Meetings have been an increasing schedule these days in almost all organizations. They add to the working hours each day and employees think meeting as a waste of time. It is also concluded in a recent survey of US professionals that meetings are the top productivity assassins. There are meetings which buzz on and on where employees are unfocussed from the topic and start piddling with their smart phones. Meetings are the integral part of any organization as they help accomplish the goals of the team as well as completion of the task before deadline. Here are a few pointers to run effective meetings where employees are also thrilled and enthusiastic about their work.
How to Make Your Staff Meetings More Effective:
1. Set a clear objective: The purpose for steering a meeting should be clear and pre-determined. Before inviting the employees for a meeting ask yourself a few questions. Fix the motto of the meetings, if there are any changes in strategy or management, if any inputs are required from other teams for any disputes, or if the meeting is going to discourse on any hassle and put an end. In that manner the main purpose and reason for conducting a meeting should be determined first.
2. Members to invite: When a meeting is to be conducted make sure and pen down a list of who should be invited for the meeting. Think about the members who would be really compulsory for a meeting. Suppose the meeting is to discuss about a change then it would be valid enough to invite employees who would be affected by it rather than the whole lot. In the same manner if the meeting is supposed to solve any dispute, then invite ones who can be good contributors and formulate a solution. When irrelevant people are invited they look at the meeting as a waste of time as they have nothing to contribute.
3. Concoct a roster: Make a list of all the aspects that need to be covered in the interview and also allocate time for each session of talk. The same schedule can be forwarded to the members of the meeting so that they would have an idea about what the meeting is about. Once the meeting initiates put up the schedule on the screen or white board which makes the members concentrated.
4. Take no detainees: A meeting can be derailed when one person eats up more time than he is allotted. When a person dominates the conversation do not forget to call him out and appreciate him for his contribution and also offer a chance for others to donate their input to determine a decision. Preparing ground rules early will develop a framework for the group to function.
5. Starting and ending on time: Time is valuable for each and every employee and so make a meeting schedule for sixty minutes not more than that. Employees would not be engaged or interested if the meeting prolongs more than an hour. If you’re a responsible individual who runs meeting often and start and end at the right time, you can be happy that many employees would attend your meeting.
6. Embargo technology: The actual reality in a meeting is that when employees are allowed to have their iPads, laptops or blackberries into the meeting they aren’t interested in the meeting and do not contribute any ideas. And hence banning these technical gadgets would assist them to concentrate in the meeting. They avert emailing, playing around or surfing these gadgets.
7. Provide food: A weekly meeting required weekly catered lunches where food and conversations make the employees happy and they are initiated with a positive mindset for the meeting. By this way the employees are glad and are also interested.
8. Important updates: A weekly meeting is a great opportunity which helps to introduce new team members who have popped up, new updates if any; new updates about products and discussion about new partnership can be discoursed. These are mandatory aspects in a weekly meeting.
9. Appreciation: Appreciation is another boosting factor which shouldn’t be forgotten in a weekly interview. A weekly interview should be taken as an opportunity to appreciate ones who are achieving a stellar job in their process which would implant confidence in all other employees too.
10. Question session: Every meeting should have a question hour at the end of the session. The employees should be transparent and be allowed to ask any questions to the management regarding the discussion. By this way confidence as well as limpidity is enhanced. A question session also presents how well the employee has understood and involved in the meeting which makes it effective.
11. Fix the right time for meeting: The time fixed for meeting should be appropriate, asking the employees to stay back for late hours or to come early can affect the liveliness of the meeting and hence asking the staff for a comfortable time or fixed a time which does not affect any staff can be a right choice which makes the meeting an inviting one.
12. Motivating phrases: Make sure to use heartening phrases in a meeting so that the employees are interested and are engaged. By this way originality and innovation is sparked and many employees come up with new ideas. By this way the meeting is boosted up and all members participate.
13. Change in environment: Instead of having meetings in the same old place choose another environment for each meeting such as a restaurant, library, meeting room, resort and more. When meetings are conducted in unfamiliar places it would pave way for solutions and practice building strategies. By this way meeting can be made more effective.
14. Playing a little: To bring about an elevation in people’s mood, the professional implementers use various kinds of toys and games before meeting initiates. Hand exercises, squeeze balls, silly putty, finger toys and lot more. They believe that all these aspects elevate attentiveness and heighten creativity.
15. Evaluation of the meeting: It is usual that people complain that meetings are a waste of time. In order to overcome this fact the meeting scheduler or manager who conducts the meeting should obtain a feedback from the members of the meeting about it. The merits and demerits of the meeting, ways to improve the meeting can be found out. Evaluation of the meeting at the end of the session with satisfaction checks can help you learn more to make the meeting a focused one.
16. Closing meetings: Apart from concluding the meetings on time also make sure to end the session with a positive note. It would also be perfect if the next meeting schedule is discussed and other participants’ interest is also found out at the same session. By this way the members can open up if they are interested or not and also clarify other queries regarding future meetings.
17. Keep away from personal debates and conflicts: Certain people consider meeting as an opportunity and come up with debates and personal conflicts on critical issues. It is advised to attack the problem or the hassle and not the specific person personally. It is also advisable to maintain focus on the topic and not to deviate and beat up a dead horse. A meeting should be with members who are honest, forthcoming and open instead of poking others for other issues.
18. Documenting decisions: It is said that decision from the corporate business are like pieces of gold and hence documenting the decisions are mandatory. These decisions are rare to pop out and hence publishing them to the employees within one day is vital. By this way they are followed and actions are taken required for the decisions.
19. Refrain from suppressing their ideas: It is usual that employees come up with various ideas in a meeting; the leaders or bosses should be liberal enough and allow them to share their thoughts instead of suppressing them to 5%. This is because when the leader interferes and makes their ideas to 5% the employee’s interest to contribute will be lesser to 30%. This is because their owner ship of idea is taken away. Employees are to be given freedom to share their ideas.
The pointers mentioned above are a few ways and techniques to make a weekly meeting effective. Although meetings are exhausted and boredom, these tips can be followed to make the meeting a bit excited and focused. It is also a fact that every company has their own set of rules and culture but these meetings are important part of an organization and way to make productive. So scheduling them in a proper way is very important. For officials who think to maintain a proper meeting schedule and lure in all employees for meeting can run through these tips and make the meeting session an interesting one.