How can I structure our employee meetings to keep everyone aware and on task of what we're working towards?
Recently, there has been miscommunication between my team members and management on the best practices for our company and where our resources should be spent. I don't want to waste any more time and am looking for innovative ways to get my employees focused. Please advise, thank you.
I think this is a common problem faced by most of us, perhaps the answer lies in a more cohesive in house communication plan- this should be common and individual based where each member gets to know exactly what, when and where of the focus areas of the company and his/her expected role to achieve them
Have you thought about holding "virtual" meetings instead of demanding attendance in person from all employees? Teleconferencing in from their desk, even if they are in the building can give some leeway for department managers to allow those not "participating" in the meeting actions to attend the parts of the meetings they need to be aware of and to "conference out" as soon as they have their information without disrupting the meeting itself. This keeps the meeting more focused by the employees that are "warm body" attendees and provides an alternative to larger meeting rooms, etc. where attention can be difficult to control.
As a coach, facilitator, and trainer, my advice would be to hire a facilitator to do three to for meetings while teaching those with aptitude on your team the facilitation skills necessary for conducting effective meetings. These should have measureable action items with due dates so that everyone knows results are being achieved. An external facilitator can also speak to the white elephants in the room and give everyone a chance to speak. I insist on creating the right atmosphere for the meeting by understanding the desired outcomes, creating an agenda to achieve it and maximizing the use of the space and facilitation tools to conduct an effective meeting.
Let me know if you would like some reference materials;-)
I'd suggest an authentic, lazy and curious leadership approach. Lean in and I'll explain:
Authentic: Be up front with your team and express your desire to create team meetings that give everyone the chance to input and remain focused on the task. Let them know how you feel and invite their view on whether the meetings are working for them.
Lazy: As leaders we are used to be solution monsters - it's what we are paid for right? Some challenges require us to be lazy and listen - taking the time to understand where the pinch point is for our people so that we can guide our people to find the right solution for the team.
Curious: Ask questions. Find out what works for the team and what doesn't. Change your question in your mind to How can WE structure OUR meetings to keep EVERYONE aware and ON TASK? Words are powerful and people take meaning form them.
Here's why the above works: All of the suggestions in the answers below me are all good suggestions. I'd urge you to think about adopting a strategy that's long lasting and has real impact and the key to that is choosing solutions that have credibility with your team. Where do most of our credible ideas come from?From ourselves of course and that's why you need the team to come up with the way forward. Have a view and maybe bring these ideas when you contribute to the session and try to avoid a command and control approach.
That's my first ever answer on these forums (I joined today). Best of luck and do get in touch if you need more.
Well this is a normal stage in a team life cycle. Have you heard about Town Hall Meetings?
If not, here is one article that might help, that solved most of the issues with my staff.
Also try to host it, not to facilitate it; that will make your staff more comfortable. By hosting I mean seat everyone in a circle and it won't be you delivering content, you'll make sure they understand that the session is driven by them and their questions towards their concerns.
Hope it helps!
You can use a web based software like jira but I would personally recommend you to have basecamp to solve the problem.
Depends on staff size. If bigger, try first round meetings at departmental level. That way consensus can be built rather easily, quickly. Then hold a meeting with heads of departments for final decision. Getting your employees focused is indeed very crucial, and you've got to devise an effective strategy to achieve that. What would help your staff to get focused? Knowing their itches may seem to be vital. Hope this helps...
The greatest way I have found to motivate employees is to use positive reinforcement. I typically use incentives such as gift cards, special gifts (such as green fees or golf equipment) for performance, and other types of what I call "investments". I find using these types of monetary elements can help motivate employees for even long periods of time, depending on the length of time of the project and the value of the "investment". These are also all fully tax-deductible.
Obviously offering cash bonuses based on the project performance is also a way to keep employees motivated (another tax deduction), and having a weekly update as to the progress of the project will allow management to be informed to make their decisions to direct the team members effectively. If there is more tension involved in the use of monetary resources, hiring a qualified accountant or expert in finance can help to be a great mediator and provide reports on certain scenarios on the use of that money. It is also from an independent standpoint, which should help with the miscommunication between members. Oh, and that fee is also tax deductible.
Hope this helps!
Start some sort of project management or workflow type program. Then you can see where the break down is happening. An innovative way to get them focused is to tell them to focus or they will be replaced. Resource spending should be allocated on the risk versus reward basis. Everyone competing for the resources should have a "business plan" for the use and the return
Hope this helps.
The most important things in feective meetings are
Plan the agenda
Circulate the agenda
Focus on the agenda
Ensure that meetings do not meander.
Circulate minutes of the meeting
Follow up on agenda points discussed