Ask any employee how they feel about holding meetings. Most will tell you regular staff meetings are boring and a total waste of time.
This belief is due to the tendency of such meetings to interrupt and delay employees’ planned tasks for the day.
Besides, irrespective of the meeting agenda, the discussions may never be implemented afterward. This stereotype does not have to be the case for you.
There are many strategies on how to make staff meetings more fun and complimentary for everyone in your organization. Here’s how to do it.
Start On a High
Start the meeting with enthusiasm, and aim to maintain the tempo all the way to the end of the session. How do you achieve this?
- Brief the participants on what to expect: Circulate the meeting’s agenda to all the participants before starting the sessions. Make it clear the kind of input expected from each participant. This will allow them to prepare and be ready when they are called on for questions and explanations.
- Use icebreakers: Using short icebreakers at the start of the meeting tends to get rid of the tension amongst the participants. Use up to 3-5-minute icebreakers at most. Sometimes, meetings can get long and boring, and people need
- Share unusual statistics relevant to the meeting. This could be data showing a striking ripple effect correlation of the work your team is doing to another section of the organization or industry. Use this statistic to kick-start a discussion that will culminate in the main agenda.
- Incorporate guest speakers: Guest speakers bring in a freshness lacking where the staff meetings are held regularly and led by the same persons. Surprise your employees by inviting a favorite guest to kick off the conference. This will encourage your employees to ask questions and learn more about things they have yet to discover.
- Employ business-learning roundtables: Business-learning roundtables are a strategic way of engaging employees by connecting their day-to-day duties to various learning modules shared in the meeting. As a result, staff meetings become a way of accumulating learning credits that are recognized by multiple institutions of higher learning as part of continuous work assessment.
- A quick quiz: Quizzes tend to keep the participants alert and focused on giving their best. Use the questionnaire you fill out at the start of the meeting as a hint of what is expected in the discussion. To spice up the quiz session, offer rewards and recognition for employees who show exemplary skill in answering the quizzes.
Capture the Participants’ Attention
One effective way to make staff meetings more fun is by engaging all your participants throughout the staff meeting. Use the following tips to capture your participants’ attention effectively:
- Share experiences: Relate the agenda of the meeting to staff experiences. Give the employees a chance to share their knowledge and apply these experiences to the current agenda.
- Show enthusiasm: As a leader, make it clear how excited you are to have the meeting. Let your enthusiasm rub off on your participants.
- Use visual aids: Using attractive and straightforward visual aids such as presentation slides helps to increase the impact and interest of the participants. Most participants may not remember the words spoken in the meeting, but they will remember the way they felt and the visuals you shared in the session.
- Use humor: Humor is appealing, especially to the younger generation of employees who expect the meeting to be creative and fun-filled. Humor is especially a useful tool when the subject of discussion is too technical, or you are dealing with solving a particular problem at work.
- Engage all participants: Make sure all participants’ voices have a chance to speak in the meeting. Be especially careful on allocating more time to the introverted staff.
- Alter your tone of voice: As the main speaker in the session, make sure you change your sitting or standing position as you move from one point or topic to the other. Emphasize what you are saying by frequently changing your tone of voice.
- Simplify the tasks: Evoke your participants’ interest by allocating achievable tasks. Assist the employees that seem to lag, while moderating the fast-paced participants.
Make It a Happy Hour
Are the majority of your employees young? An easy option on how to make staff meetings more fun is by holding the meetings during the company’s happy hour.
Office happy hours are slowly gaining popularity in organizations where most of the staff is young. During the happy hour sessions, employees are free to socialize with one another as they sip their favorite drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.
Happy hours are an excellent time to build strong relationships with employees. If your company’s working culture allows, hold one of your meetings during the happy hour.
The relaxed atmosphere makes it easy for most employees to express their views without the fear of being reprimanded afterward.
You can also make use of other common socialization settings.
Other ways on how to make staff meetings more fun:
Preparation removes the monotony and bureaucracy in meetings. Understand the agendas behind the meeting, the projected meeting duration, your target audience, and what you intend to accomplish from the session.
For example, if you anticipate the meetings to take long, arrange to have regular snack breaks. These act as a breather for the participants.
As you plan on how to make staff meetings more fun, test all the electronic equipment you intend to use. These include projectors, microphones, and tablets.
Ensure your meeting room has adequate lighting. Have all the other stationery ready. And aim to start and end the meeting on time.
In Addition To Planning:
- Change the location of your regular staff meeting. Ditch the boardroom and meet over a meal at a restaurant suggested by one of the employees.
- Keep time. Ensure you observe the time allocated for the meeting. Employees tend to disengage from the meeting when they sense you are now going into extra time.
- Alternate the leadership role of the meeting. Have a different person chairing or taking minutes for every staff meeting.
- Hold meetings only when you have to.
- Never start a meeting with no clear agenda.
Now that you have several ideas on how to make staff meetings more fun, make sure to hold effective meetings by doing follow-ups. Such follow-ups ensure that you implement the action points of the previous sessions.
This strategy also minimizes the incidences where you carry forward an agenda of the past staff meeting to the current one. This unfortunate habit tends to dilute all your efforts of making the staff meeting a fun session.
Thus, when thinking of ways to engage your employees, make sure to put them first and know what they need.