Team meetings create the foundation for project planning, goal-setting and team communication. When the team begins expanding, it can be tough to keep everyone on the same page. To improve the productivity of the team meeting, there are a few important methods to use to get the most out of it and hold better team meetings.
Specify the Purpose
Have a specific topic that will be discussed at the meeting. If there are multiple topics, make sure that they are related to the main topic. When too many random things are discussed, things tend to get off track and nothing is accomplished by the end of the meeting. Prepare an agenda that clearly lists the topic(s) to be discussed.
People want to know why they need to attend a meeting. Clearly defined roles for each person will help to eliminate confusion and the ability to “pass the buck” to the next person. If everyone knows exactly what their role is and what is expected of them, the meeting will progress faster and the job will get done better.
Use The Time to Express Gratitude
All too often, business owners and leaders can come across as “all-business” during a meeting, often discussing what should be improved upon and changes the team has to adapt to. Employees need a morale boost every so often to assure them of their worth to the business and congratulate them on a job well done. Incorporate this into your meeting by taking a moment to discuss what your team is doing well. A specialist from Klosterman Baking Company says the mood of a team meeting can be instantly brightened when those in attendance are provided refreshments. These don’t need to be anything too special—bagels or pastries for breakfast and sandwiches for afternoon meetings are enough to bolster a team and demonstrate gratitude for the work they do.
Have you ever had people show up to a meeting and have no idea of why they’re there or what it’s about? Explaining the overall purpose and need for the meeting can waste time that can be better spent on other topics. Send an agenda out and any necessary supporting information (handouts, PowerPoint slides, etc.) at least one day prior to the meeting. This gives everyone a chance to review the material and come ready to jump right in.
Specify Action Items
At the end of the meeting, reiterate all of the “take aways”, or action items, and who is responsible for them. Don’t let people walk out of the meeting wondering about anything. Clearly establish the who, what, when, and where of the tasks that need to be addressed, the person handling it, the action item deadline for completion, and when the next meeting will be to provide a status update on those items.
Having a productive team meeting takes work. But these few rules will help to establish a baseline that can be built upon. Staff will be more productive if they know what to expect and what they need to deliver. Leading the meeting with an organized plan of action will motivate employees and can save the company thousands of dollars in lost man-hours. The better the team meeting, the more satisfied the employees (and your clients) will be.