Weekly staff meetings exist for a reason. It’s important for employees to be updated on the work that’s being done by their coworkers. Projects can often overlap, so it’s good to know about the processes that people are using and the progress that they’ve made.
But unfortunately, staff meetings also tend to be mind-numbingly dull. They’re generally long and repetitive, as each person provides a (sometimes lengthy) progress report. Occasionally there’s a new and interesting tidbit of information. But for the most part, the information that’s provided tends to be pretty monotonous and very similar to what was reported last week.
So what can be done to make staff meetings more engaging and less sleep-inducing? Author Alison Davis claims that you need to break the cycle of having one employee after another reporting on his or her progress. She recommends that meeting organizers try out new approaches and techniques, and she provides the following suggestions:
- Set some time limits – Don’t let people talk for an unlimited amount of time. Instead, tell employees that they each have one minute to provide their progress reports. Instituting a time limit will prevent the talkative people in the group from dominating the meeting and boring the rest of the attendees.
- Less reporting, more brainstorming – Don’t spend the whole meeting on progress reports. Instead, try asking the group questions about the challenges that your team is currently facing, and allow everyone to brainstorm about possible solutions.
- Change the venue – Do you always meet in the same conference room? If so, stir things up by changing the location. Meet outside if the weather is nice, or go to a café if it’s cold. The change of scenery will help to keep employees interested and alert.
- Get crafty – OK, I’m not so sure about this last idea. But Davis suggests that employees make posters about team initiatives or priorities using markers, old magazines, glue sticks, etc. I think this could possibly be a fun activity, as long as it was presented as a fun, goofy, team-building activity. But you probably wouldn’t want to plan these types of activities too often. If you did, I think people might feel like their time is being wasted.
Davis, A. (2017, November 20). Boring staff meetings? Do this 1 thing to improve every meeting from now on. Inc. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/alison-davis/boring-staff-meetings-do-this-1-thing-to-improve-every-meeting-from-now-on.html