Six Tips for Better Team Meetings

Linda Dulye's picture
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Staff meetings shouldn’t be a check-the-box item. They should be a core part of your workplace communications process.

Yet, we often hear complaints from managers and employees that staff meetings far too often lack clear purpose and focus.

If this resonates with your team, try these tips for reviving your staff meetings:

1. Determine outcomes. Establish goals for team meetings. Ask team members what they need from these meetings to do their jobs effectively. Meetings should achieve a purpose, not just kill time.

2. Create ownership. All too often “rank” determines who “owns” a staff meeting. That formula promotes spectators – as team members can take a ‘pass’ on sharing information or asking questions since they ultimately aren’t responsible for the meeting’s success. Change current paradigms and establish shared ownership for the meeting. Ownership requires more than just attendance. It involves participation, too.

3. Build an agenda. Spell out topics to be covered and assign a specific amount of time for each. This cuts down on confusion and off-topic rambling. A few days before your meeting, send a note to the team asking for their input on agenda topics. 

4. Assign roles. Minimize daydreaming by assigning key responsibilities to meeting participants, such as note taker or timekeeper. When action items arise, assign them immediately. The most important role, though, is everyone’s – and that’s participation.

5. Share meeting notes. Distribute your meeting notes to the team within 24 hours and post them to a shared resource – a Web page or shared drive – for those who missed the session.

6. Assess success. Meetings aren’t free so ensure that the investment of time is generating positive returns. Assess the success of each meeting in achieving outcomes identified by the agenda. Reserve a few minutes before the meeting concludes to gather team feedback on what went well and what didn’t. Capture improvement ideas, as well. Adjust accordingly and keep continuous improvement a standard in your staff meeting process.

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