As an advisor to small business, I find the businesses that hold regular meetings are also the businesses that run more efficiently. (i.e. make more money!)
Here are some tips to consider to have productive team meetings:
1) Have a meeting every week – Dedicate a specific time and day of the week for the meeting.
2) If some employees cannot attend – have the meeting anyway. I see meetings being cancelled because not everyone can make it. I suggest you hold the meeting anyway. The non-attendees will find out what they missed informally.
3) Create a smaller group with representation from each area of the business if logistics don’t allow for a full team meeting and remember it is important to respect work schedules and time off. Most businesses have a “grapevine” and usually there is one or two employees who can speak for many others. If you recognize that this informal communication exists, you can more efficiently invite the group representatives to the meetings and they will spread the word about the meeting though their grapevine.
4) Keep the meetings a short as possible. If you haven’t held regular meetings before, the first few meetings will take a while to get the routine down. Once the routine is established, the meetings will become more efficient and effective.
5) Publish the agenda ahead of the meeting. If you are looking to gather input and ideas, make it known ahead of the meeting. I used to ask for ideas at our weekly meetings and received very little input. I discovered this wasn’t because the team didn’t have any – it was because I didn’t give them sufficient time to consider the question!
6) Keep short written notes for the meetings. This gives clarity to the issues addressed at the meeting and provides clearer communications to the employees who did not attend.
A final thought is about starting the meetings on time. I believe if you delay the meeting due to late arrivals, you are actually rewarding those who come late and punishing those who got there on time. I suggest start the meeting on time, every time.
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