Staff meetings are a great way to brainstorm new ideas for the business and do a round-up of the current happenings in the company. How can you make them more effective?
In order to facilitate a good meeting, there are a few things business owners can do to make the most out of the session.
So rather than making a staff meeting something employees dread, here are five tips for effective staff meetings:
- Encourage participation. Nothing is worse than holding a staff meeting where only one person is talking the whole time and no one gives any feedback. To avoid that scenario, business owners should either give employees a topic to brainstorm before the meeting or a few minutes after a presentation to write down their thoughts. It's also important to let employees know that their ideas are important to the company and they should feel comfortable sharing them, the Harvard Business Review suggests.
- Avoid tasteless jokes. It's one thing to joke about a misspelling on a company handout, but it's another to make sexist, racist, or generally offensive jokes at a staff meeting. In fact, it could get you sued. For example, insurance company AIG was sued by its former in-house counsel who claimed he was taunted with "Fat Albert" jokes for being African American and overweight.
- Have an agenda ready. Before the meeting, create an agenda or send out an email about what you'd like to cover at the meeting, so everyone is prepared to discuss those topics. The agenda will also help keep the conversations on point and facilitate communication.
- Include visuals. A meeting where you're all just starting at each other can get pretty boring. So try to include some visuals, whether it be a PowerPoint presentation, charts, or even use a white board to write down ideas. This will also give you or your employees a chance to get out of their chairs, according to Entrepreneur.
- Set the mood. You might want to create a sense of urgency at the beginning of the meeting so people won't want to miss the opening, Entrepreneur advises. For example, business owners can start a meeting by asking for new product ideas and then go into sales numbers after that.
Bottom line: An effective staff meeting requires organization and encouragement from management to get the employees involved and excited about attending.
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