Running an effective staff meeting

From seeing The Office, we know that staff meetings can often spiral into complete time wasters! However effective team meetings are a great way to collaborate with the team, communicate a vision and solve problems.

From seeing The Office, we know that staff meetings can often spiral into complete time wasters! However effective team meetings are a great way to collaborate with the team, communicate a vision and solve problems. With that in mind, we need to know how to run a team meeting to get the benefits, without wasting everyone's time. In this blog, we will explore when you need to run a staff meeting and how to run an effective one!

When do I need to run a staff meeting?

There are many instances where staff meetings are necessary, and of course, many times when you could go without. Here are a couple of times when you should run a meeting (and a couple when you shouldn’t!):

Run the meeting!

  • Onboarding: You’ve just hired someone new, they have a lot to learn! Go through the company, their role, future projects and anything else of importance. The message will come across very clear and it will help foster relationships between you and the new employee from the beginning. Whether it's a 1-on-1 meeting or a team meeting, onboarding meetings are ones you simply cannot skip!
  • Brainstorming: Some of the worlds best ideas come from collaboration! Without collaboration, we never would have seen things like computers or the internet. Brainstorming is one of the best ways to solve problems and come up with the best new ideas. While you might think your ideas are absolute masterpieces, other people's input can actually improve those ideas and get you out of a stubborn mindset. So if a problem has come up or you’re working on a creative new marketing campaign, get the team together for a whiteboard sesh!
  • Feedback: Whether the feedback is positive or negative, it’s always a good idea to meet with your team or employee to discuss the feedback. Providing them with a list over email won’t clearly convey the feedback and can come across as quite hurtful at times. Having a face-to-face (or virtual) meeting can help get the information across and reflect all feedback in a positive way.
  • Budget: Miscommunication often surrounds finances, so get the team together to chat about everything. Make it clear what is to be spent, what the spend is going towards and most importantly, the return on investment (ROI). Financial tensions are terrible, and the good old meeting will help minimise those tensions. 

Please I beg of you, not a meeting!

  • General updates: There is honestly no need to gather an entire team to chat about what they’re all up to and how those things are going! Thanks to our trusty technology, updates can be provided via email or a virtual communication tool like Slack. These updates are usually only quick ones. If it’s an ongoing project with a large team, maybe you’ll want to gather every so often. But with general day-to-day updates, a physical meeting is going to waste your time, and your employees time.
  • Meetings with no agenda: If a meeting has been set without a clear goal as to why the meeting is being held, it’s bound to be a time waster! You need to be sure why this meeting is running and what is to be gained from the meeting. If you don’t have either of those, are you sure a meeting is necessary?
  • Physical meetings as a default: Yes, this is your classic Michael Scott meeting. Having a conference room meeting is the default way to communicate with staff so you just continue doing it. If this is a habit you’re guilty of, it’s time to break it! Maybe start by having virtual meetings. After a while you may be comfortable enough to switch over to email or other forms of communication and those conference room meetings will become a thing of the past!

How do I run an effective staff meeting?

Now that you know when to run a meeting (and more importantly, when not to) you’re ready to run an effective staff meeting. So here are a couple tips to get you started on running the best meeting you can:

  • Always have an agenda: We touched on this earlier, but we can’t stress just how important an agenda is! Note what your key talking points are, what the aim of the meeting is and let your team know if there is any preparation required for the meeting. This will drastically improve the effectiveness of your meeting.
  • Make the meeting inclusive: It’s no good just talking at people for 30 minutes. Encourage team members to ask questions and contribute ideas and then switch up presenters too! This is going to empower your employees to be more involved, creative and engaged during these meetings. 
  • Leave with clarity: Next steps for after the meeting should be clearly defined and attendees of your meetings should have no unresolved issues or questions. Ensure tasks are assigned and that notes from the meeting are distributed to your team. That way if something is forgotten, your team can go back and review the content and you will  know your team is all on the same page.

Staff meetings are by no means an outdated form of communication. Team meetings are a great way to solve problems and come up with new ideas and effective team meetings do just that! So do away with the old time wasters and embrace our tips for an effective staff meeting.

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