A company with good communication sometimes comes at a cost, which is time to invest in team meetings. Even in the work-from-home age with Zoom, team meetings have become synonymous with disrupting flow and requiring more time and energy than main work tasks.
However, there are ways to execute the perfect team meeting that will provide value for your staff and make them excited each time an invite pops up in their calendar.
How to Have a Mindful Meeting
Question How Meetings Can Improve
You can also ask staff members this in the last few minutes of every meeting. Here are some questions that could cause honest responses:
- Do you feel this meeting impacted you and your work positively or negatively?
- What did you think about the length of this meeting — too long or too short?
- Would you have rather stayed at your desk to continue your tasks?
- Did you feel you had a chance to contribute?
- Does everyone understand why this meeting was held and how to act upon it after?
Analyze and Make Adjustments
Though asking questions is the right way to build an excellent meeting structure, these discussions only matter if you adjust to fit staff needs. Perhaps half of the staff felt the meeting was unrelated to them and could’ve been fine with an email. Try changing the guest list, refining it more deliberately with a separate follow-up email list including more people.
Perhaps a goal is to make meetings more accessible, so maybe it’s time to invest in the best sound technology and discuss with the IT team how to create the best hybrid — or entirely virtual — meeting structure.
Maybe you set group discussions to last the final 10 minutes of a meeting, but not everyone had time to contribute because one employee dominated the conversation. What measures can you implement to ensure fairness? Create a signup sheet before the meeting, so everyone has time measured for them. It also eliminates the generality of asking “Final thoughts?” Instead, you call names so beneficial information is certain to have the floor.
How to Have an Inspiring Meeting
It’s not possible to make every meeting celebratory. Still, it’s good to focus a little bit of time on the value of the individuals in — and outside — of the room so everyone can understand how much everyone is contributing to the company’s success.
It also creates an uplifting atmosphere to start the meeting on a good note. There are plenty of ways to recognize employees for their efforts that feel genuine:
- Before every meeting, announce notable dates like birthdays or work anniversaries
- Take a meeting off-site to get a company-paid lunch after hitting a yearly goal
- Give a standing ovation to members who provided valuable insight toward a big project
- Provide tangible benefits like gift cards, flower arrangements or office improvements
Make it Collaborative
Meetings solely reporting to the staff about what’s going on make the team wonder why the information couldn’t be sent in an email. To raise the importance of any meeting, find a way to obtain valuable staff input concerning recent developments. The goal is to make it relevant to the meeting’s main objective, so it doesn’t feel forced just for the sake of filling time.
Announcing a time limit beforehand and opening the floor to give everyone the agency to speak will empower the workforce to contribute and prevent meeting times from running over. Encouraging discussion with constraints could be the way to enable the most stirring brainstorming or feedback sessions.
How to Have a Productive Meeting
Solidify the Intention of the Meeting
Go in with a plan instead of spending half the meeting forming the agenda for that meeting. Is the meeting meant to make decisions or brainstorm innovations? The intention will guide the itinerary, making every moment move toward that goal. This will also help meeting leaders notice when conversations go off-topic, halting progress toward the objective.
Sometimes an unrelated tangent can lead to incredible insight depending on the situation, but knowing how to discern between procrastination and priorities is a must when guiding meetings based on the meeting type. Employees are more likely to feel a sense of accomplishment after a productive meeting instead of resentful because it distracts them from their work.
By the end of a meeting, attendees want to feel like something has changed. Reporting about a specific project update could be helpful, but it may not be worth an entire meeting. Status updates are important to align everyone’s progress and perspectives, but will the meeting provide more progress than being in the work?
Every meeting has to be justified based on how much work the guests could do versus being in attendance. Instead of hosting a meeting solely to deliver a single message, provide a worthwhile update but encourage teamwork and collaboration to progress toward the end goal. There’s no need to make separate meetings for these purposes, or worse, have a meeting to prepare for another meeting.
A Meeting Your Team Will Love
Meetings are the norm, regardless of whether the workforce is still in the office. Too many meetings can bog down deep work, while a thoughtful meeting could propel a business into its next era of success. Make every meeting intentional and worth it for you and your staff, knowing there is always room for improvement and time to gauge employees’ tastes and preferences. Though meetings are often about sharing and discussion, it’s also an ideal opportunity to listen and follow up, so you retain the value.