Communication:
How to Have Effective Staff Meetings

Effective staff meetings are one way to ensure that the channels of communication remain open in your business. Sometimes they may seem like a waste of time but not having them can often cause problems, especially as your team expands.

Clear communication is essential for your business.

Staff need to see an open and transparent decision making process and, where possible, be included in it because it directly affects them. This is important for morale and motivation in the workplace.

It is particularly important for co-preneurs and family businesses to be aware of this, especially when discussions about the business obviously take place at home out of earshot of the rest of your staff.

Making decisions at home without staff consultation can seriously undermine staff morale, especially so if staff decisions are being overturned.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with having these extra discussions about the business together out of work hours, it is inevitable.

You are also perfectly within your rights to change your mind about decisions that have been made but the key point is to make sure you involve your staff and keep them in the loop.

How often should you have staff meetings?

Meetings are important in businesses as a means to keep everyone up to date and as a forum for sharing ideas or asking questions.

Business Coaching Insight:

Even though they live together copreneurs should still have formal directors meetings.

All-staff meetings are probably not necessary more than once a month. Effective business meetings such as directors meetings, managers meetings and team meetings should happen more frequently.

Staff meetings generally tend to be more effective if they are short, punchy and frequent rather than longer and less regular. Long meetings often lose focus and attention spans tend to wane.

The key ingredients for an effective meeting are short, direct and well-planned. 

Effective staff meeting ideas and tips

  • Staff meeting agenda's make meetings productive so make sure you prepare one for the meeting and give a copy to all attendees to create focus
  • Determine what outcomes you want from the meeting
  • Make sure everyone is there who needs to be there (conversely if 2/3 of the relevant people aren’t there don’t hold the meeting)
  • Make it a regular time/date
  • Start the meeting with a little short social chat to establish rapport in the room (but don’t overdo it)
  • State what the purpose of the meeting is and what outcome is to be achieved
  • If someone goes off at a tangent ask “how does this relate to the agreed objective of the meeting?”. If it doesn’t, make a note in the minutes and suggest another time for discussion. Irrelevant points that aren’t challenged can waste a lot of time.
  • If someone’s mind appears to be wandering say “in a few minutes I will ask you to backtrack and summarize our discussion”
  • Take minutes with notes about decisions made and action points
  • Give the person who causes most distraction a job to do eg. make them chair the meeting
  • At the end of the meeting summarize the outcomes of the meeting

Business Coaching Questions:

  • Do you have effective staff meetings in your business?
  • What meetings do you need to have to improve communication between your staff?
  • In what ways could you use meetings to improve performance in your business?

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