Every Monday morning at 10:00am, my team and I gather together to do this thing called a team meeting. I know that I am supposed to have them, I know that they are supposed to be mandatory and include important topics, but it seems like by the end of it I have simply given a speech and my team is disinterested and seem more unmotivated than they did when they first entered the meeting space. What am I doing wrong?
Team meetings are important, but not because having a meeting is important. They are important because COMMUNICATION is important. Communicating with your team is crucial to their total support, needed direction, and overall productivity. Team meetings should also do more than throw information at your team, but rather be a conversation. There are so many things that can and should be accomplished during a team meeting to increase their effectiveness (and to make employees actually look forward to them).
Tip #1: Come with a plan
Any meeting or event without a plan becomes time that is wasted on rabbit trail conversations and maybe even missed subjects that need to be discussed. Meetings are an event, events need a prior thinking and planning. Do yourself and your team a favor by thinking about the upcoming team meeting days before hand (not just minutes beforehand) to come up with an agenda that is going to include what needs to be discussed. Try and be as specific as possible with this agenda. While it doesn’t need to be handed out to those in attendance, it doesn’t hurt to for the sake of keeping everyone on track with the conversation.
Tip #2: Include praise
Repeat after me, “Do not only include financial metrics in your meetings” now repeat it again. Got it?
Sure, a financial or a goal completion update is a good thing to have in a team meeting, but it is going to be a great section that is probably going to be dismissed by most. If you really want to boost the creativity, morale, and productivity of your team then start adding moments of praise to your team meetings. These can be simple things like a shoutouts to a particular team members for the hard work or above and beyond results they are accomplishing, or even read out customer compliment emails that you have recieved since the last meeting to not only recognize the hard work that team member is doing, but also creates a desire from other team members to want to go above and beyond to get their name in a customer compliment email.
Take a moment to actually thank your team, and not half-heartedly or out of habit. Be genuine, use the days before the meeting to examine and reflect on who has done what to make your team and your business successful since the last meeting. If you want to reward them with something, even better, but that is not always required.
Tip #3: Focus the group on what they need to do together to achieve this weeks goals
Now that you have maybe gone over some financial metrics or results and given praise where praise is due, it is time to revert back to the company mission. Why are you here? Why are we all here doing what we do? Who are we serving? Why do we serve them? What can we do better this week to serve them better? This part of the meeting shouldn’t just be “Ok Bill, you need to make 3 more business partnerships this week for us to hit our goal”, but rather a reminder on “the why” behind it all.
After the team has answered and reflected on “the why”, then you can ask what they are going to commit to doing this week to meet the numerical goals that need to be hit or accomplish the task list that needs to be finished. Make them make the commitment instead of telling them what they need to do. Making a commitment will show real quickly by the time of the next meeting who keeps their word and who doesn’t, and will also show who asks for help to make sure their word is kept and who doesn’t care enough to do so.
Tip #4: Give room for feedback time
Always, always, always, give room for your team to give feedback. This time is NOT meant to be a complaining session, rather it is to be time where new ideas are explored and voiced. If there is only one thing that you learn from this #4 section, it is that your team should know not to bring up a complaint unless they either have ideas for a solution to go with it, or unless it is something that they need help addressing because they do not have the authority to fix it.
Ask questions and listen. Your team has something to say.
Tip #5: Make it a conversation. Not a speech.
I can’t ever personally think of a team meeting that I went to that wasn’t a conversation where I was focused on what was being said the whole time. When someone is giving a speech, it can be hard to focus on their rambling for long periods of time. Make the team meeting a dialogue. When others are involved in what is being discussed, they will want to be involved as well. Involved everyone individually in the meeting with tasks or things that have happened since the last meeting that are on the agenda (see what I did there, needs to be on the agenda 🙂 ). Discuss it all together, because after all, you are a team.