Staff meetings are important to keep everyone focused, involved and committed. But unfortunately, meetings have a reputation for being unproductive, long and boring. Best-selling author and former general manager of Hewlett-Packard, Patty Azzarello, argues that companies need to stop having “status meetings” and move into higher-value conversations.
So, how can a leader change the meeting agenda from “This is what happened this week…” to an energetic debate that can drive the company forward?
Here are some questions to help channel the discussion in a more purposeful direction.
What are our current goals?
Companies need to have SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, timely), and everyone should be familiar with them. As goals are achieved or sidelined, new objectives should emerge. This is a good opportunity to review and re-evaluate.
Are we on track? Why or why not?
Depending on the size of the organization, a manager may need to break down reports by department or person. Also, it may be necessary to dedicate an entire meeting to goals. However, if a leader would like to move onto other topics, they may need to remind participants to keep their comments succinct. It is easy for goal analysis to morph into a status update.
What is changing in our industry?
In a rapidly moving world, almost any organization can be vulnerable. Think taxicabs versus Uber or Blockbuster versus Netflix. It is important for the leaders and managers of a company to identify and regularly discuss possible threats and opportunities.
What are we doing well?
Every organization has strengths. These will change over time. Topics may range from employee morale to a new high-tech implementation. This is a chance for the team to celebrate and build on success.
Where are we struggling?
On the other hand, it also is important to identify and address problem areas. Staff members may not always agree as to what is going well and what is not. In these cases, a leader should cultivate healthy debate while discouraging pointless arguing.
Who should we recognize?
Top talent is essential to a company’s success and it often goes unrecognized. Managers have closer contact with their workers than those higher up in an organization. This provides a great opportunity to identify the best employees, reward their accomplishments and provide them with the necessary resources to continue to contribute at a high level.
These are just a few sample questions. Managers may develop additional queries that are relevant to their company or their situation. In addition, covering all the points in one sitting is not realistic. Instead, team leaders should plan to review goals and address one or two more probing questions each session. Shorter meetings, usually in the 30-minute range, are the most effective.
Are you looking for more advice on managing your company and your team? Visit the Aventure Staffing Blog for regular updates on topics ranging from How to Identify Top Performers in Your Company to Why You Should Always Be Giving Employees Feedback. Contact us today to learn more.