Meetings can help or hinder not only office productivity but the overall culture of a company.
An important factor to remember is that meetings are not just about ideas; the group dynamics of the individual people in the room play a significant role in whether those ideas flourish and grow, or are killed on the spot. When you focus on the PERSON, meetings can be more productive without as much of the dread factor. Breaking down the individual components, meetings should focus on the following:
- Private and group-based
- Encourage strengths
- Right frequency
- Open dialogue
- New ideas
Private and group-based
Time should be made to meet both as a group, as well as privately in a one-on-one setting. It's important that the group maintain connectivity and detailed awareness of developments. It is equally important that the manager meets with each team member to individually discuss workloads, roadblocks, strengths, and more.
People contribute in different ways. Someone in the meeting may be soft-spoken and detail-oriented, while someone else may be more of a natural leader. Each personality type is valuable in accomplishing goals. Recognize, maximize, and utilize the strengths of the individuals within your group, but also push people at least a little bit outside of their safety zones to enable growth.
How many meetings can you have before it becomes excessive? The answer is tricky and varied. In order to maintain connectedness, a good rule may be to have a department/team meeting once per week, a one-on-one between the manager and direct report once per week, and additional meetings as needed for special projects. Too many meetings can interrupt productivity, so each meeting should have a clear purpose.
It is important to identify weak spots so they can be repaired. With too much focus on the negative areas, though, a meeting could descend into a gripe-fest and be damaging to the company's morale. Rather than putting a heavy focus on failures, shed light on opportunities for improvement and the steps that will ensure success.
This is an area where recognizing the different personality traits of team members can be important in encouraging the open and harmonious transfer of ideas. Employees should be encouraged to freely and frankly present ideas without fear of reprisal.
New ideas encouraged
When something within a company works, the same formula may be used continuously until the company realizes one day that the rest of the industry has advanced to the next step and they are in danger of becoming obsolete. New ideas that consider the consumer's current and future needs should always be encouraged during meetings, even if they are wildly outside the norm.
For additional assistance in improving your company's group dynamics, please contact Nextep's HR Department.