Communicate and Follow-up – Pillars of Leadership

World class organizations look to their leaders to lead during uncertain times. There is often not much the leader can control and the situation around them is constantly changing.  Great leaders rely on two pillars of leadership that support their approach and their organization as they lead through the crisis; Communication and Follow-up.


Operational Excellence includes a standardized meeting every shift for departments and every day for plants. These meetings are typically called Tier Meetings or Daily Management Meetings, and they are designed to communicate information to a group as a group with one message.  It is an opportunity for the leaders to share the current state and assign actions for moving forward.

With the need to practice social distancing these meetings are not possible in the same fashion, but the need is almost greater.  Many teams are turning to technology to have the same meetings. Maybe a conference call within the plant, with one of the participants in the Daily Management Room sharing the data on a video screen and others providing the commentary. Or maybe the data is on a dashboard created in Excel.

Monthly communication meetings that most plants would hold to communicate financial conditions, upcoming events, or policy changes area also needed more in a crisis and with greater frequency.  The same need to turn to technology is required. Maybe a video sent by e-mail to the entire team or posted on YouTube for them to stream on a phone or at home.

It would be hard to overcommunicate during changing times and the need is great.

Follow up

Follow-up is a key pillar for a leader during regular operating times, but even more critical during a crisis.  There are key actions and policies that have to be adhered too. Social distancing rules and changes to the work force and work environment have to be done. Noncompliance is not an option.  Stating a policy or even publishing a policy is never enough.  Compliance requires constant follow-up.

The goal is to catch people doing it right, but also to quickly change behavior that is wrong.

Help you leaders’ lean on the two pillars of leadership. Constant communication using technology that makes it safe and constant follow-up on compliance are key.

Jeff Boris

Jeff Boris

Jeff completed a 31 year career at Alcoa in engineering, Maintenance, Production, and 5 years as Location Manager. He currently consults across manufacturing facilities leveraging his plant management experience for excellence in EHS, Operations Management, and Cost analysis. He and his wife have 4 adult children. He currently lives in Newburgh, Indiana.
Jeff Boris

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