A Checklist for Creating Engagement in Team Meetings

Team meetings can either be incredibly helpful, or a dreaded event for everyone involved. If you want to get great results out of your team meetings, it’s important to focus on engagement. That’s easier said than done, especially if your meeting is scheduled for 4pm on a Friday afternoon.

If you want to improve your meeting results, you may need to make changes. Here’s a checklist for team meetings that can help you improve engagement:

  • Have an agenda: If you’ve ever been stuck in an unwieldy, never-ending meeting, you know how important the agenda is. Before any meeting, create an agenda and share it with the team. That applies even if you’re getting everyone together for 15 minutes. Many people find it difficult to contribute when they feel put on the spot.
  • Get a timer: We’ve all had that coworker who drones on and on when they’re invited to share. Get a timer to ensure everyone gets an equal chance to offer their commentary and viewpoints, especially if it’s a situation where everyone is expected to contribute. It’s hard to argue with a buzzer (as game shows have demonstrated for decades).
  • Share goals and accomplishments: One way to get workers engaged is to have them share their goals and accomplishments with other people. It’s a positive way to kick off or conclude a meeting, and reinforces the idea that their work matters.
  • Reflect back what your team says: A good way to prove you’re paying attention is to reflect back what each team member shares. This is also known as “active listening,” and makes people feel like they’re being heard and understood.
  • Ask them to share breakthroughs and inspiration: Another way to improve engagement is to ask people to share their personal work breakthroughs or moments of inspiration. For example, if someone found a clever solution to deal with a common problem, that’s worth sharing with everyone.
  • Don’t hesitate to go first: Many people refuse to contribute in meetings because they’re shy or feel like they’re being put on the spot. You can address this by offering to go first, if no one else speaks up. (Don’t forget to look for team members who might be talked over or don’t have a chance to contribute, too. Facilitating a chance for them to speak can help improve their confidence.)
  • Consider the human element: Finally, don’t forget that your employees are human beings—not just workers. Consider sharing some trivia about new employees or briefly celebrating exciting personal events, like new babies, marriages and non-work achievements. When your employees get to know each other on a more personal level, they feel more comfortable. That improves engagement in team meetings.

Fostering engagement in team meetings can be a matter of trial and error—after all, the dynamic depends on the individual personalities as well as the job. Following this checklist for meetings can help overcome shyness and reluctance and lead to more productive meetings all around.

For HR solutions, be sure to contact Windsor HR Services, Inc. today.