In the working world, team meetings are important to do at least once a month. Employees can get together to discuss the progress they are making and convey difficulties or problems encountered in completing the assigned tasks. We expect a high-quality discussion will occur, so that ideas can be delivered, problems can be resolved, and goals can be achieved.
Even though it is necessary, team meetings can be a waste of working time. It often happens when everyone’s shown up to attend the team meeting, not all team members are involved in the discussion. They might just nod their heads, write something, stare at colleagues around them, or even daydream throughout the meeting. That's why we need to plan and manage our team meetings well, and make team meetings more engaging.
What does engage in meeting mean?
The word "engage" in meeting describes how participants put their attention and willing to be actively involved in the meeting activities. If a meeting is engaging, the participants will active in discussing, expressing opinions, and even listening carefully to what is conveyed in the topic. Otherwise, we can easily see that participants are disengaged from the meeting. They will start doing other things like make irrelevant conversations and have no interest in speaking up when needed.
Meetings that don't have enough engagement can be unproductive, and reduce the value of collaboration between teams. Maybe only some of the team members understand what was conveyed, and others will find it difficult to digest the next plan and hinder further plans. To help your team get the most attention and engagement, you need to motivate your team.
How do you motivate and engage teams?
There are several things we can do to motivate and engage our team.
- Communicate with the team members
Everyone agrees that effective communication is the key to team success. By frequently communicating with the team, we can hear their ideas, opinions, and get feedback. We will find out what they are currently working on, and keep them up-to-date on what they need to get done. Ensure we are open and approachable in communicating with them, to make our team feel involved and will be motivated to achieve better results.
- Give positive feedback and reward
An important thing that is often overlooked is giving positive feedback. Ensure we tell team members that we are happy with what they do and they have contributed to the success of the team. It counts when they achieved good results, put in a good performance, or put in the extra effort. Not only saying a “good job”, but providing rewards, such as monetary rewards, perks, or gifts for their hard work and efforts. This will make them feel appreciated and motivated to do better in future work.
- Give the space for the team members to thrive
Giving our team enough space and autonomy can make them feel trusted and get the job done on their terms. This can inspire them to find more efficient ways of completing tasks and doing their best work.
We can't expect every team member to develop quickly. Give them enough time to develop, but if you think it's taking too long, you should find another way to motivate them. Each team member has their own strengths and weaknesses, and you as the leader must understand what they need.
To make the team members successful in achieving goals, we need to make our team meeting more engaging. Here are simple tips how to make team meetings more engaging.
Tips for How To Make Team Meetings More Engaging
- Design specific roles for everyone
Increase our team members’ sense of responsibility by assigning roles to them in every meeting. They can be involved in specific roles, such as timekeeper, facilitator, or note taker alternately from meeting to meeting. Be sure that everyone can get the role, no matter whether they are a senior or junior employee. Don't give team members space to be idle during meetings, and involve them at every moment.
- Start with an Icebreaker
When used properly, icebreakers can effectively increase team engagement in meetings. We can design a quick game, activity, or question that is not only fun but also gives everyone a chance to talk. Find many ideas for fun meeting icebreakers. For instance, we give a fun question like “If you have more salary than before, what will you do?” and give everyone a chance to answer. By using the icebreaker, all team members are expected to be connected and ready to fully participate in meeting activities.
- Give team members a souvenir or corporation gift
Provide corporate gifts or souvenirs for team members at meetings. Giving a corporate gift can strengthen the emotional connection between the company and the team members. It can be used as an appreciation gift to team members for performing good work so far. Be sure to find a decent gift or souvenir, to make them feel valued and appreciated. Don’t be surprised that this will result in higher team meeting engagement.
- Choose the right time and keep the meetings short
Scheduling a team meeting at the right time also needs to be done. Choose the most productive times, such as mid-morning. Avoid choosing a time after the lunch break, because most employees don't perform at their best. Consider the meeting duration also important. The longer the meeting gets, the less productive and drain a lot of energy the meeting will be. Set up meeting agenda with points to be discussed before starting the meeting. It will avoid unnecessary discussions and make decision-making quicker.
Productive team meetings play a significant role in team success. That will only happen if everyone on the team fully participates in it. We expect an energized meeting, where all team members are really "there" to get some values, not only to fulfill the monthly or weekly ritual. Follow these actionable tips to make team meetings more engaging, and everyone will feel included and not left out.