Productive Meetings

There is seldom anything more important than communicating and engaging staff. Productive team meetings are a powerful tool in creating a great culture and thriving business. They are instrumental in gaining buy-in from staff on new ideas and making them feel engaged in the company’s mission as a whole. Harvard Business Review April 2019 study finds staff feel threatened by new ideas, processes, or implementations in business as they worry that their jobs or role in the firm may be threatened. Team meetings give you a chance to empathize with each role in the company and address any concerns that a person may have about their own responsibilities changing. 

The secret to productive team meetings is identifying the list of team meetings and topics, agenda outline, frequency, and participants. A team meeting is only as effective as the effort that is put into it. Here are some starting points:

Establish list of internal team meetings, frequency, and participants:

  • Team – weekly 
  • Staff Training – monthly
  • Business Planning – weekly when very busy with improvement projects; monthly when not
  • Operations Management – weekly
  • Financial – quarterly
  • Marketing – monthly
  • Bus Development – monthly
  • Compliance (if applicable) – quarterly

 

Set Ground Rules. Each type of meeting should have a standing agenda that outlines the major items to cover, reports to reference, and items to document as decisions are made. Always end a meeting with a recap of items learned and items to be completed post-meeting. 

Encourage Involvement. Encourage all team members to contribute to the agenda in advance of the meeting.  Post the meeting agenda on your CRM calendar so it is accessible and editable by all. This encourages involvement, provides quiet people with a method of communicating, and prepares the meeting facilitator.

Promote open and honest communication. Team members should feel safe to express their perceptions and opinions.  Each perspective should be evaluated, considered, and taken on its own merit. As Lencioni says in The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, “…healthy conflict is actually a time saver.”  While other team members may not agree, you must insist that they treat all speakers with courtesy and respect. Healthy disagreements are just as productive as agreements.

Follow through. Be sure that someone documents decisions made and post-meeting tasks, while in the meeting. This shows that people were heard, the CRM is to be used to track progress, and there is accountability.  

Define goals. Prior to the meeting, take a minute to think through your #1 goal for the meeting. Also, determine if the meeting should be a morale-building session, an instructional session to correct operational issues, or a group problem-solving session.

Benefits

High performing businesses have many things in common, with effective meetings being near the top of the list, because they:

  • Allow the staff to be heard which improves engagement
  • Increase buy-in from staff
  • Build relationships
  • Foster trust in the workplace
  • Improve team-wide communication
  • Hold staff and key executives accountable
  • Promote engagement
  • Retain key employees

Exercise

Download the Staff and Business Meeting Agenda Templates below.

Copy the Agendas into templates in your CRM.

Add this agenda into the CRM Calendar’s event so staff can add items BEFORE the meeting day. 

Reflect and Prioritize

Structure, content, and documentation of company staff meetings are clear indicators of how well a company performs. By implementing the above rules and utilizing the meeting agenda template, you will position your team to make the most of their time together and lead the company forward and up.

Please remember to add any new epiphanies and ideas to your Master Plan of Ideas and Initiatives.