What is the number one thing any worker is bound to experience in his or her professional life? Meetings. And the higher up the ‘pay grade’ ladder you go, the more frequent they become. I don’t know anyone who looks forward to their weekly team or department meeting, especially the ones held on the dreaded Monday morning. Let’s be honest, most meetings can become boring and redundant, especially if you have to attend multiple in a given week.
So, how do you create excitement for the weekly routine? I thought you’d never ask. Below are five ways to spice up your next team or department meeting and, hopefully, bring a new level of interest and enthusiasm to your employees and…well, you.
Most often, team meetings are in the same place at the same time on the same day. It’s already becoming redundant just writing about it. Why not move your next meeting to a different location, preferably outside of the office. Try a nearby Starbucks or café that allots the needed space for you and your team to gather. Employees can purchase their favorite café treats (or you can provide them as an added bonus) to get them in the relaxed, loose mood and away from the normal, boring office setting. Sometimes it’s just nice to get away.
Show, Don’t Tell
Most meetings consist of talking. As a matter of fact I’m not sure how you’d conduct a successful meeting without communicating. Let’s take the norm out of your next gathering and cut down on so much talking. Demonstrate ideas, concepts or new initiatives to employees instead of outright telling them about these things. For example, if lack of communication is an issue to discuss on the agenda, give your team puzzle pieces and split them into groups. Have each team work together to rebuild the puzzle (a small one, of course). Afterward, explain how important communication is for the success
of the team, just how it was to build the puzzle. Team members can also discuss how they communicated and why during the activity to ensure an active discussion. Showing versus telling takes the boring out of listening. (whew!)
Do you usually provide food during team meetings? Even if it’s a short meeting, offering refreshments such as fruit, tea and snacks, helps. You can even put a theme on your weekly meetings to liven up the attendees. Why not have Taco Tuesdays or French fry Fridays? Or you can change the food type each meeting. One week can be Italian, the next Greek, the next American, and so forth. Food always brings in the crowd.
Share the Power
The boss usually runs the meeting, after all, that’s one of the things he or she is paid to do. Try sharing the power during meetings. Maybe one meeting out of each month a different team member has the responsibility of running the meeting. Workers can send the employee items to put on the agenda and he or she will have full range to run the show. This can engage your team members and help them feel like one unit with equal parts. Of course, at the end of the day you are the boss, but sharing a little power every now and then can help workers feel dependable and valuable while simultaneously valuing your role as a manager.
Who doesn’t love a surprise? Bring in guest speakers or key people from the company every now and then to address staff during weekly meetings. The best surprise of all? Cancel the meeting!