Looking for participation at a staff meeting?

We’ve all been there…you book a staff meeting…people are late…two people are off sick…people are still late…you run around the office asking if people will attend…physicians are too busy…nurses are dealing with an elderly patient…you have 3 staff members there, eating their breakfast…you start…you ask a question…no one talks…you share a new policy…no one talks…you end the meeting early…

Sound familiar?

Running staff meetings can be challenging – different roles are interested in different things, people have other priorities, some are not interested in participating.

Time to shake things up!

Staff meetings are a great way to:

  • enhance collaboration across different roles/departments
  • inform and update
  • celebrate success
  • connect as human beings
  • be aware of simmering issues before they explode
  • brainstorm solutions to issues
  • refresh everyone’s brains
  • build a team culture

So there is value in holding and persevering with your staff meetings. I can think of a number of practice teams who improved their culture with some simple tweaks to their staff meetings.

Here are a few tips below. Pick one that you think might work in your situation and give it a try (be aware that you may need to try it 4-5 times before people ‘get it’, or it has impact).

  • Change the name to TEAM meeting
  • Meet regularly at a time that suits most
  • Ask people for input to an agenda
  • Send an agenda out before the meeting
  • Tell people in advance which agenda items you will seek their input on
  • Ask people to bring along 2 points about certain agenda items (e.g. if you need feedback or solutions)
  • Discuss the importance of cross-role collaboration with senior people and gain their support to be there
  • Ask a different person each meeting to present on a project, initiative, or issue they are working on
  • Buy coffee for all as a treat (and to encourage them to show up!)
  • When looking for ideas, ask people to write down individually a list of ideas for whatever the topic is, then go around the group and ask for them to share 1 idea each
  • Have a flip chart or whiteboard to capture key ideas
  • Stick to the agenda and start/finish on time
  • Find a way to get people talking – do something fun, raise a topic important to all, have people discuss in pairs and present back

Small changes can have big impacts.

These are a few suggestions, and hopefully one or more will work for your team. There’s more to running a team meeting than these, yet sometimes small changes can have big impacts.

If you would like more information on effective meetings (we have a whole course on team meetings, with more ideas in detail) and productive teams, check out our Community and Courses membership here.

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