The changing face of meetings
Gone are the days when workplace meetings dragged on and on. The days when employees were seen and not heard, and minutes were overwhelming due to their length and unclear purpose. In this blog, we will look at what makes a cutting-edge meeting.
Modern meetings include agenda itens that address the world in which we live. New agenda items may include:
- Sustainability and eco-friendly practices - Consider not only discussing the company's stand on this essential topic but taking actions that make meetings more sustainable, e.g. printing back to back or not using disposable resources. Consider agenda's and handouts, do thy need to be printed, or can they be electronically sent?
- Corporate responsibility and social engagement - How does the company interact with the community? What is the image the company is trying to project? Is the local community supported through local purchases? Giving back to the community increases' employee engagement and offers employees a sense of pride for their workplace.
- Employee health and well-being - Promoting a healthy workplace is a smart move. It can increase employee engagement, leading to reduced absenteeism and increased productivity. Simple actions, such as holding stand-up meetings, can make a positive impact on employees' engagement and alertness. Checking in with employees at the start of the meeting and including initiatives that promote a healthier workplace can create a work environment where employees experience less stress and feel valued.
Modern meetings are structured positively to be inclusive, meaningful and productive.
- Purpose - Modern meetings are decision-orientated and have a clear purpose. Agendas are provided before the meeting so that employees can be adequately prepared and thus contribute meaningfully. During the meeting, the agenda is followed, which prevents discussions from going off track and adds to the meeting finishing on time.
- Engagement - Modern meetings are inclusive. Employees are encouraged to speak up and participate. They are involved in changes that affect them. Collaboration promotes employee 'buy-in' and employees are more likely to take ownership of the outcome. For the best results, look for dialogue, not a monologue.
- Welcome positives - Acknowledge employees and recognise company wins. Focusing on the positives improves employee's morale and gives them a boost. Company wins help employees to understand the link between why they do what they do and why it matters if they do it well.
- Values, culture and mission - Linking agenda items to the company values, culture and mission secure understanding. Undertaking activities that connect these areas helps establish the company's expectations. These expectations provide staff with a clear picture of above and below the line behaviours.
Modern meetings provide outcomes.
- Closure and accountability - Add value to the meeting by capturing information with tasks outlined and clear due dates. Clarification of responsibilities leads to understanding and follow through.
- Minutes of value - Modern meetings have moved from long transcripts to a brief summary of the resolutions and actions. They include vital elements discussed and decisions made. Ideally, minutes should not be long and wordy, approximately three to five pages in length max. They are not an emotional account; they should be facts that jog memory of the items discussed.
- Tasks and Goals have a purpose - The meeting has finished, and the minutes have been sent out. At the next meeting, outcomes should be reviewed, and minutes checked for approval. Without follow-up, employees may be less inclined to complete their designated task. Tasks and goals need to have a point. They need to matter. Why bother if nobody cares about the results?
When was the last time you reviewed your meeting processes? If it has been a while, now is the time to reflect and ask yourself if there are changes that need to be made to get the best value for your time. Remember, time is money. Getting the most from your meetings is common sense.
The Money Edge | Bundaberg