We’re almost a year into this pandemic and we’re guessing your employees hit the Zoom wall quite awhile ago. But, since it’s still important for the team to check in regularly with management (and one another) you’re likely wondering how to make the meetings more efficient and (way) less of a chore. The key to a good meeting is making sure they are relevant and engaging and the ways to do so are nearly myriad but some are much more reliable than others. In this blog we’re sharing the strategies you can utilize to keep the connection to staff strong.
The goals of a meeting
Here are some goals that you’ll want to aim for in all your meetings:
- Make them quick and focused. Meetings should have a clear purpose and the agenda should be followed pretty religiously. You’ll always want to make it known that you consider your employee’s time to be valuable, not just your own.
- A relevant and attainable agenda. Make sure your actionable items are both worthy of a meeting (could some just be an email?) and also that there are not too many that you’re speeding through a checklist with little time to inquire about clarification and feedback. You want your participants to walk away with a clear understanding of their next steps.
- An obvious purpose for the meeting. This piggyback’s on the previous tip but it bears further clarification. Make sure the purpose of the meeting is an obvious one! Are you sharing new information? Hosting a Q&A on a current project? Using the team time to problem solve? Make the 30 or 60 minutes count!
Supporting meeting goals
In order to achieve the above goals, you’ll want to implement some guidelines for staying on track:
- Identify effective facilitator(s). Or, become one yourself if necessary. You’ll find meetings become exponentially more successful when the person speaking is engaging and articulate. There’s training for this!
- Train for meetings! Coaches for facilitating can help you address problem areas in public speaking and if meetings aren’t going away anytime soon, it’s pretty essential to make this a priority. Also, ensure that the facilitator is well-informed about the subject matter. We all wear so many hats these days it’s difficult to be an expert in all these things, but if you want the information to be understood, training cannot be neglected.
- An appropriate guest list. If you’re tempted to make each meeting cater to the company-wide crowd, don’t. Making staff sit in on meetings that don’t really speak to them is a waste of their time and will ultimately undermine productivity. Only invite the relevant employees, and send out an email to a broader audience with meeting highlights, if needed.
- Build the meeting around engagement. Send out the agenda prior to the meeting so staff has an opportunity to bring their questions/concerns. Take pause throughout the meeting to allow for feedback and questions. Utilize the chat function on remote tools so employees don’t have to speak to all participants while submitting feedback. Be an active listener! If you don’t understand what an employee is trying to say, ask for clarification. While meeting should be timely, don’t rush through them. You want to make sure staff feels comfortable asking for further explanation, etc.
Meetings are an opportunity to build on your brand and promote a positive and collaborative company culture. Treating them as a shared effort on part of all participants will not only increase comprehension of the subject matter but encourage engagement and productivity toward company goals. Meetings can be a successful tool in reaching goals if structured thoughtfully.
In need of an HR department that can facilitate successful meetings? Eos HR can help! We’re a team of HR professionals helping small businesses implement smart solutions to increase productivity along with a prosperous company culture. Schedule a free consultation today to learn more!
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