Terry Corbell, The Biz Coach
By Terry Corbell
Business Consultant

Tips for Productive Meetings to Improve Performance


Here’s a checklist to engage your employees in energetic, inspiring staff meetings that will increase profits.



About half of a company’s performance is driven by employee morale and communication.

The body language, level of politeness, enthusiasm and degree of employee participation at staff meetings often illustrate how profitable companies actually are.

But morale and communication are hindered if employees don’t enjoy your meetings. A staff meeting is a terrible thing to waste.

It should produce results by sparking creativity, motivating employees to offer profitable ideas, and by serving as a catalyst for meaningful results.

Yes, managers can have beneficial relationships with employees so they can elicit profit-making ideas.

Many managers make the mistake of thinking they can whip up enthusiasm by holding meetings. Not true.

If you’re having trouble managing your staff meetings to maximize performance, get busy. Advance preparation and your determined focus during a meeting will inspire new enthusiasm for strong results.

Here are 14 tips:

1. Before your next meeting, be mindful that employee motivation is a big job.

If some of your employees aren’t effective and they don’t get your vision, you need some one-on-one, individual employee discussions.

So talk with them privately before your next meeting.

2. If you can address your goals without a scheduling a staff meeting, great. That’s another reason for individual discussions. Don’t schedule a meeting until it’s necessary.

3. Plan an agenda. By writing an agenda, you’ll check your motives for a meeting and develop your desired outcome. State your objective at the head of the agenda.

4. Determine who should be asked to attend the meeting. Small meetings are the ideal –seven people or less — if possible. Then, circulate your agenda to the participants in advance.

In this way, they’ll have an opportunity to review it for them to participate in a fruitful manner. Make it clear if you expect employees to bring anything to the meeting.

5. All good meetings start and end on time. The best meetings have a time limit of 30 to 45 minutes. Why? People are more attentive in a focused, structured meeting.

If you must hold a lengthy meeting, schedule breaks for the participants.

6. Make certain your employees know not to be late. It’s too disruptive when people walk in late.

Before the meeting starts, make it a point to have the door closed. Employees should get the hint that tardiness is not excused unless there’s a special reason.

7. Disallow any electronic devices – from smartphones to tablets and computers. You don’t need the competition of such devices.

8. Share your expectation that everyone participates with their comments and questions.Make sure your quietest employees are part of the discussion.

Shy personalities or pensive persons often can make the most productive comments. Have a strategy to draw them out without embarrassing them.

Monitor the discussion and decide who will talk and when. Don’t allow the meeting to deteriorate into a chit-chat.

9. Have a note-taker and time-keeper. One person can alert you at strategic times to stay on schedule and when the time is almost up.

Another can take notes. Especially important is to note what, if any, action is to be taken and by whom.

10. If you have PowerPoint presentations, make sure they’re formatted in an economy of words, and are fun and successful presentations.

11. Encourage transparency. It’s common in meetings to discuss problems. Try not to turn your meeting into a blame game. Don’t insult your employees or embarrass them.

12. Take personal responsibility for problems or issues whenever feasible, including when they’re caused by your staff. You’ll win fans.

13. Share credit for jobs well-done. Recognition for employees’ great work is important. Ask attendees to applaud a person who has been delivering great results.

14. Have the notes typed into an easy-to-read format for circulation as a follow-up after the meeting. This ensures the meeting will achieve the results you desire.

From the Coach’s Corner, here are relevant HR tips:

For Discussions on Difficult Issues, Try Walking Meetings — Sometimes people in business need a creative place at which to have productive conversations that are in out-of-the-ordinary locations. Perhaps you have an employee whom you need to counsel. Or you might have a peer that needs encouragement.

A Top Marketing Goal: Enhance Your Internal Communication — Businesses have two communication sources that are expenses that conversely are sources of profit – the external marketplace – and internal, their human capital. But all your money poured into marketing doesn’t accomplish much unless you devote equal resources to employee programs and communication.

18 Leadership Strategies to Earn Employee Respect — Here are 18 strategies to profit from good labor relations, and to leverage the perspective of employees – your company’s human capital.

Profit Drivers – How and Why to Partner with Your Employees — If you want maximum profit, consider partnering with your employees. Here’s expert advice from leading financial consultant Roni Fischer.

5 Quick Management Tips to Motivate Your Employees — A major quandary for managers is to bring out the best in their employees. Every manager wants to do it, but it’s not always easy. What’s the reason? Usually, it’s because employees are disengaged – disconnected from their managers and companies. Here’s how to fix it.

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships.”

-Michael Jordan


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Author Terry Corbell has written innumerable online business-enhancement articles, and is a business-performance consultant and profit professional. Click here to see his management services. For a complimentary chat about your business situation or to schedule him as a speaker, consultant or author, please contact Terry.




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Seattle business consultant Terry Corbell provides high-performance management services and strategies.