A Manager’s Guide to Effective Meetings

Business meeting

As a manager, it’s important to maintain communication with your employees. Though it may be tempting to fire off an email every time you have news to share, there are certain advantages that come from conducting staff meetings. Meetings help build company culture by bringing teams together to share ideas and questions, and they give employees time to be heard. There are two types of meetings – one-on-one and staff – that keep the channels of communication between managers and employees open.

Both styles of meetings have benefits for employees and managers. In a one-on-one, managers gain insight to what it’s like working as an employee in that company, what challenges they face as well as ideas for improvement. Employees often get direct feedback on performance during one-on-ones, as well as strategize self-improvement or set goals. Staff meetings are important when there is a lot of information to disseminate, which is beneficial to the schedules of everyone involved. Often, group meetings are used as brainstorming sessions.

Tips for an Effective One-On-One

  1. How do you feel about your work?

It benefits your employees to know that you care about their well-being. According to a study conducted by employee engagement experts, nearly 70 percent of people surveyed felt undervalued at work. Asking employees for feedback tells them that their opinions and feelings are important. The information you gain from this question can directly benefit your company, as well. If there’s a pattern to the answers you get, it might be time to make changes in policy or personnel.

  1. Are you meeting your goals or those of the company?

It’s important that your employees connect with your business’ goals, and they will be more driven if they are meeting their personal goals, as well. Goal setting increases self-confidence and improves productivity, so it would benefit you to help your employees meet goals. During regular performance reviews, you can revisit goals, create an action plan of next steps and assist in any way you can, such as provide more training.

  1. What do you love (or not love) about work?

It’s important to employees that they enjoy their work, and it’s just as important to you and your bottom line. A study found that happiness at work leads to a 12 percent increase in productivity. Ask them which parts of the job get them excited and which parts they dread. You may not be able to fix every problem, but there will likely be many you can fix through reorganization or delegation. For example, nearly all your employees dread filling out paperwork, but it’s a preferred task for one of your employees. Shuffling tasks to play to peoples’ preferences and skills increases the likelihood of happier employees.

Tips for an Effective Staff Meeting

  1. Less is more.

Inefficient meetings are costly as they pull employees away from work that directly move your company closer to its goals. Creating a timed staff meeting agenda with a well-defined intention ensures you and your team get the most out of the meeting within a reasonable time frame.

  1. Discuss, don’t “dump.”

“Dumping” information on employees without actionable steps is best left for an email. Effective meetings should be kept on a schedule to ensure important topics are covered in a timely manner, and it’s important the staff meeting agenda includes time for discussion. This discussion should include deciding who is responsible for what and setting deadlines. Determining next steps and getting employee feedback is what separates a meeting from a “dump.”

  1. Manage the size.

When it comes to business meetings, “the more the merrier” doesn’t apply. Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos created the “two pizza rule” of meetings and teamwork, which has become an industry standard. The rule states two pizzas should feed everyone invited to a meeting. Limiting the number of people invited to a meeting is shown to increase engagement and communication and reduce frustration.

Other Effective Management Techniques

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About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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