Admit it, somewhere along your journey you have been in a long boring staff meeting that has made you zone out, daydream, fall asleep, and miss an important piece of information. I know I have! Those meetings when the speaker is monotone, when the topic does not relate to your department or duties, when the information could have (should have) been an email. You know what I am talking about.
Staff meetings are a great way to share with and collect information from your entire team in one fell swoop, but nobody ever said you had to sound like the teacher from the Peanuts cartoons in the process. If you are the person in charge of setting up the staff meetings, do you want to be known for setting up boring meetings or fun and engaging meetings?
Here are a few tips to ensure your staff meetings are both productive and engaging.
- Have an agenda and stick to it – this allows the participants to follow the flow of the meeting.
- Start and stop on time (or early if possible).
- Use ice breakers and team building activities to help your staff get to know people who may work in a different part of the building.
- Plan for breaks – no one should miss important information to take care of their personal needs.
- Provide fidget toys or paper and markers for those who need to keep their hands busy.
- Learning can be fun – share new concepts or conduct knowledge check-ins through interactive games and activities. Here is a great idea from scienceofpeople.com to have fun while problem solving:
Write your problem on paper, fold it into a paper airplane and let them fly! Repeatedly toss the planes so they are well mixed from the starting point. Each person takes one plane and brainstorms for approximately 5 minutes on how to solve the other person’s problem. Come back together as a whole group to present the problem and your solution. Additional brainstorming may take place by the whole team. Sometimes you’re too close to a problem or sticky situation to solve it yourself. Asking someone else to provide a solution offers a fresh perspective. 40 Fun Team Meeting Ideas
- Change up the venue – switch between face to face and virtual meetings, meet in a new location. Did you know that walking outdoors is shown to increase short-term memory? Hold your meeting outside when the weather is nice (this will prevent your staff from staring out the windows, longing to be outdoors while you speak).
- Use stories or inspirational quotes to spark conversations.
- Feed them! Food is always a great idea, especially if your meeting is after normal working hours. Make it a potluck and have each team member share their favorite dessert, soup, snack (change up the theme of the food as well as the theme of the meeting).
- Most importantly you will need to know your team. What are their interests, what inspires them, what motivates them? The more you know about your team, the more in tune you will be to plan meetings they will enjoy.
For additional ideas for your staff meetings can be found in these articles: