Has this ever happened to you? You hold a meeting with your employees intending to motivate them and get everyone working together as a team to do their best. You talk. They listen. They may seem interested, or at least they nod their heads in the right places, but then. . . . they go out and do the same old things and nothing has changed. Ugh!!!
What you really want is to create lasting excitement and enthusiasm in your employees. You want to get and keep momentum going with your team. Yet, you’re not quite sure how to do this. You don’t have a lot of time, and you certainly don’t want to bore everyone by saying the same things over and over, week to week.
I’ve heard this dilemma repeatedly from the small business owners I coach. Over the years, I’ve developed the following list of Best Practices for Highly Effective, Short & Sweet Weekly Team Meetings. These are the strategies I share with my clients and I’ve compiled them here for you.
Best Practices for Highly Effective, Short & Sweet Weekly Team Meetings
The first few weeks you do this, it may be just you pointing out Wins and Successes. Don’t despair. Stick with this and after a few weeks, your employees will come to expect and appreciate this part of the meeting. What you really want to happen is for employees to start sharing their own Wins and Successes, and acknowledging their co-workers for Wins and Successes that exemplify the Immutable Laws or core values of the business.
When you start off every meeting this way, it is an opportunity to continually shape employee behavior and attitude in the direction you want it to go. It is on-going education about the values you want your employees to demonstrate in their choices and day-to-day behavior—and you are communicating this every week without having to stand and deliver a lecture about what you want employees to be doing.
Never shortchange the time to talk about Wins and Successes. You will find ways to leverage these with your employees. If this takes up the entire meeting, then so be it. If you have a business with that many Wins and Successes, your business is rockin’ it!
Include open-ended questions that pertain to serving your best customers, honing your Area of Innovation (i.e., price, quality or convenience) and driving profitability.
For example, ask:
- How did we take really good care of our best clients this week?
- What opportunities do we have to refine our Area of Innovation?
- What opportunities do we have in this coming week to grow or maintain our profitability?
Questions such as these require you to define your Ideal Clients and Customers, your Area of Innovation, and ways in which profit is created by your business. Defining these aspects of your business is key to effectively streamlining your business.
Having questions like these on your agenda will lead to on-going discussions with employees about how they add value to the company without you having to lecture in each meeting. These questions get the conversation going and generate the employee input you have been wanting.
Include icebreakers at the end of the meeting. Usually icebreakers are included at the beginning of the meeting. If you save the icebreakers for the end, it is a nice way to wind down a meeting and get side conversations going among employees.
Yes, you want to encourage chit-chat among employees at the end of the Weekly Meeting. Here’s why: research has shown that employees who have a friend at work keep their jobs longer than those who don’t.
Icebreakers lead to conversations about hobbies and interests outside of work. It’s possible two employees who have not gotten along well will discover commonalities that improve their relationship.
Don’t skip the icebreakers. Employees find it fun to learn about one another, discover common interests and share about their families. If you find it challenging to come up with icebreakers each week, ask a more outgoing employee to take this part of the meeting on. I’ve included a few of our favorite icebreakers in the downloadable agenda for you.
When topics come up that threaten to derail the agenda, put the topics in the “Parking Lot” and make a plan to include the topic on an upcoming agenda. Request that team members come to the next meeting with ideas and suggestions to address the topic that was put in the Parking Lot.
Run a few of these meetings to nail the agenda you want to use, then delegate the facilitation of the meetings to one of your employees. This allows you to function as a participant in the meeting, which can actually improve the back-and-forth dialogue among employees. (BONUS: you can take a vacation and the meetings will occur in your absence!)
Often business owners complain they are the only ones talking in the meeting and they get very little feedback from employees. Delegating the facilitation to an employee circumvents this. If you find yourself jumping in to fill in uncomfortable silence, imagine putting duct tape over your mouth 😉
About the Author
Dr. Sabrina Starling, The Business Psychologist™ and author of the How to Hire the Best series is the founder of Tap the Potential.
At Tap the Potential we specialize in transforming small businesses into highly profitable, great places to work and sending business owners on 4 Week Vacations to celebrate that achievement.
Never one to accept the status quo or back down from a challenge, Dr. Sabrina’s How to Hire the Best series grew from her desire to solve the toughest hiring challenges interfering with her clients’ growth and profitability. What sprang from her experience working with entrepreneurs in rural areas catapulted her into becoming the world’s leading expert in attracting top talent in small businesses — no matter what hiring challenges those businesses are facing — and earned Tap the Potential’s reputation as the go-to resource for entrepreneurs committed to creating Great Places to Work with thriving coaching cultures and highly engaged team members working from their strengths.
With her background in psychology, and years of driving profit in small business, Dr. Starling knows what it takes to find, keep and get exceptional performance out of your biggest investment — your team members.
Access Dr. Sabrina Starling’s How to Hire the Best Masterclass and team building tools at www.TapThePotential.com