First, why even have weekly staff meetings? Here are a few of many reasons:
- Provide clarity of the yearly and quarterly goals and tasks of the company
- Measure the weekly progress towards achieving these goals aligned to the company Vision.
- Improve employees’ motivation to work because they realize their importance in the company when tasks and goals are clear.
- Increase team productivity by helping everyone prioritize their tasks for the week.
- Reduce confusion and conflict between coworkers and departments.
- Highlight new processes and operating procedures as needed.
Now, how do you make these weekly staff meetings productive, interesting and pertinent? Here are a few suggested strategies:
Focus on the agenda. Have a clear-cut agenda with appropriate allocated time to address each item. Instead of trying to discuss 10 agenda items in 20 minutes, perhaps discuss the top 3 or 4 over 30 minutes.
Stick to a strict weekly schedule. Demonstrate discipline and show respect for participants' time by starting and ending your staff meetings as scheduled. Do this as a regular practice, develop a reputation for being on time, and expect the participants to be on time too.
Keep minutes: Different people can sit in the same meeting and walk away with different interpretations of what went on. Include information about what happened in the meeting: What did we decide on? Who's taking on which tasks? Then follow up to make sure things get done.
Accountability is key. Sometimes action items left over from past meetings can fall through the cracks if they are not nurtured and attended to. Before staff meetings adjourn, make sure that clear 'next actions' are generated, and accountability is established
Be a leader. Leadership means giving all meeting participants a chance to be heard. Inviting everyone to express their opinion enables the meeting to be an actual democracy. It is important to value everyone's experience and contributions from an employee morale perspective but keep to the agenda and measure progress to weekly goals.
Ban use of personal devices. It is a sign of disrespect when participants in meetings are busy with email or texting and are not paying attention. Disruptions cause time delays and reduce meeting efficiency.
Experiment with different formats. Staff meetings don't have to be the same old drudgery week after week. Rotating moderators from among the staff can keep things interesting and give others a chance to exercise their leadership muscles. Have staff standup when presenting their points during the meeting to cause them to think more quickly and get to the point. Also builds their confidence in speaking.
Come together using technology. While face-to-face meetings help create camaraderie and build relationships, they're not always possible when staff can't come together under the same roof. Virtual online meeting platforms will allow participants to see each other while meeting in real time.
Celebrate achievements and use positive feedback management to drive business momentum. As Clemens Rettich states, “The heart of business momentum is our people. Feedback is the heart of managing our people in a way that supports momentum.”
Positive and productive meetings can reinforce this drive of business momentum and provide clarity of vision and goals. Weekly meetings that include measurement and management of progress to achieving the goals provide traction to success.
Learn more about managing a traction-building team with our ebook on feedback management: