Team meetings are supposed to promote cohesiveness and allow managers to communicate issues affecting a company and its operations. However, they often end up causing the opposite. They can drag on for much longer than they should, and lead to confusion. As a manager, you might also end up completely disengaging employees who will now see them as a nuisance instead of a meaningful way to grow. There are many things that managers can do to get the most out of those meetings, however. Let’s take a look at a few of them.
Listen to Your People
Team meetings shouldn’t be about you speaking to your team; it should be a dialogue, and you should also make sure that you get your team’s input from time to time. Great meetings involve everybody and allow everyone to give their opinion. Managers receive a special formation and are therefore more qualified than the average floor employee, but you may never know when someone may give you valuable advice that could completely transform your perspective.
It’s sometimes the lowest-ranking employees who have to feel the impact of changing procedures and policies the most, so it would be wise to get their opinion as it will be representative of many people in your organization.
Don’t Make them Negative All the Time
You don’t want your employees’ stomachs to turn every time they hear about meetings. You shouldn’t talk with your employees only when there’s something wrong. This will make them feel like they’re constantly underperforming and will eventually start affecting their morale.
This is why you want to communicate to them both when things are going well, and when they’re not so great. Things like employee safety should never be neglected either. Showing that you care will go a long way in encouraging them and will keep them motivated for the next meetings. It will also make the pill easier to swallow when you do have to reprimand them.
Only Have the People Necessary There
Team meetings don’t have to involve the whole team. If there are production issues, there’s no need to get your salespeople involved. Having everyone present for every meeting is unnecessary and will end up annoying some of your team members. You should also rethink having daily briefings with everyone if you’re doing this. Only meeting with people when things concern them will ensure that you get an attentive group.
Let People Know What the Meetings are About
Meetings can happen for multiple reasons. Sometimes, it might be about policy changes, or it might be about performance. One thing you could do is have the meeting leader tell participants which subjects will be broached. This will help set the tone of the meetings.
You should also give them pointers on how much input they can give. If you’re going to have a meeting to speak about important decisions, let them know how much they will be involved in the process. Are you dictating what will happen, or will they be able to influence the decision? Are you trying to build consensus? All of this will help keep the meeting structured.
Even if they won’t have that much of an impact on the final decision, you have to make sure that everyone is on the same page and that they agree to follow through with the changes. This could be your chance to see if there might be trouble on the horizon.
Meetings are meant to solve issues, not create more of them, and if you see strong reactions, you could reconsider your decision. But don’t let your team tell you what you need to do when you know what’s good for the future of the company.
These are all things managers can do to start having more efficient and productive meetings. Look at all of these in detail, and never forget to let your team in on the process as much as possible.