Meetings are part and parcel of every organization. Meetings range from being a waste of time to providing a breakthrough deal. Thus, it is essential to know how to make meetings productive. What is also key to having a great meeting culture within the organization is to ensure that a large majority of the meetings result in gratifying outcomes, and they make up for the loss of time when a few of them are not fruitful.
In a sense, a meeting is like blending more than one mind, and there are possibilities galore. When it comes to meetings for employee engagement, there is a chance that a team member may provide an interesting observation about the work that he does, which can be the basis for a profitable action for the team. Meetings help in multiple ways - getting work done, decision-making, motivation, training, fostering a feeling of inclusion, troubleshooting effectively, brainstorming, recruitment etc. These benefits can be derived when they are planned and conducted thoughtfully.
The importance of employee engagement and meetings
Employee engagement is vital to the success of the company. This is because it impacts the key driver of the success of an organization - the people that run the company. Effective leaders communicate with their people and achieve better results by having a dialogue. Emails and online chats can communicate much but do not carry the intensity that meetings can have. Managers learn through experience that meetings are irreplaceable in their importance. A well-conducted meeting results in better communication, motivation among team members, and good quality decisions.
However, many managers feel meetings need to be more effective, and one of the ways to make it so is to have some themes for them. This creates a certain goal orientation in the meeting and makes it more effective. McKinsey & Co did a study to highlight how critical it is to plan meetings better and avoid wasting time. Their survey reveals how good ineffective meetings thwart decision-making.
One of the simple and effective ways of having better results in a meeting is creating meeting topics.
Key meeting topic ideas
Having a meeting topic is an integral part of an effective meeting template. Here are some key meeting ideas:
Getting ongoing projects delivered in high quality and on time can be a key purpose of a meeting. Weekly updates and progress on current projects are a staple topic for staff meetings. Success is teamwork and holding meetings on ongoing projects; meetings can help brainstorm how to do it better and address any problems. In such a meeting, a manager has to strike a fine balance of challenging the team as well as motivating them. This kind of meeting is a necessary team-building activity.
A company has to deliver to their customers, and for this, everyone in the company has to do their job. To ensure this, a performance review meeting can give the right feedback and direction to the employee. Performance review meetings should be well-prepared and be based on a list of parameters on which the discussion is going to happen. An important tip to getting a performance review meeting right will be to hold it regularly but not too often.
Goal setting is a significant part of providing leadership. It can also be a very stimulating meeting theme if done right. The management of a company provides its workforce goals for the near term. The best way to get this kind of meeting right is to adopt a consultative posture with the team. A one-on-one staff meeting will be a great method to finalize mutually acceptable goals. Finalizing goals without adequate meetings and dialogues will result in subpar results.
Key industry news
Industry news is an important source of business ideas. Industry news about new laws also necessitates changing the company’s plans. Every manager usually identifies some bright colleagues who have a flair for strategy. This is the right meeting agenda to spend some time with them. A brainstorming meeting with bright colleagues on industry news can help create a strategy for tapping on fresh opportunities. If the news is adverse, a staff meeting can be a fast way of generating ideas to take necessary steps.
Upcoming events, conferences, networking opportunities
Exhibitions and events have become a fulcrum of making your presence felt in the industry and building fresh contacts. Creating an offline or a virtual meeting on such events can help in multiple ways. The agenda, program and schedule should be at hand when the meeting starts. Let all the meeting participants go through it before the meeting. The meeting may help identify the best ways to showcase the company at the exhibition. Such a meeting can help plan how best to use a speaking opportunity. Going through a conference schedule can help the team focus on planning to meet key speakers during the event. Without a plan, the full potential of an event can remain untapped, and a meeting can help develop a good plan.
Customer feedback review
Product, marketing, sales - all departments whose work directly impacts the customer should hold customer feedback review meetings. Every organization depends on their clients for long-term survival. Even if there are phases when investors are funding growth, the true test of an organization’s standing in the market is derived from its ability to attract loyal customers. Client feedback meetings will go a long way in building a culture that focuses on winning over more customers. To make a client feedback meeting effective, prepare data on customer experience before the meeting.
New product development and action items
A company must remain super alert when a new product is being developed and launched. Many aspects can go wrong - features, communication with customers, and troubleshooting methods. In such a scenario, the leadership can be more successful if it has a robust employee engagement mechanism and regular meetings with employees about it. When calling for a meeting of this nature, preparing a list of action items is one of the best ways to ensure nothing is left to discuss later.
One of the key meeting topics for employees is providing access to resources in other functions. For example, a marketing person needs to connect with the product development team to understand how features should be written. In many organizations, employees hesitate to access people in the organization without the permission and support of their supervisors. Holding a meeting with an employee can be about helping them with cross-functional access in the company.
Upskilling needs of an employee
One of the key meeting topics for employees should be their training and upskilling needs. A senior in the company can review their existing skill sets and advise them on the training they need. Training can be about the products and services. It can also be about upskilling to match the demands of the competitive market. For example, an employee can be advised where to go for a digital marketing course. There are plenty of employees for whom skill development is a vital contribution to the company. They will appreciate a one-on-one meeting with them to help plan their training. To make this meeting template work well, approach the meeting like a mentor.
Organizational goals are understood over a period of time by a new employee. The goals of a company is a combination of profit maximization, investment milestones, and ethics. An employee needs to be trained about the organizational goals on an ongoing basis. Over a period of time, it is best to get employees to buy into the larger vision of the company. Sometimes, organizational strategy can be a short part of a meeting with a different topic. Occasionally, there can be an offline or a remote team meeting that presents the work of the company over the years.
So many virtual meetings were held in companies in the initial days of the pandemic to charter a way out of the crisis. During contingencies, people in the company must stimulate each other to come out with their best ideas, knowledge and contacts. Contingencies can be meeting topics for employees and be targeted at managing their emotions. To make a contingency meeting effective, begin the engagement by coming to the point directly and creating a sense of urgency.
One of the best ways to budget right for various activities is to take everyone's feedback on the estimated costs for various activities. Creating a budget without consultation with team members may also make them feel excluded in decisions and, thus, less motivated to achieve the goals. When meeting on budgets, remember to ask employees how to curtail the expenses while keeping in mind their interests.
Entertainment and games
One of the aspects for which leaders generally have meetings is when it comes to planning a party, corporate offsite, and fun events. We notice how excited employees are about such activities, and one of the reasons is because there are meetings and discussions with them when they are being planned. Holding meetings matters in employee motivation, and get them on your side.
Improve engagement with better alignment
The best way to improve employee engagement is to create meetings that address the interests of all the stakeholders in the company - investors, leaders, managers, team members, and customers. It is acceptable for a meeting to focus on the employee instead of the manager. After all, resolving his problems will impact his ability to focus on the company’s goals. Meetings play an extremely crucial role in making employees feel included in the working of the organization. However, not having a meeting agenda can make the meeting unfulfilling for everyone involved.
Several elements go into improving engagement during a meeting. Here is an ebook by Mesh that provides you with a study of how meetings can be more effective. The mesh has established itself as a platform that delivers high-quality, efficient, impactful employee engagement, and this ebook is one way to access their learning. Mesh helps you plan and execute employee engagement smoothly and effectively.