We could all agree that business meetings are not among the favorite workplace activities. In many cases, your employees would rather stay at their desks doing anything else rather than spending time in a meeting. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to have a successful and interactive meeting where your meeting goals are achieved, and your employees feel comfortable and engaged.
Take a look at these 10 ideas for a successful meeting.
1. Choose an Odd Time to Start the Meeting.
Instead of starting your meeting on the hour or at the half-hour, choose unusual start times like 8:53 a.m. The effort required to remember such an odd time will help your team to stay on track. As an additional value, this practice is like a little memory game for the attendants.
2. Create a Unique Ritual.
Either before jumping into important and formal information or right when your team needs to head back to their daily tasks, take a few minutes, as a team, to learn something new or reflect on a topic. It does not have to be something big. It could be a fun fact, a short story, or an inspiring quote. When the team members share and discuss with one another, they create a stronger bond and feeling of collaboration over time. Designate someone, beforehand, to oversee this part of the meeting.
3. Offer Stress-Relief Toys.
Some studies suggest that you can get someone to pay attention for 38 minutes before their mind starts wandering around. In theory, this is a great attention span. However, you could never know the state of mind of your team before they enter the meeting. Many different distractions could minimize those 38 minutes of attention. It could be a good idea to provide small toys for employees to enjoy during meetings; Interacting with small toys allows people to vent any frustration, and will help to keep them focused.
4. Take Advantage of Multitasking.
Multitasking is part of the nature of most adults. It is not unusual to find people checking their emails or replying to texts while attending a meeting. However, this practice might belittle the productivity of the meeting. At the beginning of the meeting, have everyone put away their phones and provide them with color pens and paper to encourage them to doodle instead. Many professionals suggest that doodling promotes active listening, and it is one of the best ways to keep people´s attention.
5. Have Stand-up Meetings.
If you want your meeting to be productive and quick, you should implement this format of meetings. Stand-up meetings promote creative thinking and help participants to stay more focused and attentive. If you want to check out some of the benefits of stand-up meetings, click here. You might want to check our new conference table, TeamUp.
6. Give Small Incentive.
Free goodies, such as mugs, stationery, or gift cards, are a great idea to promote interactivity and engagement in the workplace. Having pop quizzes about different topics (Company history, clients, coworkers, or meeting´s content) at the beginning or end of the meeting can enhance the active participation of the team.
7. Get Some Snacks.
Never underestimate the power of food to please your team and keep them engaged. An empty stomach can be the worst distraction for a meeting’s participants. Besides, offering your employees some quality coffee or the best local pastry creates a culture of appreciation.
8. Don’t Invite Employees if They Don’t Need to Be There.
Allow people to leave the meeting if their jobs have nothing to do with the meeting´s goals and if they have nothing to contribute with. Forcing employees to stay in a meeting in which they do not need to be part of is a waste of time not only for them but also for the company. It would be better if they go and work on their task rather than just sitting around.
9. Set a Timer.
One of the keys to having an effective and productive meeting is to set up a schedule and agenda, and most importantly, to stick to it. However, usually, things come up, and we lose track of what was the main point; as a result, it gets easy to waste time. Setting a timer or little reminders could help the meeting to keep on track and stay on the topic.
10. Change Locations Every Now and Then.
Changing locations, occasionally, is particularly beneficial when your team relies on creative and innovative aspects. A change in the environment can help your team to come up with innovative and fresh ideas. You might want to take a short walk with your team, go to a nearby café or restaurant, or sit in a local park with them while you let the new ideas flow.
Meetings are great opportunities to bring people together and bond as a team. You can choose to implement any of these ideas in your organization. But, remember, the most important thing is to have a working space adapted to the people and not the other way around.