Have you ever calculated the cost of having a staff meeting? Articles have been written over and over again about how much a meeting really costs. Some of these articles almost encourage you not to have meetings at all, which is a bit extreme. Bottom line, they are extremely expensive. But, have you ever thought about how much it costs you not to hold those meetings? Let’s look at some of the advantages and pitfalls of staff meetings and discuss how you can trade that meeting expense for immeasurable value.
Just in case you haven’t really thought about this, let’s look at how much it costs to have a meeting. Let’s say that your meeting is an hour long. First, consider your cost for each staff person for one hour of work. Next, you need to calculate the revenue that you missed out on by closing your office for that hour. Then, add those numbers together. That number can be a bit alarming. Plus, if your meeting wasn’t productive, a lot of money and time was just wasted.
You may be questioning how well-spent your staff meeting time really is.
A few questions you can ask yourself to determine that are:
- Is each staff member given the opportunity to voice any concerns or comments during the meeting or to submit them before the meeting?
- Is each staff member leaving with clear expectations?
- Are staff members leaving with a due date for any assignments made?
- Do you enjoy the time with your staff?
- Do they enjoy the time with you?
- Is the meeting generally positive?
- Do employees leave the meeting feeling motivated?
To get answers to these questions, you might ask your employees to take an anonymous survey. Sounds like a lot of work, but what you think might not be what all of your employees think. If even one person is not finding value in the meeting, it needs to be addressed. One disengaged person can have a negative effect on your entire staff, including you.
What to do if you find that your staff meetings are not measuring up?
If you learn, either from your own observation or through employee feedback, that your meetings are just not cutting it, here are a few things that will help you take your meetings from mundane to motivating.
1. Create a Purpose
It is important to create a purpose for the meeting. Your staff needs to know why they are attending the meeting and how it will affect them. It is essential that they get engaged in your company’s purpose or they will never be happy and, in turn, you won’t be either.
2. Have an Agenda
Having an agenda will keep your meeting focused. People get bored and shut down when they don’t see the point. If possible, the agenda should be shared in advance. This gives your team time to think about the topics that will be discussed and prepare any questions that they may have in advance, making the time more productive.
3. Keep it Fun and Positive
Not every topic that needs to be discussed at a meeting is thrilling. However, keeping this time together a fun experience will help to bring engagement to some of the not-so-fun, but necessary, housekeeping topics. Make sure that your meeting stays positive. No one should ever be reprimanded in front of the group. If a team member fell short somehow or was supposed to have something prepared for the meeting and is not ready, simply move on. You can address that with the employee later, one-on-one.
4. Set Expectations
If you want your employees to have something prepared for the meeting, tell them. Be clear and concise. However, provide enough details that an employee at any stage knows what is expected. Then, repeat the process. Provide clear follow up action items WITH DUE DATES and include what each person is responsible for providing at that next meeting.
5. Open the Floor
Before you wrap up, open the floor. Offer time for your employees to speak up. Better yet, ask them to suggest topics for your next meeting. Then be sure to address the concerns. If an employee is brave enough to speak up in front of the group, be sure to welcome that with open arms. It’s rare and should be positively recognized.
6. Set the Date
If this is not a standing meeting, announce the next meeting date and time. If it is a standing meeting, remind everyone anyway. This process reinforces accountability. When your staff knows that you are going to give assignments and follow up with them, you will be pleasantly surprised at how much more productivity you will see.
To sum it all up…
Engagement plays a huge role in the success of your business. Helping your employees stay engaged is quite the task, but keeping yourself engaged can be hard, too. “According to the latest Gallup report, 51% of employees are disengaged in the workplace, while 13% are actively disengaged. Actively disengaged means feeling miserable at work and spreading negativity to their colleagues.” (Cloud, 2022)
Yikes! Who wants to work in a place where someone is purposely making you miserable? Or worse yet, trying to convince your other employees to make you miserable? Use your meeting time to bridge those communication gaps. People feel less engaged and less needed when they are not receiving communication. All of a sudden, you have an employee that is working against you instead of with you, all because they feel like you are not with them.
Most importantly, accountability yields results and results yield satisfaction. Regularly meeting with your team is a great way to get ahead of disengagement, or worse, active disengagement. Turn your team into focused, excited, and motivated go-getters that will help you conquer your biggest business goals!
Cloud, H. R. (2022). 8 employee engagement statistics you need to know in 2021: Hr cloud. 8 Employee Engagement Statistics You Need to Know in 2021 | HR Cloud. Retrieved January 4, 2023, from https://www.hrcloud.com/blog/8-employee-engagement-statistics-you-need-to-know-in-2021