We all know that staff meetings can be a waste of everyone’s time if they are not running well. No one wants to go to a meeting where the agenda is to work out what is happening at the next meeting – seems pointless. When the day is already packed, you need to make sure your meetings run on time, and you get some action on your items.
Sometimes, people like those mundane meetings – they like using staff meetings as a way to rest the mind from a busy schedule, daydream about all the holidays they would like to take, or using it to come down from an afternoon sugar hit! Recently, I realised my own practice meetings were a stale version of a grumpy old woman reading out a list of items to which there was little enthusiasm for response (with me being the grumpy old woman!), and running out of time to get to the good stuff. I did a little research and decided to change them around a little. The outcome was great, it really worked!
All I did initially was take out all the mundane bits and pieces. You know them, all those little reminders to staff about keeping the coffee machine clean, or bits of news, upcoming dates to remember for registrations, annual leave notices, and so on. They were clogging up my meetings, by the time I got to the end of the list, there wasn’t any time to action the important things. How do I still deliver all those pieces of information to my staff? Because it still is important info and vital to our ship running smoothly. So, I introduced some time ago, a MailChimp weekly memo. Here’s the low down:
It only goes out when I need to share something – that way when staff get one in their inbox, they know it is because I need them to read it
There is nothing for staff to action, the memo only covers info to read
Grouping it all in a memo, instead of sending emails out, means things are kept tidy, staff know where to go back and look for pieces of information, and it doesn’t choke up their inboxes with ongoing emails. It is also easier for me to take stock of what has already been said (no one wants a boss that goes on and on about something because she simply forgot she had said it before, and the time before that!)
There is always a graphic: cartoons about work, funny pictures, good quotes to lighten the mood and share some laughs around the office
Having it on MailChimp means I have a template set up – I just type the content and away it goes. I can also track who opens it, so I know the information is actually getting read. You might have another idea of how you might manage a memo system. I use MailChimp for other processes in my practice, so it was an easy step for me to use the same platform.
Now, staff meetings had the time to be productive planning sessions. Game on! We have achieved a lot as a team since my weekly memo introduction. Next blog, we will cover STEP 2 of Turning stale staff meetings into productive planning sessions.