How to Better Engage Your Employees in Your Meetings
Written by Claudio Swijsen on Aug 19, 2019 10:00:00 AM Theme Engagement
Companies hire employees so that they work, engage and ultimately bring value to the table. One way of adding value is contributing and expressing their views on issues.
Contribution relates to engagement. When people contribute to a particular discussion, their relationship to the matter deepens.
Meetings are a feature of any corporate organization, and it cannot be taken away from it. No matter how large or small a meeting is, everyone has a unique perspective on different issues. If one of these perspectives is left unexpressed, there’s the possibility of losing the value that it could add.
Engaged employees are vital to having productive and successful meetings. For several reasons like a quiet and reflective conversational style, a fuzzy meeting framework or inadequate engagement tools, some of the employees may not be fully engaged or engaged at all during meetings. While this could have adverse effects on the organization’s output, here are several tips to get your people more engaged.
Set a Clear Framework
Before calling meetings, figure out the structure of the meeting – the reason for the meeting, those that will be attending, what is to be discussed, what you look at achieving at the end of the meeting and how long it’s going to take.
A clear meeting structure can foster a productive routine. It can reduce meeting fillers as much as possible, and cut unnecessary time-wasting on minor points. This clear framework can be sent to employees before the meeting to help them prepare and understand the protocol of the meeting.
Also, indiscriminately long meetings exhaust people and kill productivity. Ensure to keep meetings fast-paced and succinct.
Assign Meeting Responsibilities
Naturally, people want to feel good about themselves and value appreciation from others. It’s even better when it is from those they work for and in the presence of others. When people feel like they are an important part of something, they want to contribute more.
There’s probably no better way to make employees feel like an important part of a meeting than to assign responsibilities to them even if it’s the littlest responsibilities.
Keep participants actively involved by assigning them simple tasks such as setting up the display, keeping track of time, jotting down some important notes, taking account of all attendees, and so on. These may seem like minute details, but they go a long way in increasing engagement and productivity during meetings.
Mix it up – Stand up
While it may seem that sitting down during meetings is the comfortable and ideal thing to do, recent studies show that attendees who are standing up show higher levels of engagement and are more creative in brainstorming.
While standing, there’s a sense of urgency which probably makes the brain work faster than it would while sitting. It is necessary to mix things up, sit down at some point, and stand up during others. Standing up daily can prevent meeting attendees from zoning out. Observe the turn the meeting is taking – if employees are responsive or not – and do the necessary.
Many people dislike meetings because they don’t feel like they have a real voice. Help them feel like their input and thoughts are valued. The more they talk, the more involved and engaged they will be.
First, this can be done by setting meeting goals as a team. When you set the goals for the meeting with the rest of the team, it gives everyone a chance to contribute their ideas because they know exactly where the meeting is heading towards. Also, it makes them think because there is a set goal.
Furthermore, you could group attendees to tackle different aspects of the goals. This way, people can participate more in their smaller groups and then share their findings with the rest of the large team.
Another way of fostering discussions is to offer incentives and rewards. They really don't have to be fancy, as long as it shows that their efforts are appreciated. It helps to keep them engaged or even motivate them to attend the meetings in the first place. During the meeting, deliberately listen and look out for who might be slightly signaling that they would like to enter the conversation and engage them.
At the end of the meeting, gather feedback about what the team liked or disliked about the meeting. This is important, as it not only helps you realize how you can improve the meetings, but also make employees feel like their opinions are important.
End with a very quick round of feedback to allow you to improve the quality of your meetings continuously. In some cases, such as when the meeting takes longer than expected, the feedback could be after the meeting has been dismissed.
The whole point is to get the participant's views on the meeting. After the feedback has been gathered, it is important to consider the points made and incorporate them into subsequent meetings.
Some people believe that meetings are an utter waste of time, and nothing is hardly accomplished. Most times this actually happens because of the way employers set their expectations. Additionally, often times, employers fail to make meetings inclusive for all of the parties involved.
Business owners should aim at building an atmosphere where there is effective exchange of important information and ideas. The best outlet for this is team or employee meetings. Therefore, there is a need to improve meeting atmospheres and engage employees more.
Try out these tips – and you'll see more energized and engaged people, ready to work together and push your ideas and projects forward.