"After a tough time growing this company, people felt like quitting," says Valarie Wilson, chairman and CEO of Wilson Sculley Associates Inc., a St. Louis advertising firm. "They wondered what all their hard work was for." Once a quarter, Wilson lifts sagging spirits with a Saturday morning QUIT (quarterly internal talks) meeting.
Six meetings and one and a half years later, not one of her employees has quit.
Wilson believes that by seeing the numbers and plans typically reserved for board members, employees know exactly where they fit in. But she's convinced that it's the entertaining and often-offbeat presentations that really make the Saturday morning meetings work. At one quarterly meeting that used a sports motif, managers announced lineup changes in the organizational chart; posted scores for profitability, sales, and overhead for the first half of the year; and unveiled the strategy for the second half of the year.
Why hold meetings on Saturday? Employees aren't distracted then, notes Wilson, who has seen the company grow from $8.8 million in billings in 1989 to $15 million in gross billings this year.