John Mehrmann
John Mehrmann is a freelance author, industry expert and President of Executive Blueprints Inc, an organization dedicated to improving business practices and to developing human capital and personal growth. Executive Blueprints provides resource materials for trainers, sample Case Studies, educational articles and references to local affiliates for consulting and executive coaching. The Institute for Advanced Leadership provides self-paced tutorials for personal development and tools for trainers. Presentation materials, reference guides and exercises are available for continuous development.
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Secrets to Effective Staff Meetings

John Mehrmann

October 30, 2006

3.0/5.0 (2 votes total)

The following typical staff meeting statistics were compiled from a Survey conducted by GroupSystems :

The typical staff meeting is 50 minutes - 16 minutes wasted on inefficiencies - 59% do not take meeting minutes - 68% said input from meeting is used rarely or not at all - What can you do about it?

Schedule in advance. If it is not an emergency, schedule one to two weeks in advance. Include start time, stop time and Topics. Prepare an Agenda, and stick to it.

Have a Theme. Focus on One to Three Topics, no more than that.

On the Agenda, include ten minutes for Open Discussion and feedback at the end of the meeting.

Start on Time, even if everyone is not present. Demonstrate respect for the people who show up on time and begin promptly. Individuals that come late can 'catch-up' when the meeting is concluded. Do not inconvenience the conscientious individuals who show up on time.

Establish the meeting moderator. One person is assigned to keep the meeting on track and on time.

If possible, schedule the staff meeting for a total of twenty minutes or less. This is based on ten minutes of Agenda discussion and ten minutes of staff feedback. Consider it a success if you conclude in less than 20 minutes, but allow flex time for meaningful conversation and feedback at the end of the meeting.

Take Meeting Notes, include Action Items and the Owners / Responsible Person for each Action Item with a Due Date. Follow-up on Action Items and send out an update before the next staff meeting.

Is it working?

Staff Meetings should not be a burden to the moderator or the participants. It is intended to be an opportunity for important communication. The following are three creative exercises for measuring the effectiveness of your staff meetings.

Have a Standing Staff Meeting: Nobody is allowed to sit down until it is over. Can you do it? Does the meeting move along faster than normal or at the same speed?

Everyone is a Scribe: At the beginning of the meeting, provide instructions that each person will be responsible for documenting every comment, word for word, and distribute to the other participants. How does this impact the comments? Is everything shared verbally worth the time to type it? Are the comments worth sharing in documented form? Are there any comments shared in a staff meeting that would be embarrassing or inappropriate in print?

The One Week Survey: Send a quick survey one week after the staff meeting with three questions. Q1) What was the main topic of the Staff meeting? Q2) How does this relate to your responsibilities? Q3) What is the most important topic that we did not discuss?

Words of Wisdom

"You want to build a strong culture? Hold every manager accountable for the culture that he or she builds." - Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman, First Break All the Rules

"The real problem is that people do what they are told." - David Maister, First Among Equals

"Being highly effective as individuals and organizations is no longer optional . . . it is the price of entry." - Stephen R. Covey, The 8th Habit: From Effectiveness to Greatness.

You may distribute this article freely, print it, sell it, or include it as part of a package as long as it is intact, unchanged and delivered in the original format with acknowledgement to Executive Blueprints Inc.


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