Business meetings happen every day. Master these best practices to facilitate a successful team meeting that actually benefits your employees.
The 4-hour meeting week and 25 other secrets from innovative, fast-moving teams
With 11 million business meetings happening every day — occupying a total of 37% of working hours yearly — it’s no surprise that we’re all feeling a little meeting fatigue. If you’re running a weekly team meeting just for the sake of it, you could be wasting your team’s time and creating frustration throughout their day at work.
There’s a strong link between how employees feel about meetings and how they feel about their jobs, so it’s essential to make sure that your team meetings are run properly. A successful team meeting can help motivate your employees and improve work quality.
In this article, we’ll be walking you through the following topics:
Let’s get right into it.
Ideally, a team meeting provides a weekly space for your team to come together and discuss their plans for the week or achievements so far, depending on when you host it.
Some common benefits of team meetings include:
That’s not to say these benefits are always achieved. In fact, a lot of team members find that their team meetings are irrelevant and have little impact on their working week, acting as more of a formality than anything. We don’t want to fall into this trap, which is why having a reason for your meeting is vital.
The simple fact is, running a team meeting for the sole purpose of having one is not productive in the slightest. If you can’t think of a reason for it, then you likely don’t need a meeting as often as you’d think. If you can only think of one reason, that’s a clear sign that you should reduce the amount of time that your meetings take.
The frequency of a team meeting varies depending on their function, company size, and current goals. For example, a tech startup with only five employees might find it a lot easier to have a team meeting when compared to a business with fifty people per department. Equally, if you are working on a project that requires a lot of moving parts, then more frequent team meetings will help boost collaboration and ensure everyone is working as efficiently as possible.
When deciding on a good frequency, consider all the factors that could impact you and your team before coming to a final decision. A typical baseline is hosting a weekly team meeting, which will give your team enough time to make progress between meetings and feel good about what they’re done since the last session.
Team meetings can very easily fall into the trap of being a waste of time for your employees. Especially when running weekly team meetings, it’s a good idea to adhere to a structure that you know works.
The first step of team meeting preparation is making sure that everyone knows why they’re attending a team meeting in the first place. You should do this by providing a detailed meeting agenda that has a clearly defined meeting goal.
Alongside a team meeting agenda, there are several tips that you should incorporate to make your meetings more engaging and useful to all the attendees. When planning and executing your staff meetings, be sure to:
Effective team meetings do not waste time with information that could have either been an email or isn’t directly relevant to the team. If you call your entire team in to chat and then proceed to have a detailed conversation about one person’s job, your conversation does not impact everyone in the room. In this case, you could have scheduled a one-on-one meeting.
As a team leader, try to make sure that you’re going into a meeting with a range of points to cover that impact all of your team. Keep your meeting succinct — covering news that people need to hear, team-wide strategy for the upcoming week, or any plans that need updating.
Employees who feel heard at work are also 4.6x more likely to perform well, meaning these weekly meetings are a great place to discuss and implement ideas from your entire team. If you extend them the opportunity to provide their ideas, make sure that you are able to show how those ideas have been integrated into the workforce to boost company morale.
Positive feedback is proven to motivate people to work harder, decrease employee bounce rate, and ensure you develop an enjoyable workplace culture. If you’re looking for a simple change that can turn your boring team meeting into a successful one, implementing positive feedback is the one to try out.
One of the most overlooked elements that you can introduce into your meetings is a moment to reflect on any achievements that have happened over the past week. A staff meeting is something that people should look forward to, not something that makes your team roll their eyes when they see the email invite.
When forming an idea of what a presentation looks like, many people’s first thought is most likely about a PowerPoint slideshow. Although slideshows certainly have their place, they can also be incredibly boring, especially if poorly made. A survey of 1,000 workers recorded 29% of them freely say that PowerPoints make them feel instantly frustrated with the meeting.
Over a quarter of your workforce checks out when you open a PowerPoint. This isn’t exactly the most positive start to a meeting at all. In fact, Jeff Bezos banned PowerPoint presentations at Amazon because of this reason.
Instead of falling into old habits, make an effort to take on new approaches when it comes to your meetings. You could facilitate a roundtable talk, a question and answer session, or even try switching around the normal order of your meetings. Over time, you can ask your employees which of the meeting styles they best prefer, allowing them to feel more engaged and connected with the company.
Asking for feedback is one of the easiest ways to set yourself up for future success. Post-meeting surveys shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes and should incorporate both quantitative and qualitative answers. For example, you can include a general question asking:
How engaged were you during the meeting on a scale of 1-10?
Under this question, you can include a response section for individuals to explain what suggestions they have that can boost that number. From this dual method of data collection, you’re able to retrieve numerical data that will allow you to develop progress reports and status updates to hold meetings that actually benefit employees.
While the first team meeting that you attach these to may feel a little strange, by the next one, people will recognize this as part of the process. If you decide to make these feedback forms mandatory, make sure they only take around two minutes to complete; otherwise, you’ll be burdening your team with unnecessary work.
Be sure to anonymize your surveys to allow individual team members to have free reign over what they say. You’ll find that people are a lot more honest once their name is taken out of the equation!
Team meetings provide a space where you can make your team members feel heard, relay important information, and plan for the future. A successful staff meeting will make sure that every single team member comes away feeling energized, motivated, and proud of their achievements from last week.
By harvesting feedback from your team members, you’ll be able to ensure that every meeting is better than the last, so that your future meetings are as effective and enjoyable as possible.
To run a great meeting, keep the team aligned, and the agenda short, specific, and action-oriented.
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