Team meetings are an essential way to bounce ideas off each other. Sadly, in most cases, they’re anything but productive. They drag, make people waste time and achieve very little.
As a result, most people either escape them or prefer to show up and check their emails and nap, without really engaging.
A study conducted by OpinionWay in April 2017 concluded that only 52% of meetings are productive.
That’s why meetings are, without a doubt, an essential way to communicate at work.
We can distinguish three different types of meetings:
- Information Sharing meetings: essential to keep up to date with the progress of a project/individual tasks and to get information across to the whole team.
- Innovation meetings: important to get to know people’s ideas on a given topic, mind map ideas and boost creativity.
- Decision making meetings: crucial to get your team together and find a quick solution to a problem or approve a common decision.
As project manager, it is your responsibility to organise meetings with your team. Discover some rules to productive meetings and our 5 tips to ensure that your co-workers enjoy them!
The golden rules to a productive meeting
There’s no real secret, a meeting has to be well prepared for it to be effective. Follow these rules to organise an exciting meeting and get all participants 100% engaged:
- Define and communicate the agenda;
- Choose carefully the participants;
- Start on time (never mind who’s late);
- Announce the aim of the meeting and stick to it;
- Liven up the atmosphere with your enthusiasm;
- Stick to the time constraints;
- Do a recap of the most important decisions;
- Finish on time;
- Follow up with a summary email.
5 ideas to liven up your meetings
1. Everyone needs to be standing up
According to Richard Branson, the owner of Virgin, more and more companies favour stand-up meetings. Firstly, you ensure that all the participants are 100% focused on the subject (rather than sitting on their phones). Secondly, these meetings are usually shorter and straight to the point. On a blog article, Richard Branson stated “it’s a much more efficient way to get to the point, take a decision and finish”.
2. What about going for a walk?
Have you ever heard of “co-walking”, “walk & talk” or even of a “walking meeting”? This practice is supposed to be extremely efficient. It was first invented in the US and implemented by Steve Jobs. Today, big American corporations such as Facebook, Virgin or LinkedIn use it regularly.
3. Fancy a game?
What’s more boring than presenting a Power Point deck with a monotone voice for over an hour? Obviously, people aren’t going to remember the content, and they risk falling asleep!
In the last couple of years, the concept of gamification has gained increasing traction in work environments. Introducing games in the workplace is a great way to boost motivation and productivity among your team. It’s also a great technique of livening up a meeting, encouraging cooperation, social interaction and team building. You can think about rewarding the winner – it makes your meetings more fun!
4. Think of more original places
Are you tired of the same boring meeting room? Why not breaking the routine and change workspace? For instance, organise your meetings in a restaurant at lunch time, in a park, a café for breakfast etc… find an original place such as a grand hotel, a historical monument, a barge, a rooftop or a spa.
The fact of leaving the traditional work-environment stimulates creativity, breaks habits and creates a more enjoyable meeting environment. It’s also a great way to develop team-spirit and have fun with your co-workers. You can get your team members involved asking to choose the place of the meeting in turn.
5. Find different presentation strategies
Your team is probably tired of Power Point presentations by now… don’t be afraid of trying out new tools! The internet is full of new technologies and tools that can liven up your meetings, making them more fun and interactive!
Why not creating an interactive presentation where everyone gets involved through their tablet or smartphone? Videos, photos, quizzes, collaborative platforms (like Wimi) and various apps that make your meetings more exciting!
By switching between tools and presentation techniques you will definitely witness growing interest among your team. Make sure you keep the focus on your objective.
If you want to get your team even more engaged, why not putting them in charge of organising your monthly meetup?