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The saying, "Time is money" holds true in most workplaces. But, for unorganized workplaces where staff meetings are held without real reason or purpose, a lot of time and money can be lost. Effective staff meetings have employees coming in with a sense of what is going to be discussed and leaving with information that will help them advance and move ahead with their tasks.
Have an Agenda
Everyone walking into your staff meeting should have an idea or an agenda in advance so there is an understanding of what will be discussed. This not only helps your employees prepare mentally for the meeting, but it also helps save everyone's time. You can jump right into the staff meeting hitting on important points rather than taking additional time to put the purpose of the meeting into reference. For an even more effective agenda identify information items and action items on the agenda, advises a 2009 ''U.S. News & World Report" article on holding effective meetings.
Starting your staff meetings on time is just as important as making sure they do not run longer than planned. This also helps set the standard for your employees that time is valuable and that you expect everyone to arrive promptly. There are times where the topic may verge off or someone becomes long-winded, but this is where you have to stay in control of the meeting by either reminding everyone that this meeting is to discuss XYZ and other matters can be addressed privately or at another meeting. As the leader of the meeting, you can also help those who are coming off as long-winded by summarizing their points and moving the meeting along.
Engage Your Employees
No one wants to sit through a boring meeting. The information you provide in a staff meeting should have meaning and purpose to your employees. A meeting should help make decisions, according to a 2012 "Forbes" article on leading meetings. Provide the opportunity for employees to voice their thoughts as well as to ask questions at the end of the meeting to aid them in completing tasks and projects. All you need is five minutes to go around the room.
Avoid information going in one ear and out the other ear by preparing a minutes report after each staff meeting. Summarize key points discussed during the meeting and any specific actions meeting participants need to take and deadlines in bullet point form so that the information is easy to read and digest.
Wendy Lau entered the communication field in 2001. She works as a freelance writer and prior to that was a PR executive responsible for health care clients' written materials. Her writing experience include technical articles, corporate materials, online articles, blogs, byline articles, travel itineraries and business profile listings. She holds a Bachelor of Science in corporate communications from Ithaca College.