We’re big advocates of creating simple and clear agendas for your team meetings. After all, time is precious and nobody ever wished for more meetings during the work day.
But we find many small business owners and leaders are missing an essential ingredient in their agendas: engaging their team members.
We don’t mean “calling on” team members to report their latest activities and successes—that’s part of the business agenda. What we’re talking about is actively engaging and listening with your team members as people: with lives outside of the 9 to 5 work schedule.
Many of our clients find themselves stuck on how to invite enriching conversations from their team members while still addressing the business items at hand during team meetings.
If you’ve been finding yourself running team meetings with an “all business” focus, consider following this simple checklist to invite your team members to bring their full lives to the conversation.
HIGH ENGAGEMENT TEAM MEETINGS CHECKLIST
1. Kick off the meeting with sharing wins and lessons.
Invite your team members to share their biggest wins for the week, and lessons learned. This encourages your team to celebrate and to reflect on what they’ve learned.
Question example: What was a big win for you this week? And what did you learn from that experience or another experience?
2. Set a timer.
Encourage them to share in 90 seconds or less. That way, your engagement doesn’t interfere with the business items on your agenda.
3. Reflect back what you heard from your team members.
Be an active participant in the sharing session by reflecting back what you heard from from your team members: in celebrating their successes and acknowledging their lessons learned. This lets your team members know you “see” them and appreciate what they’ve shared with you and other team members.
4. Invite team members to share their big goals and desired accomplishments for the week.
If you’re conducting team meetings at the start of the week, ask your team: “What’s your big focus for the week?” Or, “By Friday, what will you be delighted to have accomplished?”
These are great questions to help invite your team members to focus and set the right intentions for their work progress. (Bonus: if they are items that you don’t feel are priorities, you can help reframe their goals!)
5. Ask team members to share a recent “Aha” moment or recent inspiration.
We recommend fostering a work culture of continuous improvement. Ask your team members to share a recent breakthrough in their work, or perhaps a book, quote, article or podcast that resonated with them.
6. If your team is shy, go first.
If you think asking your team to share thoughts outside of “business” might create crickets on the team meeting, then go first. For example, share a recent win or lesson learned, or an article, quote, book or podcast that really inspired or helped to inform your work. Then invite your team to do the same.
7. Bonus: New Employee Trivia
So many of our clients are onboarding new team members these days. One way to create highly engaged team meetings is to host a “trivia” event to introduce your newest employee to their team members.
For example: ask your new team member 10 simple and fun questions about themselves, such as their favorite food, dream vacation spot, first job, or other “fun facts” about themselves.
Then: at your new employee’s first team meeting, host the trivia event using a tool like Kahoot! so your other team members can play along and try to guess the answers to the new employee trivia questions.
If your team is spread out and working remote or in a hybrid setting, it’s even more important that you help them to stay connected. A powerful and helpful way to do this is by adjusting your team members to encourage human to human sharing, not just addressing all the business items at hand.
In fact, by using our checklist, we believe you’ll see better business results. After all, a thriving team is a productive team.
Interested in other current employment trends? Click the link to view the recent blog: Why Gender-Neutral Job Postings Help Recruit Great Talent or check back for more on human resources, payroll, insurance, and benefits.