REDW Principal & HR Consulting Practice Leader Cristin Heyns-Bousliman, Esq. shares tips for setting fun staff meetings for remote work environments in this South Carolina LocalBiz Digital Magazine feature.
By Cristin Heyns-Bousliman, Esq.
When is the last time you looked forward to gathering for your weekly staff meeting?
How about describing it as â€œfun?â€ Be honest. As remote work has become more prevalent, and gathering around the water cooler isnâ€™t necessarily an option for everyone anymore, staff meetings need to evolve as well.
Here are five easy ways to enhance your team’s staff meeting experience:
1. If this meeting could have been an email, put it in an email.
Rather than reviewing a list of assignments or reading boring announcements, send them out before the meeting and simply ask if there are any questions or clarifications needed. This way you can save time in the meeting for sharing and connecting.
2. Everybody gets the mic.
To maintain engagement in a staff meeting (particularly a virtual meeting), make sure that every team member has to unmute (or inevitably be told â€œYouâ€™re on mute!â€) at least once. This can take the form of a facilitated discussion on a topic or decision relevant to the whole team, or through the team-sharing exercise described below.
3. Team share for the win.
Designing a weekly team-share exercise is a great way to drive engagement and build connections (even remotely) within your team. During the pandemic, my team had a â€œMental Health Exercise of the Weekâ€ that would encourage creative ways to get through quarantine (Quarantine Bingo, a baking challenge, and a Covid signature cocktail creation, to name a few). The following week, the individual team members would talk about their experience.
As we are slowly approaching â€œnormal,â€ we have converted this to our â€œTeam-Building Exercise of the Week,â€ which we kicked off with the â€œGetting to Know Youâ€ challenge. Team members were assigned colleagues whom they perhaps didnâ€™t know as well due to different projects or practice areas, and they conducted interviews to learn five things about the interviewee that no one on the team would know. I assure you, the information revealed during the following weekâ€™s team share was anything but boring!
4. Transparency is lit.
Be sure that the announcements you do make during meetings are limited to relaying the details you can share about company-wide initiatives to which the team may not always be privy. Feeling like they have the inside track also will drive your teamâ€™s engagement. Individual contributors can inadvertently wind up feeling like they are camped out on an island. Bring them back into the fold with interesting info on upcoming events and projects. Extra credit if you offer up the opportunity to participate on a committee or other internal initiative.
5. Close with gratitude.
Closing staff meetings with an opportunity to share statements of gratitude (aka â€œkudosâ€) will send everyone off into their week on a positive note. Watching my team in their Brady Bunch configuration on the Zoom call screen as they go around and offer thanks for each otherâ€™s hard work, guidance and support warms my shriveled little heart. I promise it will yours too!
The article shared above, “How to Laugh Your Staff (Meeting) Off,” by REDW Principal and Human Resources Consulting Practice Leader Cristin Heyns-Bousliman, Esq., appeared in the 2021 Q2 issue of South Carolina’s LocalBiz digital magazine.
Access the full issue and original posting, here.