In most offices, you’ll find that people dread team meetings. This is largely because they tend to rehash a lot of issues that people may be familiar with already. Also, people don’t feel like they have much of a say with regard to what the team is doing; they may not feel like their ideas are being heard when team meetings come around.
The fact is that team meetings take up a lot of time when people could be productive at their desks. So how do you get your team to pitch in enthusiastically when it comes to team meetings?
- Keep it Short: Make sure the team meeting doesn’t go over half an hour. This means that you need to have an agenda for the meeting, and the agenda shouldn’t have more than ten small or five medium-sized items on it.
- Combine It: There’s no point in having separate team meetings for separate issues if it is possible to wait and combine them. In fact, it makes sense to schedule your team meeting for one day every week. This way, you can talk to about all the issues that arose during the past week.
- Organize It: It helps if the team meeting is organized. This means that everyone should have a place to sit, should be able to see any presentations and should be able to hear whoever is speaking. It also helps to organize some coffee and snacks for the meeting.
- Involve People: Make sure that you involve the people in your team when you have a team meeting. Ask them what they think. Ask them for new ideas. Give each idea your full attention. If you can’t hash out an idea completely at the team meeting, then at least tell the person with the idea to speak to you about it later.
- Schedule It: If your team is out meeting clients in the morning, then have your team meeting in the afternoon or early evening. If your team members tend to be more busy in the afternoon, then have your meeting in the morning.
- Distribute an Agenda: When you’re talking about a certain project, make sure you write down the key points on a piece of a paper and make printouts for everyone at the meeting so that they are able to follow what you say.
- Don’t Be Long-winded: The purpose of the team meeting is to keep everyone on the same page. This can be done by going over things in a short, succinct manner at the meeting and then discussing things at length with the persons or departments
- Ask for Presentations: Even if you’re the head of the company or the department, you don’t need to run your team meeting on your own. You can ask the people working on a certain project to do a five-minute presentation about that project. The best way to get people involved in team meetings is to get them to talk, do presentations and share what they know.
- Take Minutes: No matter how alert your team may be, they’re not going to be able to remember everything from a team meeting, especially if there were ten things on the agenda. So make sure you have someone take minutes, type them up neatly (and concisely) and distribute them to everyone concerned.
- Go Out Afterwards: Sometimes, you can schedule your team meeting before lunch and go out with your team to lunch afterwards. Or you can schedule it at the end of the day and go out to dinner right after. Knowing that there’s something entertaining scheduled after the meeting can raise morale.
Remember that team meetings don’t have to be dull, boring affairs. By keeping your team meeting short and to the point as well as involving your entire team in the meeting, you can get everyone to participate enthusiastically.