day, highlights of relevant company procedures, or a quick role play of customer-service scenarios. Yesterday’s attendance, group visit feedback, and customer satisfaction survey results are also useful for the team.

Share the Day’s Plan

Morning briefings usually cover projected attendance, special groups, events, and VIP arrivals. Most attractions have duty managers who rotate. It is important for the staff to know whom to contact in case they run into issues. Update staff on any planned maintenance, upcoming special events, and changes in opening times or hours.

Make It Fun

Employees are more likely to try new things if their work environment is fun. Even statistical lectures are better remembered when the lecturer adds jokes about relevant topics. Try starting or ending your briefing with a fun fact of the day, if you’re having trouble in this area.

Lead by Example

In the end, it is important to have rituals that make you feel good, inspire you, and ensure you create an environment for effective working. The example you set with morning rituals will create a path for others to follow.


bioDaan Duijm is senior theme park attractions and water park manager for Legoland Malaysia Resort.