Staff meetings are a necessary evil in the facility management and property management world. People don’t always enjoy them, but if you know how to run them well, they can be effective, on topic, and perhaps even fun.
We asked 25 facility management and property management professionals how they improve their meetings, and got a lot of great ideas, which are sorted by popularity below.
How can you implement these tips below into your own staff meetings?
Let everyone have input
1. So many people said a variation of this concept. Letting everyone have input in the meeting keeps the more involved, alert and motivated during the meeting.
2. Make sure everyone’s ideas are heard.
3. When staff bring up an idea, be sure to really absorb it instead of just mentally refuting what they are saying.
Keep it short and on topic
4. Run the meeting, don’t let it run you.
5. If someone veers off topic while talking, thank them, stop them, and bring the conversation back on topic.
6. Setting a time limit for the meeting and sticking to it respects people’s time and keeps the agenda moving. Everyone has stuff they need to go and do.
7. Try having a standing meeting, where everyone literally stands the whole time, to help expedite the meeting.
Choose the time of day / week wisely
8.Having a meeting at the end of the day when everyone is ready to go home is not a recipe for success. Instead, try having the meeting early in the morning (provide free coffee to wake people up).
9. Meeting every week at the same time will make it clear when you always meet, but if you can’t find a time that works for everyone’s schedules, vary the meeting time to try to get everyone in more often than not.
Make it a lunch meeting
10. People are going to stop to eat lunch anyway, and by providing food, you can entice them to join the meeting. Plus, everyone has their ears open while they are chewing.
11. Allowing staff to suggest the meal type (pizza versus sandwiches, etc) makes it more enjoyable and creates variety in the meals. You could also let the person with the best idea pick the next meal, as a reward.
Have an efficient meeting
12. Listen more than you talk, so that you don’t miss other people’s good ideas.
13. Make it an open discussion on key points, and motivate everyone to contribute ideas.
14. Plan the meeting objectives beforehand, and define the agenda, perhaps even printing it out for everyone so that they know what will be discussed and can hold others to staying on track.
15. Discuss the problems that staff may be facing, and let them know what they need to know.
16. Try keeping the meeting small in size, especially if the agenda doesn’t involve all workers.
17. Meeting often allows you to address issues as they arise, and discuss the evolution and status of recurrent issues.
18. Meeting often also helps the meetings stay brief, as opposed to having a monthly meeting with a ton of things to talk about.
19. Weekly meetings at the same time work well to help everyone stay on top of things.
Keep it enjoyable
20. Keep a light mood.
21. Recognize hard workers during the meeting, even if it’s just in passing, they’ll appreciate it, and others will notice it.
22. Ask for staff input on what the meetings should be like.
23. Make it a discussion not a lecture, as this will keep people attentive and involved.
24. Ask questions to keep people on their toes.
25. Break up the monotony of meetings with a fun icebreaker – anything quick and not work related, for example ask what’s everyone’s favorite show lately, what was their very first job, what is one thing no one would expect about them (like an unusual hobby or fact).
26. Being friendly with your staff makes staff meetings more cohesive and productive, when everyone feels like they know each other.
Make it easy on yourself, and everyone else
27. If you’re going to implement a new policy, or start a new project, back up your choices with facts and data. The more facts and numbers that you can bring to the table, the more your coworkers and staff will listen to what you have to say.
28. Hand out information in a written format instead of just lecturing on it. Stick to agenda and don’t do all the talking yourself.
Boost morale while you meet
29. Reward and recognize the best improved employee during meetings.
30. Don’t make it all negative, even if things are down.
31. Discuss failures and what went wrong, but be sure to discuss successes and what went right, and what you can learn from both to make future work go smoother.
32. Have staff bring ideas and issues to be discussed. Not complaints, but ideas how to make things better at the operation.
Make meetings worth attending
33. If you can’t name five good reasons for the meeting, then you don’t need to have the meeting.
34. Keep all information relevant. If you’re sharing things that the meeting attendees don’t need to know or care about, they’ll zone out.
35. Meet via Skype if it’s convenient. If you have any remote staff, it might make sense to meeting via Skype or Google Hangouts. Get everyone to keep their camera on to make sure they’re paying attention and participating.
What are your best meeting tips? What’s your biggest gripe about meetings? Discuss below.