Staff Meeting. Those two words do not commonly stir up any positive emotions or thoughts, especially in the summertime. More likely contemplations such as ‘why now’, ‘how long is this going to take’, and ‘this will make me late for my next appointment’ are some of the typical office-friendly views employees have on the topic.
Let the next 5 points serve as a guide to make these meetings more beneficial for employers and employees alike.
1. Create a clear meeting agenda - No matter how few points you wish to go through with your staff, writing it down and preferably distributing it prior to the meeting will minimize straying off topic and keeping employees informed. Employees will benefit from seeing the agenda earlier, and it will ease their minds on the expectations of the meeting.
2. Stick to the agenda - Even if you feel like you did the leg work of creating the agenda - that is actually the easy part. Now in the meeting, it is on you to stick to this hopefully short list of items and make sure everyone gets the most out of the information being presented to them. There is no point of taking the time to organize how the meeting will go if you don’t stick to the plan. Your employees will thank you for sticking to it, albeit internally, at least you will not be the cause of the next office complain about pointless meetings.
3. 45 minutes or less - 45 minutes seems to be the longest amount we can all focus on one task without needing breaks. If the meeting is only information sharing – chances are everyone will stop listening past 45 minutes as they will more concentrated on how quickly the next coffee break will happen. If your meeting is a discussion or brainstorming session, 45 minutes is still more than enough to get the main points across.
4. Tuesday at 3pm - In a recent study conducted by WhenIsGood, the company found that the majority of its respondents chose Tuesday at 3pm for their optimal meeting time. Mondays and Fridays are typically the worst days for meetings as they are the days employees are more likely to be absent and realistically, least productive. That leaves three days. Depending on the office environment, it is up to the leader of the meeting to figure out when everyone would be most productive for the type of meeting about to happen. Mornings work for some places as productivity levels are high ,yet the same can said about afternoons in other environments.
5. Set the mood - Have visuals ready, whether it is PowerPoint, or even a whiteboard, people will appreciate the opportunity to get up or look at something, rather than just listening to someone speak. Some leaders open up their meetings with a fun video or discussion. You know the tone of your office and what would be appropriate at the meeting. The key here is to provide some variety to the meetings to keep the employees engaged.