Having regular team meetings greatly increases a company’s effectiveness and enhances communication among your people.
However, it cannot be denied that at times, team meetings are more of a time-waster, especially when they run overtime and the agenda was not fully covered.
Members of your team usually work on something different from one another. It’s only during team meetings when everyone actually works together as a group to make decisions and plans for the company. If team meetings are not run efficiently, then it’s likely that the whole team would not be able to work efficiently either.
When team meetings are done effectively, your team is engaged and inspired to reach a specific goal. So what to do to make your team meetings more effective? Here are some tips that might help:
1. Have An Agenda
An agenda is a list of things that you want to talk about in the meeting. This should be made before the meeting starts to allow you to gauge what issues should you prioritize. Having a meeting without an agenda is like dragging everyone into a room or call simply to waste their time.
Even if you don’t have any urgent issues and just conduct a team meeting because it was scheduled, you should still have an agenda. It could include things like toolbox talks, potential supply issues, catching up on how everyone is doing with their tasks, acknowledging successes, and eventually reminding everyone of the goals that you are trying to achieve.
Team meetings are not only done to talk about problems and solutions, they are also an opportunity to inspire your team. Having a team meeting without an agenda where you just talk about anything is not inspiring at all.
2. Engage Everyone
A team meeting is a chance for everyone in your team to build relationships to be able to work better with each other. So it’s only natural to make sure that everyone is engaged in the discussion.
Some managers just start the meeting by reading through the agenda without making any effort in connecting with the people in the room. You will not be able to ask people to work effectively if you don’t build rapport with them. Team meetings are time for you and your team to work together in order to make a decision or work on solving a problem.
Get everyone’s input by going around the room and asking them for their opinions on the issues at hand. Even if there are people who don’t like talking that much and would just like to keep quiet at the back of the room, if they know that you value their ideas and suggestions, they will be more interested in participating.
3. Stay on Track
When you start talking about a certain issue, most likely, you’ll remember other issues that you want to tackle, too. This is why having an agenda is important. It helps you stay on track and just cover what’s necessary.
It might be tempting to talk about personal stuff when people are gathered into one room, but remember that meetings are for discussions about issues and the direction that your company is taking.
There are also times that you just talk about the small urgent issues on hand and forget about the bigger picture. When you create your agenda, make sure that you talk about at least one major goal at first, followed by the other smaller urgent issues. This way, you don’t spend all of your time just working IN the business and forgetting about working ON the business.
4. Create Action Steps
Before everyone leaves the meeting, make sure that they know what they’re going to do next. Don’t just read out your to-do list. Ask everyone what they’re going to do once they are off the meeting. This way you’ll know if everyone’s on the same page and it will let you know who actually paid attention during the meeting.
Sometimes, people usually need to see what are required of them and when, for them to be able to work on it efficiently. So make sure that you have written actions steps.
5. Follow Through
Regardless of how perfectly you conducted the meeting, if it will not produce any result, it’s still ineffective.
Take note of what everyone said that they will do during the meeting and see to it that they are actually putting the plan into action. You don’t have to breathe down their neck every time. Just a casual follow-up would do to ensure that a task is moving forward.
Bonus Tip: Lighten It Up
Meetings doesn’t have to be something that would make everyone sleepy within a few minutes. Don’t make it seem like your team is going to an executioner every time you have your meetings. Lighten it up a bit. Add some fun like giving out rewards for those who did well or simply having your meeting in a different setting.
Team meetings are where you want your people to be creative in order to find a solution to your issues. They wouldn’t be able to think of something awesome if they are bored or hesitant to speak up.
Your team is only as effective as your meetings. Team meetings should be structured and well-managed so that your team will be able to accomplish what they need to do in order to achieve success for your company. Otherwise, your company will not be moving forward and you’ll be stuck in the same place for a long time.