When you’re running a business large or small, team meetings are an essential part of your operations; whether it be to introduce new team members or give your staff important updates on any company changes, meetings are part-and-parcel of the workplace experience.
But are weekly team meetings necessary? In an evolving world of digital work, team meetings can easily be streamlined and condensed, so that office productivity – whether it be remote or in-house – isn’t negatively impacted.
In this guide, we’re going to take a look at how organisations can conduct team meetings most effectively, while also ensuring that meetings remain engaging, productive, and helpful for all staff members. Let’s take a look!
What are team meetings for?
A team meeting should be seen as a way for both management and staff members to discuss current operations, address any ongoing concerns when it comes to workflow, and keep one another up-to-date on business operations. While aims may vary from company to company, the general goals of a team meeting should be as follows:
- Updating staff members on any new changes
- Discussing ongoing operations
- Brainstorming ways to optimise current workflow
- Announcing any new projects or initiatives
- Checking in with employees
- Discussing any concerns about tasks or objectives
Again, these are just some general aims that companies and leaders should consider when conducting a team meeting, but it’s not always necessary to cover each topic every team meeting.
Are weekly team meetings effective?
When conducted in an engaging way, weekly team meetings can be an effective way for management and staff to go over any issues, discuss current operations and find new, more effective ways to achieve their objectives.
Plus, weekly team meetings have the advantage of being short and concise; if an organisation chooses to conduct a monthly team meeting, the accumulation of concerns and topics to cover can mean that the meeting lasts much longer, impacting office productivity and cutting into working hours.
On the downside, many employees find that weekly team meetings swallow up office productivity and prevent them from achieving their aims and objectives during the work day. Even management professionals agree: one study by Harvard Business Review found that across various sectors, 71% of managers found meetings to be both unproductive and inefficient. So, how can organisations ensure efficiency when it comes to communicating with their teams?
When you don’t need a staff meeting
To improve the efficiency of team meetings, it’s important to first identify when they’re necessary – and more important, when they’re not. While team meetings should be conducted on a regular basis, they’re not always strictly necessary – and in some cases, a simple group email will suffice. In general, you shouldn’t organise a team meeting unless the following criteria are met:
- You’re clear about the topic of the meeting.
- The presence of all invited team members is necessary.
- The meeting cannot be summed up in an email.
- Employee discussion is necessary.
- Benefits of virtual address mail forwarding
And in general, you can feel free to skip over a meeting if it meets the following criteria:
- You’re simply transferring information. If the contents of the meeting can easily be summed up in an email, there’s no need to host a meeting and waste office time.
- You’re not sure what the meeting will entail. Before hosting a meeting, you want to ensure that you’re not going to be wasting employees’ time. Always define a clear objective for the meeting before sending out those e-invites.
- You don’t have all the information you need. If you’re lacking in information, resources, notes, or minutes, hold off on the meeting – you’ll end up having to host the same meeting again when you get hold of all the necessary materials you need, wasting company time.
How to host team meetings with remote employees?
If you’re operating a digital workplace, or your employees work remotely, you can still host effective time meetings. If you use a digital business address (also known as a virtual address) you’ll usually have access to meeting rooms in London a few times throughout the year. You can also make use of Zoom, Skype, and other video chatting platforms that allow group calls to host your meetings.
How to make weekly team meetings engaging?
And if you do want to stick to weekly team meetings, here are a few tips to make them more effective and engaging for all employees:
Stick to a schedule
Nobody likes having a meeting sprung on them at the last minute; this is why it’s always a good idea to have your weekly meetings on the same day, and at the same time every week. This will prevent any schedule clashes amongst employees, and will also ensure that employees are prepared in advance to discuss any questions or concerns that they may have about their tasks or responsibilities. A schedule also allows for effective planning around other company activities, so it’s a good idea to pick a time and stick to it.
Create a meeting agenda
One effective way to ensure that team meetings are engaging is to create an agenda, where you split the meeting into different segments. Not only does this make it less boring for employees, but it also means that you won’t forget any important discussions or topics. For example, the first 15 minutes of the meeting could be dedicated to listening to employee concerns, the next 20 minutes dedicated to management updates, and so forth. This is effective in keeping employees engaged, but it also helps prevent wasted time; if all topics are discussed and resolved in 20 minutes, employees can be dismissed from the meeting early and continue their office tasks. There’s no point in sticking to a 90 minute meeting just for the sake of it.
It’s a cliché point, but it’s a cliché for a reason; employees are much more likely to be engaged and immersed in an employee meeting if you use visuals in your meeting. You can use visuals to track company performance (such as graphs or charts) and use these to amplify the points being made in the meeting. Obviously, there’s no point in using visuals if it’s not going to add anything to the discussion; however, where relevant, making use of visual aids can help keep your employees engaged.
Don’t invite everybody
Sometimes, inviting everybody to the meeting is a net negative for company productivity. Before hosting the meeting, go over your notes and objectives and think clearly about who needs to be present. Managers can easily foster low employee morale by insisting on company-wide meetings in which topics that are irrelevant for the majority of staff are discussed (hello, Michael Scott!). To ensure efficiency, make sure that you invite only those who’d benefit from being present.
The bottom line
Overall, the value of a team meeting lies in its agenda; what are the objectives of the meeting, which staff members need to be in attendance, and what do my employees gain from this meeting? If you’re able to address these three points before conducting a meeting, you’ll find that your employees are more engaged in staff meetings, and company productivity isn’t going to suffer as a result.