You’ve undoubtedly heard people complain, “That meeting could have been an email.” Often, however, staff meetings are necessary—they present an opportunity to communicate important ideas with your team and encourage feedback. Whether you’re providing new training, reinforcing the company’s vision or informing them of recent changes, staff meetings aren’t going anywhere. Here’s how to make them more effective, so no one ever mutters “that should have been an email” when they leave the room:
- Maintain a positive attitude: As the meeting leader, if you’re not happy about your meeting, your staff won’t be, either. It’s not effective to grumble about having to talk to the other employees—and if that’s your dominant feeling, you might consider whether the meeting is actually necessary. If it is, find a way to stay positive. Your staff will pick up on your cues.
- Create an agenda: It’s always helpful to create an agenda before the meeting—otherwise, you’ll undoubtedly discover you missed something after everyone has left. This will help keep you focused and on track during the block of time.
- Ask for feedback: Why not ask your staff if they have anything to add to the agenda? Soliciting feedback isn’t always appropriate in every meeting situation, but it can help you get a sense of what your employees feel is important. Where can you provide insight and clarity for them? What kind of complaints or concerns might they have?
- Schedule some time for “nothing”: It’s smart to leave a little unplanned time in your meeting, whether it’s a buffer between topics or an opportunity for your team members to offer their own input. Meetings can be a great time to brainstorm, share tips and tricks and other helpful suggestions—and if you end up getting finished early, no one will complain about that.
- Collaborate with your team: A great meeting leader will encourage collaboration, especially if there are problems to solve. Just make sure you manage your time efficiently—don’t allow members to talk over each other or dominate the conversation. This is the best way to make sure everyone gets their turn to share. It can get chaotic, but the input you’ll get is worth it.
- Consider ways to make it more interesting: Not every meeting you lead has to feature you speaking as the main event. Consider ways to make your meetings more interesting—invite guest speakers, watch a relevant TED talk, change locations or bring in some delicious food. Your staff members will appreciate the effort.
There are plenty of ways to run staff meetings effectively, and so much depends on your team’s unique personalities, tasks and mission. Use these tips as a jumping-off point for your own ideas—or solicit their feedback for even more input. You’ll notice a happier, more engaged staff, with a lot less grumbling involved.
Windsor HR Services, Inc. has provided HR services to businesses for over 20 years. Let our professional staff help you when you call today to learn more about what we can do for your team!