Meetings are a great avenue to engage team members, allow them to air their concerns, make decisions, solve problems, and motivate better performance. However, when meetings are executed poorly, they can make employees feel exhausted rather than inspired. Make your next meeting more effective and engaging with these pointers:
Employees hate disjointed rumblings, awkward pauses, long introductions, lengthy words, and unnecessary details. When you find it challenging to articulate your points, your team members may likely roll their eyes or lost their interest in what you have to say. The best way to inspire engagement is to come well-prepared.
For instance, if you’re going to talk about workplace safety, you need to study the topic, prepare interesting videos or slides, and rehearse your talking points. You don’t need to use corporate buzzwords if it makes you feel uneasy. Be authentic, use conversational language, and incorporate humor. Treat it like performance and practice ahead of time, so you’ll never bore, annoy, or frustrate the participants.
2. Stick to the schedule.
One of the reasons why most employees dread meetings is the possibility that they’ll likely stay longer than the agreed time. This is because most meetings last way longer than they need to be. Research reveals that the participants’ focus and attention start to drop after 30 minutes.
So the longer the staff meeting lasts, the more attendees you lose. To start and end the session on time, you need to set a realistic duration for each plan. If a discussion takes longer than scheduled, create a parking lot for topics that will be addressed either on the next meeting or through individual follow up.
3. Encourage preparation.
Detail the topics that will be covered in the meeting and send the schedule to those attending several days in advance. Ask them to write their suggestions, opinions, or critical solutions. When given the time to prepare, your employees will have higher engagement, and the in-meeting discussion will likely be productive.
4. Choose the most appropriate time.
The best time to run a meeting will depend on your business and employees. Most organizations conduct meetings on Monday mornings or Friday afternoons. However, these aren’t the best time because your employees have either a lot of tasks to complete or suffering from end of week tiredness.
A study says that the best time to hold meetings is Tuesday afternoons around 2:30-3:00 pm. This is because they are still fresh from the weekend and not too tired to make good decisions.
5. Remember that meetings are meant for conversations.
You should not be the only person talking during the entire meeting. Encourage the participants to take a more active role by assigning them with relevant topics and asking them to share their insights with the group. Giving them responsibilities will make them pay attention and likely make them feel empowered.
Most employees perceive meetings as a stressful and soul-sucking experience. It’s like a curse where they have to endure long, repetitive, and tedious discussions. By following these suggestions, you can transform the curse into a cure, spark your employees’ engagement, and inspire them to develop a positive attitude.