Has this ever happened to you? You hold a meeting with your team members to motivate them and get everyone working together. You talk. They listen. They seem interested, yet revert to old behaviors after the meeting. Nothing has changed.
What you really want is to create lasting excitement and enthusiasm in your team members. You want to get and keep momentum going. Yet you’re not quite sure how to do this.
This is an Opinion
The following list of best practices for highly effective, short and sweet weekly team meetings is designed specifically for small-business owners:
► Have a set day and time for your weekly meeting. Stick to this day and time.
► Keep the meeting to under 30 minutes.
► Have a prepared agenda that is followed from week to week so that your team comes to anticipate and plan for the topics to be discussed.
► Start by talking about wins and successes from the previous week. Specifically call out wins and successes that reflect the immutable laws or core values of the company. This is an opportunity to continually shape team member behavior and attitudes. It is ongoing education about the values you want your team members to demonstrate.
Never shortchange the time to talk about wins and successes. You will find ways to leverage these with your team members.
► Share key performance indicator updates (are we on track or off track?).
► Issues, starting with any key performance indicators that are off track.
► Include open-ended questions that pertain to serving your best customers and driving profitability. For example, ask:
How did we take really good care of our best clients this week?
What opportunities do we have to improve our service?
How might we streamline our process?
What opportunities do we have to save money or make additional sales?
Questions like these lead to ongoing discussions with employees about how they add value to the company and the importance of profit. These questions get the conversation going and generate the team member input you have been wanting.
► Include ice breakers at the end of the meeting. This is a nice way to get side conversations going among employees. Icebreakers lead to conversations about hobbies and interests outside of work. Research has shown that team members who have a friend at work keep their jobs longer than those who don’t.
► When topics come up that threaten to derail the agenda, put the topics in the “parking lot” and make a plan to include the topic on an upcoming agenda.
► Run a few of these meetings to nail the agenda you want to use, then delegate the facilitation of the meetings to one of your team members. This allows you to function as a participant in the meeting, which can actually improve the back-and-forth dialogue among team members. Bonus: You can take a vacation and the meetings will occur in your absence!
Try these best practices with your next team meeting. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the employee engagement that builds week after week.