Weekly staff meetings can be positive, productive and empowering, if approached correctly. When conducted in the best manner possible, they can provide win/win situations for employees, managers and even stake holders. Learn how to create solid situations that foster a productive, progressive work environment for your business.
Whether your meetings are conducted face to face in a physical location or virtually, they require a smart, strategic approach for optimal results.
GETTING OFF TO A GOOD START...
“HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM”
If your employees were free to be honest, they would gladly clue you in.
For many, there’s no bigger “buzz kill” than weekly Monday morning staff meetings. That’s right.
Memo here: You see it as a start-of-the-week super strategy session.
They view it as an hour of being held “hostage” minus a ransom note and gun.
It’s no wonder these regular forums are often met with apathy and dread.
And unbeknownst to most managers and bigwigs, why attendees often fill the time playing footsies under the conference room table, doodling stick figures on their legal pads, secretly checking their cell phones, dozing off, and mentally recalling their wild weekend.
According to Wolf Management Consultants: “Most professionals who meet on a regular basis admit to daydreaming (91%), missing meetings (96%) or missing parts of meetings (95%). A large percentage (73%) say they have brought other work to meetings and 39% say they have dozed during meetings.”But there’s good news: it doesn’t have to be this way. These weekly “pow-wows” can be powerful. And like it or not, meetings are a “necessary evil” crucial to the success and longevity of your business.
HR COUNCIL.CA reports: “Despite the daily onslaughts of e-mails, phone calls and memos, meetings are still one of the most effective ways that people share and exchange information, get feedback, plan, collaborate and make important decisions for their organizations.”
Before we explore tips to make the most of your meetings, let’s address the core of the problem.
BELOW ARE 5 OF THE MOST COMMON REASONS MONDAY STAFF MEETINGS OFTEN FAIL TO BE PRODUCTIVE AND PROGRESSIVE, BASED UPON MY EXPERIENCES AND OBSERVATIONS:
1. There is no clear agenda or discernible purpose.
2. They’re considered boring and last too long.
3. They’re viewed as gripe sessions.
4. They lack balance; one or two employees often dominate the conversations.
5. They’re ill-timed. Meetings are held during heavy work periods, or when attendance is not optimal.
ACCORDINGLY, HERE ARE A FEW TIMELY TIPS TO CREATE MEETINGS THAT FURTHER YOUR CORPORATE GOALS, ENHANCE YOUR WORKPLACE AND YOUR BOTTOM LINE:
1. Have a prepared agenda.
Is your goal for your meeting to onboard a new employee? Implement a dress code? Discuss clients’ projects? Troubleshoot procedural glitches? Strive to communicate in a clear, organized way that supports your initial goals.
If you fail to do so, often there’s a tendency for strategic plans to get lost and conversations to stray off topic; which can be perceived as counterproductive and frustrating by your staff.
(Hence, “I could’a had a V-8!”)
You may even want to consider creating a personal checklist of the key things you want to cover. There’s an App for that.
2. Serve light refreshments.
Think of it this way: just like many medications are made more palatable when taken with a meal, good food makes bad news and bad moods a bit better. Minimally, serve coffee and donuts if possible.
3. Encourage employees to get involved.
Invite input through suggestion boxes placed in the lounge area or other visible office spots. Take the comments and suggestions submitted to the meetings and allow them to serve as a foundation for group discussion.
The reason? Due to fear of repercussion or expressing an unpopular opinion, some employees may withhold valuable feedback at staff meetings. Give them the opportunity to remain anonymous and they‘ll be more “vocal“.
Doing so can insure that you receive important information, operate from a more well-rounded, informed perspective in times ahead, and enable everyone to work smarter. There is a degree of validity to the expression: “Two heads are better than one.”
4. Consider holding Monday meetings on another day and time.
A study conducted by WhenisGood.net revealed that although Mondays are a popular targeted day for many companies, actually Tuesdays at around 3 p.m. is the best time to meet with employees to get the most accomplished.
5. Break from the “blahs”.
Instead of having meetings that solely consist of rules, regulations and directives, why not integrate videos, or role playing sessions, or guest speakers, or tutorials? Or perhaps change the meeting’s location periodically, to add a little variety and increase interest.
6. Keep morale high.
Catch employees doing something right! Meetings provide the means to give accolades, shape new employees, share success stories and announce milestones reached. It’s a win/win for all.
Remember, keeping morale high ultimately keeps employee turn-over low.
STAFF MEETINGS IN THE AGE OF THE PANDEMIC
For safety and efficiency reasons, during Covid-19, many companies are conducting business meetings virtually via Zoom and other platforms. If your business is one of them, most of the above mentioned tips and strategies would still apply. With the exception of # 2...refreshments of course would not be applicable.
Additionally, keeping meetings brief and to the point will play a more significant factor, due to potential physical concerns with screen time, such as possible neck and eye strain and sore backs from prolonged periods in one position.
Don't be afraid to do a little experimentation in the initial stages of determining what works best for your company, employees and industry needs.
Things to consider in between meetings to determine level of success and future direction:
Were your initial goals met at the meeting's conclusion?
Was productivity enhanced as a result?
Were employees better informed of your vision, values and expectations moving forward?
Apply. Assess. Adjust accordingly.
Remember, "knowledge is power."
Regular office meetings (weekly or monthly) are a great way to keep your staff informed, encouraged and equipped to meet the demands of your company. It also positions them to deal better with competition within your industry.
Follow these six timely practices and principles for meetings that have maximum impact and minimal stress.
Image credit: Pixabay.com