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HRUnplugged: Ways to bridge communication gaps between managers and staff

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Rayyan Irwan, Senior GM – Talent Pipeline and Development – Domino’s Pizza Malaysia and Singapore, breaks down the different types of meetings organisations can use to build their communication rhythm.

Q How can we remove communication barriers between managers and their employees?

A communication rhythm is necessary to bridge information gaps between managers and employees. From my experience, I suggest the Rockefeller Habits advocated by Verne Harnish. Let me go through an overview of each type of meeting to help teams execute strategic goals.

The daily huddle occurs once per business day. It’s brief (no more than 15 minutes) and attended by all team members. Each team member reports on the following: What’s up (news relevant to the group); top three tasks and KPI progress; any hurdles; and the daily priority.

The weekly meeting is held once per week, taking anywhere from 30-90 minutes. It covers the following elements: review of the quarterly priorities; overview of staff and customer feedback; and the discussion of topics of focus. This meeting is more focused on decision-making than the daily huddle.

The task review meeting occurs bi-weekly between each team member and his/her supervisor. In approximately 50 minutes, the supervisor assesses the employee’s progress towards individual quarterly priorities, reviews the top tasks and assigns new ones moving forward. This is also a chance for the supervisor and employee to discuss personal and professional highs and lows, and schedule the next meeting.

What a company can undertake on D&I is review all job descriptions and check for any “gender” labels – update it and communicate the initiative effectively.

The monthly meeting is where the mid-level and senior leadership teams make decisions about key issues facing the company. This meeting generally lasts between four to eight hours and occurs once a month. Managers from each department update on key outcomes and brainstorm solutions to concerns. This is also a chance to review core ideologies and provide opportunities for professional education.

During the leadership quarterly meeting, the senior leadership team reviews the company’s current performance in relation to its objectives. It discusses engagement survey results from all employees, goes over the company’s “big hairy audacious goals” and other goals, and adjusts upcoming priorities and targets as necessary.

The quarterly planning meeting is a company’s chance to learn from the previous quarter’s performance, and brainstorm targets for the upcoming quarter. While some companies only have their executive team, others include all team members. This meeting can take between eight to 10 hours and generally occurs off-site.

An annual planning meeting is an opportunity to reflect on the company’s performance from the previous year. The leadership team generally reviews long-term goals and employee perceptions to determine annual targets.

Q What initiatives do you suggest to champion diversity and inclusion (D&I)?

These are a few activities a company can undertake as initiatives on D&I: review all job descriptions and check for any “gender” labels – update it and communicate the initiative effectively; ensure all vacancy postings have clear communication on this initiative; promote “blind screening” for the first level of shortlisting; introduce a D&I initiative during onboarding; and create an open and easily accessible D&I communication portal.


Vital stats: After spending more than 14 years in customer service/F&B industries, Rayyan Irwan knows what truly drives businesses forward and how to meet customers’ expectations. He enjoys coaching talent, supporting them in goal-setting and behaviour modifications to achieve greater results. He holds a master’s degree in business, and is also a certified HRDF trainer. In his free time, he loves travelling and joining marathons.


This interview is part of our CHRO 4.0 special edition where we we introduce you to Human Resources’ Advisory Panel 2019, and pick their brains on the burning questions the function is facing.

Read more here: CHRO 4.0: Decoding the HR skills of the future


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