What Would Your Employees Say?
Have you ever stopped to calculate the cost of holding a meeting? The time it takes? The salaries of the people in attendance? When you start to think about it that way, your perspective might change and then reinvent the way to deliver meetings? The point is, don’t hold a meeting, just to hold a meeting.
Set the Tone
The role of the leader is to set the tone for the meeting. In most cases, this will be a positive tone. Whether these meetings are group meetings or one one meetings, the day and time should be set. An agenda should be created in advance of the meeting and sent to all participants. It also helps to ask for agenda items to be included from participants. You may have a standing agenda template with standard issues to be discussed to keep you on point.
Decide on the purpose of the meeting. Is this meeting informational, brainstorming, problem solving, strategic planning, operational review, etc.?
Include the Right People
Decide on who should attend the meeting. Just because you are holding a meeting does not mean the same people should attend each time. It will depend on the topics of the agenda. This will actually save you time and money if you have the right people attending the meeting and they are not an afterthought.
Start on Time
Meetings should start and end on time. This is a respect issue for all involved.
Plan Your Opening
I find that opening with a positive story about the organization, or employee works well. It could be a quick 2 to 5 minute inspirational video on topic. It could be a quote that sets the tone of the meeting. It could be metrics achieved. It could be something as simple as let’s share something positive that is happening with you and your department.
It sets the expectation. Too many times, we as managers just focus on the problems. Obviously, that is what we are being paid for. As the leader your job is to inspire and motivate your team. The meeting is the perfect place to do this. Your employees should leave that meeting feeling better than when they walked in, more focused and clear about what needs to be done and by when.
Record Your Action Items & Minutes
During the meeting, each action item should have a person responsible and timeline. The date should be set for the next meeting before leaving this meeting. This will provide clarity. The date of the next meeting is important even if it is a standing meeting due to employee travels schedules, vacation and possible other commitments. The leader needs to know who to expect at the next meeting or if others should attend or of the meeting should be delayed.
Finally, minutes should be taken and sent out within 24 to 72 hours. The minutes will be fresh enough in the participant’s minds and a reminder of what is expected for the next meeting.
Once you set the tone and expectation, your team will respect how important the meeting is and how they can contribute and their accountability. If you model it, they will follow.