Logistics of the Daily 5 Minutes

Got a question about The Daily 5 Minutes that comes up with a fair amount of frequency, and so I thought it best to answer here with a post we can more easily reference when we may need to. Thank you Jamie for the opportunity!

Here was Jamie’s question:

What team sizes are we talking here? If I did a daily Five with my entire team, I’d only see everyone once every two months…(which might be better than none at all, I suppose)…but if I just do direct reports, then we’re down to just a handful.

Aloha Jamie, the beauty of the Daily Five Minutes is that it can be adapted to pretty much any team size at all: remember that you needn’t go it alone. In fact, once the Daily Five Minutes is inculcated into your company culture, you’ll be surprised to see the day come that peers do it with each other, no matter where they may be on the organization chart.

You do want to start with and prioritize your direct reports, and then stair step it from there. For instance, this is how we worked it when I was a VP overseeing 350+ employees, assuming a 5-day workweek:

For me:

—I had 9 Department Heads, and did a minimum of 2 per day, i.e. they each had their Daily Five Minutes with me once every 4-5 work days.

—A level below those Dept. Heads I had 28 Assistants, and I did at least 2 per day, i.e. they each had a Daily Five Minutes with me once every 14 work days.

—I would grab an opportunity to do at least 2 other people per day from the rest of the staff, i.e. every employee in my organization would Take 5 with me at least once every 6 months.

—The whole process took me about 45 minutes per day counting the walk-around-and-approach them time.

Now that’s what I initiated: anyone could walk up to me and say, “Rosa, can you Take 5 with me right now?” whenever they wanted to.

My Dept. Heads:

—They did at least 1 assistant per day, and 1-2 employees per day.


—They did at least 1 supervisor/ lead/ foremen per day, and 3-4 employees per day.

Every management team had a simple Excel spreadsheet with names down the left column, and the dates of the month across the top on a clipboard in the Dept. Head’s office. When someone gave an employee a Daily 5 Minutes they checked off the grid to avoid duplication, and they used the grid to actively look for Take 5 opportunities with employees who still had unchecked squares.

Two keys to remember:

1. In the beginning it will take more time to get any pent-up stuff and/or ambitious agendas dealt with, but once it is a normal part of the culture it truly only takes 5 minutes!

2. Don’t confuse the Daily 5 Minutes with other communication and meeting forums. For instance my 9 Dept Heads had 2-hour meetings with me once every 2 weeks where we addressed our leadership/management agenda and the priorities of the business at hand.

You said something in your comment that is more insightful than you may realize: every two months IS far better than none at all. It is amazing to me how many organizations I’ve gone into where an employee’s conversation with their boss ON THE EMPLOYEE’S AGENDA is a very rare occurrence or never happens at all.

Mahalo nui Jamie, do let me know if there is anything else I can answer for you. And jump in and try it!

More questions? If you have them, please do join the conversation.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record I’ll say this one more time: If I have to choose just one thing, The Daily 5 Minutes is THE best tool I offer you in the entire Managing with Aloha philosophy. It is the great enabler that will speed up and magnify the good results you get in every other aspect of my coaching. It will empower your employees and liberate you.

Related post:
5 Minutes Daily = Work Life Reinvention


  1. says

    Thanks for the reminder about the daily 5 minutes Rosa. In fact you have given me cause for thought.
    Just because I don’t have staff, as a solopreneur, doesn’t mean that I can’t employ the Daily 5 Minutes strategy. I can in fact use this strategy for the most important people in MY business – my top-rated clients. 5 minutes with 2-3 of them each day would take me less time than grabbing a coffee and more rewarding, for both them and me.
    Gee I loveit when good wisdom such as your 5 minutes can be taken into left field.
    Be well – Leah

  2. says

    Thank you for your comment Leah — I love it too, when the Daily 5 Minutes somehow gets adopted and adapted in an aha! moment for someone, and I’m so pleased that happened for you. Mahalo nui for sharing your insight with us. Just as employees can get the benefit of a non-traditional meeting being just for them and their agenda, customers love it when we call “just to say hello” and it’s about relationship versus another sale. Not really that far left field!