Staff meetings can be a drag, but they don’t have to be! Although not all meetings are created equal, they share core benefits. Productive staff meetings can yield excellent team building, provide helpful feedback, generate innovative project ideas. Meetings are also a great way of disseminating information and business goals.

Here are some recommendations for effective staff meetings.

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1. Establish if you need the meeting

Staff meetings take time from your business, and time is money! We know that clear communication is an essential part of every business, but when are meetings necessary? For starters, consider what your main goals are for holding a staff meeting. Some ideas include: to keep everyone informed and up to date, to collaborate on solving a problem, and to encourage positivity in the workplace. Outlining the purpose is a must to run successful staff meetings.

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2. Have regular meetings

Everyone benefits from consistency and continuity. Establish a routine where meetings occur on the same day at the same time. For example, schedule to gather every Monday or first of the month before the workday begins. When your staff is aware of what is expected, they can efficiently plan their schedule around staff meetings. They will feel more prepared and look forward to adding to the discussion.

3. Create a meeting agenda

Every productive meeting needs a specific objective or goal. The objective gives the guidance and aids everyone with staying on track. Once the goal has been defined, it’s time to build the meeting agenda. A proper agenda should include: the goal of the meeting, a list of topics to be covered, a roster of participants, and their roles. Don’t forget to share your meeting agenda with your staff so that they know what to expect. Keep a digital folder of all your agendas for you to look back and see what has been covered.

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4. Lay down meeting rules

Team meetings often go off on tangents and sometimes finish without any key takeaways. Order keeps the team motivated and your business plans on track. Here are key guidelines to put into place:

Start on time and end on time. You want to build a culture in which your team is accountable to customers, their peers, to themselves, and to you. Being on time may seem insignificant in the grand scheme, but it’s a good place for accountability to start.

Make sure everyone participates. Staff meetings are opportunities to develop solutions for problems, which is why it’s so important to have everyone’s participation. Instead of a few ideas contributed by one or two vocal team members, everyone generate ideas. This approach brings more ideas of higher quality and diversity to the table. Give everyone a chance to contribute to the discussion and ensure that all team members feel heard. You can draw out shy team members by requesting their specific input on a problem you’re trying to solve.

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Negative behavior is not tolerated. Create a safe environment by eliminating sarcasm and put-downs. If you have a significant critique, keep it one-on-one. Encourage team members to say one positive thing to counterbalance each critique.

End meetings with an action plan. Meetings are pretty useless unless they end with a list of next steps. Each action item should detail an owner and a due date. This will allow you to monitor progress and keep team members on track.

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As it is often said: “Communication works for those who work at it.” By holding regular staff meetings, we have a good chance of closing the gap on miscommunication. End every staff meeting and huddle with rewards and high-fives. What gets rewarded, gets repeated!

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P.S. If you’re willing to learn more about this topic and hear directly from the experts themselves, make sure to check out the Iconic Conference hosted by Vagaro in September 2022.