Is your business one where people want to come to work? No matter how small, or large, your team is, whether you can shout across the office to people, or communicate predominately with email- team meetings are ESSENTIAL to your success.
I have been surprised how many Businesses’ I have met recently don’t have regular team meetings, or any team meeting at all. Others feel they don’t need them because there are only 5 in the team. I spoke to someone last week, and they said ‘well there are only 10 of us!’ Some people say it is time away from the ‘REAL’ work. I have also heard people say they know it is beneficial but ‘we just don’t get around to it.’
So why should you have regular team meetings?
This is the feedback I get the most from people when I have worked with them in a team meeting. The understanding, that they are all people and not just robots, or cogs in the machine. There can be a surprising shift within a team when everyone is acknowledged and knows what they are getting out of their job- they’re not just doing it to achieve someone else’s dream.
Everyone has their own perspective, angle and approach. When you bring people together these can start to join up make sense, or take on a life of their own- you never know what is possible when you connect.
When you do get together, everyone feels part of something. You are all on the journey together to make it a success and to keep it that way.
You only see so much, you only hear so much. Technology has helped with communication- but it also gets in the way. When you are face to face with people messages are clearer.
Having recently been invited to a team meeting, with a diverse mix of people, I was amazed at how many ideas were in the mix and put forward to one persons problem. The more people you have the more answers or possibilities there are. It also can give you more confidence in the decision you make in the end.
If people are there, then action can be taken straight away. I have seen things move from the middle or bottom of the list to the top.
You work with these people, for 6/7/8 hours a day- you spend so much time with them. It makes such a difference when you believe in them, trust in them, collaborate and respect them. Team meetings are a great opportunity to develop the all important ‘soft’ skills that enable everything else to happen.
What do I recommend for the best team meetings?
- If it’s your first- I recommend you do something different. Go on a trip, bring in someone to facilitate- focus on bringing your group together without work getting in the way- it’s all about finding those connections.
- An hour is a good length and don’t worry too much about filling it, if you don’t, you don’t. Any longer, might mean it is un-productive.
- Set tasks, challenges, adventure– what will motivate, energize and inspire your team?
- Ensure they are about the interaction and involvement of everyone- they shouldn’t just include one person’s voice. So discussion, debate, small group work as well as everyone together. Create a noise.
- Celebrate success stories, share stories from clients.
- What do people want to achieve in the week ahead.
- Keep them positive. Even when you need to talk about a failure, or a problem- you need to move forward with it not dwell on it. There will be other more appropriate times for the nitty gritty.
- Take people out of their comfort zone. Everyone gets used to just doing what they do. Stretching people, means they build, grow, learn, struggle, achieve, and pay more attention.
- Are people asking why? And What if? If this is happening your meeting, won’t feel like a meeting for meetings sake and enable people to approach issues from different angles. Many surprising answers become visible!
These are just a few ideas, there are so many more. I would love to hear yours.
I have often been asked when the best time in the week is for a team meeting. It can be different with each Business I work with, but I have found Monday morning at 11.00-12.00pm to be very beneficial. I also encourage AM/PM huddles.
People come in, get the burning issues dealt with, important emails sent, chats about the weekend over, and then come together. It is focused and awake time. It can make Mondays fun. It means decisions that are made have a whole week ahead to be acted on. Things stick with people and don’t get forgotten. Lunch can follow, which allows the conversations to continue and the connections to build.
Of course the biggest recommendation I can make is for your team to PLAY!
The team that plays together – stays together, and exciting things happen.