Regular discussions between leaders and their reports are essential in any organization. Setting aside time for one-on-one and team meetings provides a forum for the communication of priorities, goal setting, task delegation, general feedback, questions, and learning from one another. It also builds relationships, showing employees that they matter and that their leaders are committed to openness and transparency.
We know that building camaraderie and increasing dialogue allows teams to work together more effectively, thus benefiting the business. But how can we assist leaders in carrying them out? Follow these three steps -
1. Get Buy In
Leaders are busy. They have a slew of responsibilities that fill up their day-to-day schedules. Fitting in regular team meetings can be difficult - you’ve got to convince them that the meetings are worth their time.
For starters, you can conduct a survey of employees to get a baseline of your current status with regard to the consistency of meetings. Ask sliding scale, or agree/disagree questions like:
- I meet with my manager at least weekly or bi-weekly.
- I have good understanding of company goals and priorities.
- I feel that I have adequate time to discuss open items with my manager.
- I receive regular feedback from my manager that helps me do my job.
- I feel that I am kept in the loop on team priorities the status of various projects.
From there, gather the results and share with your leaders. Discuss with them any pain points that employees are feeling, and how meeting with employees on a regular basis will alleviate some of the current issues. Explain that meeting with teams can help to reduce duplications, lighten workloads, coordinate skill sets, and produce greater results than separate efforts. Effective teams are comprised of people who care about each others’ well-being, and it’s a leader’s responsibility to help facilitate this. Help your leaders get on board by explaining WHY team meetings are a priority.
2. Set Leaders Up for Success
Next, discuss the bedrock basics of what a meeting is:
- Regularly scheduled
- Prioritized - have cancellations be the exception.
- Planned for - know what needs to be checked in on from before, what positive and corrective feedback can be given, what can be delegated, etc.
- Notes and follow up are essential.
Help leaders prepare by providing a general agenda - i.e. for a one-on-one, there should be 10 minutes for the employee, 10 minutes for the leader, and 10 minutes for career development. For team meetings, leaders can share company initiatives that impact the team, give shout outs to team members for wins and successes, consider having guest speakers from other teams, and allow open time for questions and discussion.
Provide leaders with a weekly digest of pertinent company information that they can have on hand to share with their teams.
3. Set Expectations
Decide exactly what it is that you’re asking leaders to do. Are team meetings a core priority at your organization, and part of a leader’s responsibilities? Great - communicate that. Are leaders expected to conduct monthly team meetings, and bi-weekly one-on-one meetings? Make sure they know exactly what is expected of them. Commit to (and communicate) that you will be sending periodic surveys to check in on meeting progress, and consider tying survey results to bonuses, merit, or other incentives.
Regular team meetings can be instrumental in growing a team’s morale and productivity. With a little planning, you can assist leaders with effectively carrying out meetings. To discuss further, drop us a line.