Staff meetings – you can’t get away from them. If you run a business that involves a team that works together in order to perform a job, they are a must. Yet for some of your staff, it may be the part of the week they dread the most. Perhaps certain members don’t enjoy speaking up, or others relish it a little too much. And there always some members of your team who switch off at the back of the room or use the time to catch up on Facebook on their phones.
Yet there are methods of running an efficient, and even exciting, staff meeting that will keep the whole team engaged and increase productivity. The secret? Follow our seven steps below and judge for yourself!
1. What’s your aim?
Have a really clear strategy on what you want the outcome to be from your staff meeting. You should call meetings when subjects need discussing, not just to satisfy the policies of your company. For example, let’s say the company has just secured a new client, and the team need to discuss the approach required. Before you go into the meeting, decide clear parameters of what needs to be discussed and why. Write your agenda accordingly, with clear and concise points. Never hold a meeting just for the sake of holding a meeting.
2. Never on a Friday!
Having a team meeting last thing on a Friday afternoon, or asking your team to either stay late or come in early is not going to endear you to anyone. At the end of the day or week, your staff will be tired and their thoughts will have turned to what tasks they have to do at home. On the other hand, if you schedule your meetings too early, your staff will not have had an opportunity to clear their emails and organise their day, and they may be thinking of all they have to get through during the day.
3. Let’s get comfortable
A neutral meeting room is a good choice. This ensures nobody has any reason to be distracted within the area. Make sure you have a decent table that everyone can sit around comfortably. King Arthur got it right with the Round Table concept, ensuring nobody sat at the top of the table. Instead, all were equal. Choose ergonomically designed chairs that are comfortable but do not encourage anyone to fall asleep. Any technology should be of a good quality, and should work without too much hassle.
4. Let’s talk
Some people like to dominate the discussion, whereas others prefer to be a wallflower. Actively encourage everyone to contribute, and be firm with those members who take over. Make sure they know their point of view is valued, but not at the expense of everyone else in the room. Use a little humour if relevant; your audience will appreciate it and listen to you.
5. Do you really need me?
There is nothing more jading than sitting in a meeting when you don’t need to. Only invite those people who need to have a physical input into the discussion, and disseminate the results by email to the rest of your staff if necessary. Be careful, however, of leaving someone off the invite list who may feel they should have been there!
6. Keep it together
Set a time slot for your meeting and stick to it. Make it clear to all that the meeting will conclude at a cut off time, which will encourage everyone to be more proactive, prevent prevarication or tangential conversation. Keep to the agenda – if other subjects are raised, make a note to discuss them at a different date.
7. Well done!
Nothing helps motivation more than personal praise and reward. Ask everyone by name for their opinion, and take their reply seriously. Make sure they know they are valued, and don’t forget to tell them. Get excited yourself about the future of the company and inspire your team to get excited by your passion, whilst introducing award schemes to keep their focus.
Your team will see through you if you are tired, uninterested or lacking in motivation yourself. Lead by example, and practice what you preach. If you find your meetings boring, chances are your team will too!
Let us know about your tips for a good meeting at @SaxonsTraining!
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