In some organizations, an employee meeting can be a dreaded event. A Lengthy, dull presentation can leave workers feeling drained and ambivalent towards the meeting’s significance. The purpose of a meeting is to inform, inspire and motivate your team to perform at their best. Whether you’re holding an all-staff meeting or talking with smaller groups, it’s essential to captivate the audience and keep them involved in the discussion. You can improve your employee meetings and keep them entertaining by using the following suggestions.
Depending on the size of your business, you may be fond of holding frequent meetings. Large organizations demand a high degree of collaboration amongst their teams and often have weekly or biweekly team meetings. When you’re planning your meeting schedule, try to minimize the number of sessions to maximize their effectiveness. Your company may not need a meeting every week to reach employees, but your managers can hold daily briefings with teams to provide essential updates. Before scheduling a lecture, ask yourself if the topic warrants a full meeting. Is it a topic that demands an hour-long discussion, or can you send emails to your team instead? For large staff meetings, you can develop an outline that details the session’s main topics and goals. Practice your main speaking points and try to add humor or levity into your meeting to keep your audience entertained and alert.
When scheduling meetings, consider how the discussion will affect the standard workflow around the office. Although many business owners prefer to hold meetings in the late afternoon after business hours, you might consider scheduling a session in the morning or after lunch. It may be challenging to have a lecture during a hectic workday, but you’ll discover how much easier you can hold your workers’ attention when they’re not exhausted from their duties. By having an early meeting, your team can return to work, process what you discussed and hopefully implement improvements based on the discussion.
Opening With Levity
Although meetings are important events that benefit managers and employees, you should avoid shouting at your team like a drill instructor. You may have to discuss serious problems that have developed or talk to employees about insufficient performance levels, but you shouldn’t try to intimidate your team with threats or dire warnings. Even when you have to relay bad news, meetings should be cordial events. Take a lighter approach to your speaking style and open your sessions by thanking your team for coming. You don’t have to tell a round of jokes to lighten things up, but you can start with an interesting anecdote about your business experiences as a young executive. Ease your staff into the meeting and take a few minutes before discussing problems or unfavorable predictions. Like a sales presentation, a staff meeting should convince your audience that your topic is essential and will benefit their lives.
Staying on Topic
Effective meetings are brief and to the point. After a grueling day at the office, the last thing your staff needs is a long-winded speech that reiterates the company’s goals and expectations. Place yourself in your team’s shoes and consider how you would react to the discussion and how it would benefit your work performance. Stick to your main topic and try not to let your lectures wander off into wild tangents. If you pass out a syllabus before the meeting that details the main point of discussion, avoid repeating the information word for word. Your company is not a schoolhouse, and you shouldn’t treat your staff like elementary students listening to a rigid instructor. Although you may have serious problems to discuss, avoid calling out individual employees for poor performance or mistakes. Smaller team discussions or individual sessions with managers are better suited to address employee issues. Putting a worker on the spot in front of their peers will only embarrass them, and it’s unlikely that the employee will feel motivated or willing to improve.
Your meetings shouldn’t be one-sided events where you lecture to your staff without feedback. After discussing a topic, ask your team if they have any questions or concerns. Your employees may bring up important points that you haven’t considered, and you should commend them for their input. When your team is more engaged in the discussion, they can contribute valuable insights to solve a problem or improve techniques.
An excellent way to inspire your employees is to hire guest speakers to give lectures at your meeting. Although some corporations prefer to send their staff to conferences held by motivational speakers, your team will benefit more by listening to an expert in their field. Popular motivational speakers charge high rates for their speeches, but they only offer a generalized view of business practices. Find a professional that specializes in your area of operation and provides valuable advice. Research the potential speakers carefully to determine if their insights are suited for your company, and look for recordings of their previous lectures to see if their speaking style will motivate your staff. For instance, if your business focuses on IT services, you can hire an accomplished web developer whose innovations changed the industry. Your employees will benefit more from an informative and interesting lecture given by an expert, and you’ll spend far less on lecture fees than you would on an overpriced conference or motivational event.
An all-staff meeting is an ideal time to announce essential company developments. After giving a brief introduction, you can discuss your company’s achievements over the last quarter and how you plan to implement new techniques or policies. Call attention to exceptional workers whose efforts have benefited your company and discuss ways to improve your operations. Always start your meetings with positive information and work your way down to the critical issues. If you begin a lecture with a tirade about your team’s poor performance, your employees are less likely to appreciate or benefit from the remainder of the speech.
Bad news is never easy to deliver. Reporting losses in revenue, inadequate productivity levels or a public relations disaster should be handled with care. Remain calm when you’re reporting a disturbing revelation and ask your team for their input. Every organization faces a dilemma at some point in time, but you can rise above the challenge with your staff’s help. After discussing a serious issue, ask your people how would you correct this? Solving a problem is much simpler when you support your employees and respect their ideas for possible solutions.
To liven up your meeting and keep your employees engaged, you can offer incentives. In a memo preceding the session, you can mention that a catered lunch will be provided after the lecture. For afternoon meetings after a long workday, a gourmet meal is an incredible enticement. By announcing the incentives beforehand, you’ll give your staff something to look forward to in the meeting. Typically, a meeting announcement is met with dismay and indifference, but when you promote the perks associated with the session, your staff will be more receptive to your concerns.
Although your staff may regard company meetings as a hassle, you can use the previous tips to improve your lectures and inspire your workforce.