Archive for June, 2014

Staff Meetings: 5 Big Reasons They Can Be A Waste Of Time (and 5 Effective Fixes)

Growing tired of running meetings that no one gets involved in?

It’s no revelation to say that staff meetings are important. And we find that most business owners heed this message and run meetings of some sort.

However, when we dig a little deeper and inquire about the effectiveness, benefit and involvement of the team in these team meetings, in the main we find business owners / managers struggle to see real benefit and largely run meetings because they know they should – even if they’re not sure as to why…

If you are not getting real, tangible benefits and the active involvement from staff in your meetings, perhaps consider the 5 most common meeting gaps and our tried and proven solutions.

Gap 1: The Manager runs the meeting, does most of the talking during it and staff sit and give mock input by looking interested!

The Answer – Facilitate meetings – don’t ‘run’ them. Remember – It’s a staff meeting – not your meeting, so would you (or a manager) do most of the talking? Ask more and better questions and facilitate answers. And if your response to that  is ‘Staff don’t get involved even when I invite them to’ then see Gap # 2

Gap 2: There is a culture (or a belief) that no response is the correct response. When existing staff do not respond, that sets the standard for new staff that they ought not to respond either (note to self: tell the ‘monkey see monkey do’ experiment story in next month’s article).

The Answer – Don’t give up so easily! When you ask a good question, don’t allow silence to be the answer. For example – You: “What went particularly well last week?” They: …(ensuing silence)… You: “Mike! You told me on Tuesday that the ‘Smith’ job went really well. Why?” Get Mike’s answer then keep digging with further ‘whys’ ‘hows’ etc. Do this  at every meeting until you instil a culture that this is a ‘safe’ and worthy environment to get involved.

Gap 3: Meetings are used as the place to present and try to solve the week’s / month’s problems. And this causes the majority of meeting to be a ‘Bleat-fest’ where nothing really get’s resolved.

The Answer – A 30 or 60 minute meeting is not the place to try and fix a week or two’s problems! Recognising and closing gaps ought to happen during the operational week. Meetings ought to then be the place to discuss what has been fixed, by who and how.

Gap 4: The manager is too quick to provide answers & solutions thereby encumbering them as the primary owner of the answer & solution, and in turn they end up with a long to-do list.

The Answer – Lead with Questions – Not with Answers. Don’t be so quick to solve problems and own fixes. Ask questions of the relevant people (do you see a pattern?), get their solutions, agree with and/or challenge & tweak their solutions, whilst ensuring they play a part in the execution of the fix. Now that’s good leadership!

Gap 5: Meetings are a waste of time because no body has done what they said they would do by the time we next meet.

The Answer – If you have the 4 gaps listed above, that would be why you are getting gap number 5. You will have been largely trying to hold people accountable to what is essentially your plan. However, consider if you put the first four fixes into play; whose action plan would it largely be? Theirs! Their fixes – their ownership – their responsibility – with your approval and support. It’s far more effective to make someone accountable to their own plan!

And a final note & reminder: Accountability ought not be a dirty (negative) word. If someone does what they said they would do and the result is great – who is 100% accountable for that great result…?

Hint:  It’s not you!

As always we are limited for time/space here, so contact us for more in depth information (or if you just want to tell us you think we’re full of $h!t!)

Yours in Prosperity and Good Times

Jeff Austin

Business Coach – Public Speaker – Trainer

Bunbury & Perth

Jeff Austin - Business Coach Bunbury