So, now, we have cleared the clutter from the staff meetings, we need to ensure the meetings are engaging and achieve an outcome. How? I wasn’t sure where to start initially, but a few changes I implemented to our own staff meetings really changed the feel and productivity. Here’s what I came up with:
Run to time. Try to start on time and finish on time. There may be lagers to a meeting who need to get a cup of coffee or find some paper before joining the group. If they have a valid reason for running late, you may wait for them, but be careful not to get into the habit of starting 10 minutes late each time because you keep making allowances for people who are not getting organised. If you start on time you are more likely to finish on time.
Send out notice of meetings and agendas in advance so you are not catching people off guard. One thing I’ve learnt from the many meetings I have attended in my career is people don’t like being put on the spot. Give them warning of what you are wanting to achieve so they can get their thoughts together on the topic. Introverts can be great in meetings if you give them at least 24 hours to think through their contributions.
Have a meeting goal. Make it big if you want. Why have ‘giving information’ as your goal? You could do that without a meeting really. Plan to achieve something big. Write it down at the top of the agenda. If you have a whiteboard, write it down when you start the meeting. Your staff will start to feel a real sense of accomplishment if you can pump out some great outcomes from your meetings. Consider each item on your agenda a task that leads to the accomplishment of your goal.
Think about the location you run your meeting in. I think things can be more productive if you have a change of scenery. Instead of holding the meetings in the staff room, lunch room, or clinical room where staff already spend a lot of time during their week, try somewhere a little different. We sit in our waiting room, which is great because it is not somewhere we ever sit at any other time. You might throw in some surprises and have some of your meetings in 2014 at a café, in a park, a walk around the block, or in a meeting room off-site.
Use your meetings to reward ideas, hard work, and achievements so people are getting recognition for their teamwork and their contributions to your business.
There is one final way I want to share with you to engage your team and get your meetings off to a good start. Stay tuned for the third chapter next week on how to change your meetings…..