What if staff meetings were fun? What if your employees looked forward to, and enjoyed, meeting with their team? In many workplaces, these ideas sound far-fetched, but it doesn’t have to be that way. With a bit of creative thinking, you can turn your weekly meetings from a necessary evil into a productive, enjoyable experience.
1. Plan Your Weekly Meetings Carefully
Making staff meetings fun doesn’t mean they should be a free-for-all. Quite the opposite, in fact. One of the things employees dread most about staff meetings is their tendency to become derailed at the slightest distraction, careening endlessly from one topic to another. Instead, make sure you have a specific agenda, and do not stray from your plan. If an unexpected issue comes up, it can be dealt with in a later meeting or within a specific department.
2. Keep a Positive Tone
Though a major reason to meet as a team is to deal with project roadblocks and other drains on productivity, a group meeting is not the best setting to berate a subordinate. Major issues, such as poor performance, should only be addressed if they benefit from the input of the group as a whole. Instead, use group staff meetings primarily as a chance for each team member to give an update on their progress and to bounce ideas off each other.
3. Try Something New
What do you see in your head when you picture a staff meeting? A conference room, perhaps, with people seated around a long table looking at PowerPoint presentations? If you want your team to enjoy their weekly meetings, try shaking things up a bit. In 2018, every single member of your staff carries more computing power in their pocket than a state-of-the-art conference room from a decade ago. There’s nothing stopping you from taking your meetings on the move, and a change of scenery (think outside, perhaps, with fresh air around you) could bring your dreary meetings back to life.
4. Waste Some Time
Though your time is valuable, many managers see good results by handling meetings with an informal, playful tone. Especially as an ice-breaker at the beginning of a meeting, a simple game (such as asking each participant their favorite movie or what their “desert island” books would be) can help your team bond while setting a healthy tone for what’s to come.
5. Treat Yourself
Many managers forget a lesson any 10-year old could teach: Snacks make everything better. When pulling together a staff meeting, there should be something for your team to look forward to. Don’t just stuff your normal coffee maker into a corner and put out a bowl of mints, either. Take this chance to order or bring in something interesting and special. This way, your employees will actually look forward to these meetings as a stimulating break.
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