Meetings are a necessary part of every organization. Unfortunately, meetings can have a bad rap—and often for good reason. A poorly run meeting can be unproductive and thus, a waste of employees’ valuable time.
Here are nine tips for ensuring that each meeting you lead is effective and serves its intended purpose!
1. Come prepared.
Every meeting should have specific goals, whether it’s sharing crucial information, brainstorming about a challenge facing your organization, or planning an event. If you’re leading the meeting, you should have an agenda. Whether you share this with all attendees or not, it will help you stay on task and make sure you don’t miss anything important that you wanted to discuss.
2. Keep meetings as short as possible.
Don’t rush through important issues, but don’t let meetings drag on longer than necessary. If you schedule a meeting for an hour, then make sure you finish within that time. This shows the other attendees that you respect their time enough not to waste it or assume that your meeting is the most important thing on their schedules. Plus, with studies showing that people have attention spans of only 20 to 30 minutes, it may not be beneficial to have a long meeting.
4. Only communicate information that you can’t convey by other means.
Don’t waste your staff’s time on something that can be shared over e-mail.
5. Get everyone involved.
You want everyone to have some ownership of the issues you’re discussing, and if you’re the only one talking the whole time, that can be difficult. Staff may mentally check out or struggle to connect their roles and responsibilities to the topics of the meeting if they’re not engaged.
6. Embrace opportunities for conflict.
When you leave the room, everyone should be on the same page, but staff meetings should be a safe place to disagree. This will show new staff that it’s okay to disagree in a healthy, respectful manner, which makes them more comfortable speaking up. New staff may have perspective from the outside that you didn’t have before.
7. Genuinely consider everyone’s opinions.
Even in an environment where staff are not punished for speaking up, they may stop providing input if their opinions are never truly taken into account.
8. Always include some element of praise in all-staff meetings.
This shows your staff that their work is seen and appreciated, and they’re encouraged when they are highlighted in that way.
9. Take business seriously, but not yourselves.
"Contagious fun" is a core value here at Vanderbloemen Search Group, and it makes our work—including meetings—a lot more fun, even when things may be hectic or stressful. Coming to work and attending meetings is much more enticing when you know there will be laughter and light-heartedness!
What are other tactics to ensure productive and efficient staff meetings? Tell us in the comments below.