Team meetings are a great way to get your staff together to brainstorm ideas, share updates, and reconnect. However, simply having everyone in the same room doesn’t automatically make for an effective meeting.

When not properly structured, team meetings can feel like a colossal waste of time. Use this advice to ensure employees walk away from yours feeling engaged, empowered, and informed.

Five Tips for Conducting Effective Team Meetings

Create an Agenda

When a meeting has no order, chaos tends to ensue. Therefore, it’s important to create an agenda before the meeting and email it to everyone in advance. This gets everyone on the same page and allows people to prepare any remarks they may have on the designated topics.

During the meeting, if the conversation goes off-topic, you can quickly refer to the agenda to get back on track.

Invite Everyone to Speak

Some employees don’t think twice about chiming in during meetings — often several times. However, others are a bit more reserved. These people also have valuable thoughts and opinions, so give them a little nudge to speak. Ask them a question or invite them to share an idea because they likely won’t contribute on their own.

Switch Things Up

Following the same meeting format, every time is easy, but it also gets a bit mundane. If every meeting feels identical, employees will likely get bored and check out midway. Avoid this by making things a little different as often as possible. For example, you might hold the meeting in a different location, switch up the order of events, or even add in a quick and fun game.

Take Notes and Send Them Out

A lot of great discussions happen at your team meetings, but it doesn’t mean much if most of it stays in the room. Keep the ideas fresh in everyone’s minds by taking notes — or assigning an employee to do so — and emailing them out after the meeting. This will give everyone the chance to review them and get to work on any items that require their attention.

Check-In on Action Items

It’s likely many employees will walk away from the meeting with at least one new task. This is a great way to bring new ideas to fruition, but only if they follow through. Make sure this happens by checking in on their progress after a few days to see how their efforts are going. You might find incredible results, or this could serve as a reminder to the person that they need to get started on their assignment.

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