8 tips for running successful staff meetings

by April Cummins

If you’re a business manager, a CEO or hold any type of leadership position in a company, it’s likely that you have to organize and run staff meetings. Regular meetings are a great way to discuss any changes/updates within the company and further motivate your employees to create and achieve their performance goals. Unfortunately for managers, the reputation of staff meetings is typically poor; they are often viewed as boring or a significant waste of time. On the contrary, if done correctly, they can be a great opportunity to raise employee morale, increase greater job performance and align your employees with your company goals. In this blog, I will discuss 8 tips for running successful staff meetings.

Tip #1: Create and follow an agenda 

Although this sounds over-simplified, it’s one of the most forgotten and misused tools in creating a successful staff meeting. One of the biggest mistakes managers can make is not creating a clear, concise list of discussion points before a meeting. This can lead to your group easily going off-topic or running out of time and not accomplishing what you set out to do. Set a clear agenda that employees can follow during the meeting so they know what to expect. Plan ahead of time so you know your own goals for the meeting. Putting in a clear plan of action and execution is key to improving the overall performance of staff meetings.

Tip #2: Take time to celebrate and discuss recent accomplishments 

Your employees want to feel recognized. For example, maybe it was someone’s 2-year work anniversary or a large sale was made in the last few weeks. Pointing out something positive in every staff meeting will help boost employee morale and make them feel special. Any accomplishment, whether big or small should be rewarded from time to time. LinkedIn’s “Inside the Mind of Today’s Candidate” report revealed that when asked what would make them feel like they belong at a company, 59% reported being recognized for their achievements as their answer.

Tip #3: Change things up

There is nothing more disinteresting than hearing the word “staff meeting” and knowing you’re walking into a boring, stale atmosphere for the next hour. Do you get a sense your employees are excited to meet with you when you hold a meeting? If the answer is no then you need to do something about it. The less excited your employees are, the lower their participation and overall attentiveness will be towards what you are discussing. Don’t be predictable and make sure to switch things up. For example, meet in a different space each week or bring snacks for your employees to enjoy. Think of creative ideas your group can do with each other to make things more enjoyable each time you meet.

Tip #4: It’s all about presentation 

How you communicate and present your talking points in a meeting is critical to maintaining your staff’s attention. Do you always use PowerPoint to get your information across? Are you always the main speaker during meetings and don’t engage other individuals to talk? Think of different techniques you can utilize to involve your employees in discussions. For example, move past the “one-way” presentation style and hold open discussions as you sit with your employees in a circle.

Tip #5: Engagement and holding your employee’s attention

How often have you held a staff meeting only to notice that around the 10-minute mark everyone’s attention starts to fade? There’s a reason for that. According to molecular biologist, John Medina, people seem to get bored after approximately ten minutes—and it occurs in most business presentations or lectures. According to a Forbes Magazine article written by Senior Contributor Carmine Gallo, neuroscientists have found that the best way to re-engage a person’s attention when it begins to fade is to change the way you deliver the content. Consider holding a question and answer period about the topic of discussion every 10 minutes. Ask your employees about their current mood or if they are enjoying what they’re working on.

Tip #6: Set collective goals, as a group

It is important to make your employees feel like they are all working towards a common goal. A team atmosphere can drive success. According to a study conducted by BetterUp; a company that specializes in coaching programs, higher organizational belonging was linked to a 56% increase in job performance, a 50% drop in turnover risk, and a 75% reduction in sick days. For a large-scale company, this would result in millions of dollars in annual savings. Instead of setting individual goals for each employee, try creating larger-scale group goals. This will help create a sense of togetherness and motivate staff to work together as a team.

Tip #7: Follow up with your employees post-meeting

Following an engaging and successful meeting with your employees, consider giving additional information to drive home the impact of what was discussed. Make sure every team member has a written copy of the goals your group made to remind them of the task at hand and to keep them on track. Allow your employees to ask any additional questions that may have that weren’t brought up during the meeting. Put these answers in writing and encourage them to ask more if necessary. 

Tip #8: Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback

The only way you can get better at anything is to ask for feedback and constructive criticism. Allow your employees to fill out surveys answering questions about your staff meetings. Do they enjoy them? What do they think could be improved? How effective do they think your meetings are? How well do they feel the flow of communication and information is? Make sure to conduct these types of surveys on a regular basis in order to prevent staleness and a cycle of poor, unproductive meetings. This is another example of allowing your team to feel like they work in a collaborative environment where their opinions matter. Additionally, consider hiring a business consultant to evaluate your leadership/management skills. Getting some outside help from an expert can provide an unbiased opinion on the operations of your business and help discover where you may be lacking.

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