The day-to-day hassles of the workplace are usually forgotten once everyone has left the office, however, they tend to pick up right where they left off the next morning. Therefore, it’s essential for every business owner and manager to address these issues head-on and prevent them from escalating. Understandably, it can be difficult to identify the right solutions and relay them to your staff in a way that ensures they get the message. So, for the sake of smooth operations, you must properly address these inconveniences whenever you have a business meeting. Read on for some simple, yet very effective tips.
Set Clear Expectations from the Start
Quite often, business meetings end up tackling the same issues repeatedly, but time and energy have to be allocated for each and every one of them. The basic problems include tardiness, attendance, extended lunch breaks, etc. These not only affect the workforce but the business’s output as well. People who take advantage of lenient policies don’t realize that they hold everyone else back. Therefore, a business owner must set very clear expectations from the start. These include but are not limited to punctuality and sticking to one’s allotted lunch break. One way to prevent this issue is to have employees clock in and clock out of the building. This will also help you see who is, and more importantly who isn’t, pulling their respective weight.
Organize Agenda in Advance
Having no agenda is the fastest way to make a mess of your company’s workflow. You must give yourself a minimum of 2 weeks to prepare for a meeting. While some organizations hold meetings infrequently and intend to cover all bases within said meetings, this not only crams everything into one session, but it all ensures everyone forgets the purpose and the key takeaways of the meeting.
Successful business owners all have one thing in common: they organize their meetings according to the relevant topics for discussion. They address one problem at a time, making sure every single inconvenience or issue within the workplace is covered. For instance, you can set a weekly meeting for progress reports, and a monthly meeting to discuss discrepancies among the workforce, as the latter, hopefully, won’t need to be held as frequently. You can arrange another meeting for brainstorming and get all your staff involved in the process so that you can identify talent and make sure no one is slacking off.
Include Every Staff Member
It can be hard to hold business meetings with the entire company, especially if you have remote workers and everyone has their own schedules. However, it is important to include every single staff member. Your remote workers must know that they are just as much an integral part of the business. Of course, even after including everyone, you may still experience a lack of participation on your employees’ part. To address this, encourage the quieter members to partake in brainstorming sessions and set up team-building activities.
On the other hand, too much participation from one employee can result in the others taking a backseat, knowing said member will pick up the slack. This can also lead to the eager and ambitious employee being overworked, and more likely to experience burnout. You can handle this by assigning different employees to different tasks and items on the meeting’s agenda.
Make Notes and Encourage Employees to do the Same
Daily discrepancies among staff may seem minor, but over time they build up and can create a rather hostile work environment. Business owners often assume that adults can handle conflict resolution on their own, but managers may have to step in if it begins to seep into the quality of work being produced. The best way to start dealing with everyday interpersonal challenges is to encourage courtesy and transparency by setting an example as the team leader or manager. First, suggest employees make notes of their daily workplace issues. Have them hand in the notes so that you can go over them and discuss them appropriately in an informal meeting.
These types of problems are typically due to a lack of teamwork, such as arguing over who gets to use the copier first or who took the other’s parking spot. Setting up a schedule that allocates time and parking spots, and hanging it in the staff room will help minimize a lot of these inconveniences. Furthermore, as explained above, team-building exercises, at least once a month, will encourage appreciation for other departments, and teach your staff to work together.
Schedule Meetings in Advance
Just as you must organize the agenda ahead of time, you must also give your employees enough time to schedule the meeting into their own routine if you can’t fit it in during working hours. This particularly affects the remote workers of your company. A lack of time management is going to throw everyone off. While Zoom and other virtual platforms can be a solution to tackle time management issues, scheduling meetings in advance will allow everyone to meet in person. Face-to-face events will also help the remote employees connect with the people they deal with every day and foster good rapport.
Limit Status Updates
The issue that needs to be addressed here is how much time status updates take. These can quickly take up the entire meeting, leaving little to no time to discuss other important matters. You can consider either allocating time to informal meetings to limit status updates or having weekly meetings solely dedicated to this. As mentioned above, it’s good to delegate topics to different meetings so that you have enough time to cover all grounds.
The final tip here is to reiterate the main points you addressed during the meeting at the end to ensure everyone receives the message, understands the changes that need to be implemented, and leaves the meeting feeling motivated and encouraged to take part in enhancing the business structure. Notify them of the steps you’ll be taking to reduce a lot of workplace inconveniences so that everyone is aware of what’s to come. These simple tips make it easy to implement positive changes that your staff will be on board with, as they benefit the entire workforce.