It’s Monday morning. You are running late.
You have a standing staff meeting at 9:00 and today, like so many Mondays, you just do not have time.
To cancel or not to cancel? Do you really have anything to say? Does it really matter if you miss one meeting?
Yes, it matters!
Meetings fill an increasing number of hours in the workday, and yet most employees consider them as a waste of time. Maybe you do, too.
Let me change your mind. Meetings are important and should be treated as a key delivery vehicle for leadership communication.
The Purpose of Staff Meetings
First of all, a staff meeting is more than a formality. It should be something that your team counts on.
Why? The most important reason is staff meetings keep your team informed.
The recurring staff meeting is a perfect place for staff to not only receive information but to share ideas and offer them an opportunity to collaborate and problem solve.
You may not think of staff meetings as an opportunity to train but they certainly are.
Having the team in one location at one time means you can convey simple training techniques, practices, and exercises to many instead of one at a time, saving time and energy. These meetings also offer an opportunity to allow future leaders a platform to practice meeting facilitation and/or build their presentation or training skills.
Staff meetings are one of the very best venues for owners and leaders to motivate and influence, and a great time to recognize and reward performance. They offer the perfect opportunity to set expectations for the days, weeks, months, or even years ahead.
Finally, meetings offer a chance to celebrate accomplishments and have a little fun. We can never have too much of that.
So now what do you think? You know the value meetings can have, how do you ensure that the meetings you hold are effective and that each meeting participant, whether that be 2 persons or 20, is fully engaged?
7 Tips for Effective Staff Meetings
When planning and navigating your staff meetings, you’ll want to keep the following things in mind to get the most out of your time spent.
1. Develop a regularly scheduled event and keep it.
Put it on the calendar. Do not make changes if at all possible.
Think of it as an appointment that you have with your most important clients, your internal clients, your staff. Give the participants an opportunity to anticipate and prepare for each meeting.
2. Be clear on your objective(s).
Staff meetings typically have recurring objectives of goal updates, financial reporting, and announcements, but may also have temporary objectives of project management, training, situational learning or some other special initiative.
Whatever it is for you, be clear and stay focused on meeting objectives and craft the meeting content to reflect those objectives, being aware that standing meetings with vague purposes are rarely a good use of time. Be specific.
3. Have an agenda and be true to it.
Be certain it is not a “show up and talk about whatever comes up” type gathering. Share your agenda in advance.
In many cases, you may find you can have a standard basic agenda that you add current projects or discussions for each meeting. Once decided, stick to it.
Each meeting should have a facilitator that also acts as a time-keeper/manager keeping the meeting on track and on time.
Also, remember, nothing derails a meeting faster than one person holding the room hostage. Your time-keeper/facilitator is responsible for bringing the meeting back on track should anyone try to take control.
4. Treat meeting time with respect.
Time is an extremely valuable asset. Some say it is the most valuable in today’s business environment.
Treat meeting time as a contribution that each member makes to the success of your organization. Show up on time and use the time wisely.
Require that others do the same. Be sure your meeting time is not wasted. Start on time and end on time, always.
5. Ban Technology. No exceptions!
Turn it off and put it away.
Better yet, have a rule that is not to be in the room.
It is rare that an emergency of such magnitude would happen that could not wait the duration of a reasonable staff meeting which should be no more than 90 minutes.
6. Keep the invitations to appropriate participants.
Invite only those that can contribute to the objective or that need to be part of the collaboration or that should be informed directly. Avoid inviting anyone that does not need to attend.
General staff meetings typically include everyone but special meetings should only include those that are contributing.
7. Always be constructive.
Dealing with office politics was a close second to meaningless meetings in productivity killers according to a survey conducted by salary.com.
Be sure information is shared in a constructive and productive manner. Set a tone of zero tolerance on blame or personal attacks.
Improve the Quality of Your Staff Meetings
Now, I challenge you to think of meetings and meeting time as an efficient and effective strategy for your business success.
In your next meeting, share the tips above with the group. Commit to keeping these practices and challenge others to do the same.
The outcome may just surprise you.
Manage Your Business with Sherry Jordan
Sherry Jordan is a trusted business advisor that has experience with developing and maintaining successful business management strategies that help business owners keep operations running smoothly. From day-to-day aspects of running a business (like holding effective staff meetings) to your overall business goals, thorough planning can help your business succeed.
Find out how you can improve your business management and get the most out of your strategy by contacting Sherry Jordan today!