The mere mention of a meeting is enough to draw huge, collective sighs across the office, especially if it’s scheduled in first thing on a Monday morning. The fear kicks in at the thought of endless presentations, dry documents and the repeated conversations – it’s just not productive.
However, there are ways to brighten up your conferences with just a few minor changes to how they are conducted. Recruitment specialists, Gibson Hollyholmes, offer 10 tips on how to ensure your next meeting is productive.
- Break the Ice
Recent studies suggests employees are 12% more productive when they are happier, so make sure you keep it light-hearted – crack a few jokes and smile. The main aim is to make them engage with what you’re trying to pitch.
- Sugar Rush
Keeping energy high is the main priority, and if your jokes fall flat you may have to open the sweets and/or fizzy drinks. It’s also a small gesture that goes a long way and shows employees that you care.
Keeping your audience moving is a creative way to ensure nobody is switching off. Easy exercises include bouncing on your feet and stretches to keep the blood pumping. Workers who exercised felt less stressed and less anxious at work.
- Ensure That Everyone Has Their Say
It’s important to have a group discussion in meetings, there’s nothing worse than having to listen to someone rant on and on. In order to keep your workforce engaged, offer the floor to someone who may be able to add more depth to the discussion and possibly a solution.
- Make It Short
Conferences are allocated slots to say what you need to say within a particular time, straying away from wrapping up can cause employees to lose concentration and ultimately effect productivity.
- Ditch Technology
Unplug your laptops, turn off the PowerPoint presentation and focus on engaging with your employees face to face rather than through a screen. Studies found that students who have a harder time remembering what is taught in lectures usually have a laptop in front of them, this is same for the office.
- Limit Your Attendees
When organising a meeting, try to keep the numbers down. One company famous for limiting members of staff at conferences are Google, who allow no more than 10 people. By limiting attendees, you are avoiding the inevitable carnage that often happens when you have too many people in one space – unstructured, disorganised and generally messy. Alternative ways of keeping additional members of staff in the loop is just to send an email prior to the meeting.
- Limit Your Slides
If PowerPoint is an ally that you swear by when conducting a team gathering, make sure that the slides are limited to a minimum. Those extra charts you decided to put towards the end might be the nail in the coffin for some (most) of your attendees.
- Location, Location, Location
You shouldn’t feel restricted to the office when choosing where to have your meeting. Taking the team out to a near-by coffee shop or a bite to eat can break the stereotype of a boring meeting and generate more productivity.
10.End With a Clear Mind
Overviews/takeaways at the end of meetings help speed up time and prevent needless ranting. More often than not, discussions tend to go in circles or divert from the subject at hand – make sure agreements are met and objectives are clear. Methods of staying on track include putting your ideas in a “Parking Lot” that can be revisited at a later date.