How to have better team meetings in 2023
The start of a new year is an ideal time to set direction for the year ahead. Our Practice Management Team shares ideas on how to conduct meetings that help keep your team focused, motivated, and fulfilled all year long.
5 minute read
- One important consideration when planning team meetings is whether they would be most productive in person or conducted virtually.
- Once you’ve determined your format, consider holding different types of meetings throughout the year, each of which serves a unique purpose.
- Quick huddles, feedback meetings, and identifying one thing to change can all help your team set the stage for success.
We just kicked off 2023, and many of us are already feeling caught up in the day-to-day, minute-to-minute challenges at work. Whether you’re eager to get back into the swing of things or still trying to shake the holiday-season rust, now is an ideal time refocus and motivate your team for the year ahead.
Professionals spend an average of 21.5 hours in meetings per week, so it’s important to make those hours with your team count.1 The team meeting components outlined below are designed to help you set direction, celebrate achievements, and identify the key challenges that need to be addressed by your team. These practices can be incorporated into your existing meetings or be conducted as standalone events.
Determine your format
With remote work becoming more common since the pandemic, teams across the financial industry are still defining how they operate best. It’s important to be intentional about the format of your meetings to maximize their effectiveness for your group.
If your team has a hybrid working environment, for example, you will need to think about the differences between your virtual and in-person meetings. Do you notice more collaboration and engagement when people are in a room together? If so, consider planning your team meetings on days when most people are expected to be present in person. On the contrary, if you don’t notice a difference, it is just as important to communicate to your team that they are welcome to join in person or virtually.
Once you’ve solidified your meeting format, you can start thinking about the different types of team meetings you’ll need to plan for your team to be more successful than ever this year. Below are some ideas to help you get started.
Huddles are fast, information-based exchanges designed to give team members an overview of what everyone is doing for the day or week. Team members should take up to a minute each to explain what they will be working on. This benefits the team by giving everyone an overview of what is happening and spurring ideas on how to support each other.
Huddles are meant to keep team members’ reports brief – if you find individuals going on for more than a minute, it’s likely that the information would be better handled with a smaller group or in a longer, more in-depth meeting. In my experience, this type of meeting tends to be more conducive to ensuring participants are paying attention to each other because it’s harder to “check out” in this configuration.
This practice is designed to help build habits that are productive and identify necessary changes that will benefit the team. Research has shown that individuals who receive regular positive recognition and praise:
- Increase their individual productivity
- Are more likely to stay with their organization
- Receive higher loyalty and satisfaction scores from customers
We are also much more likely to continue behaviors that result in praise than those that result in criticism. There are two parts to this feedback practice: the praise and the “one thing.”
Each week, spend 5-7 minutes providing uninterrupted positive feedback about each other and the experiences you have on the team. For instance: “Jane has been doing a great job providing research data to clients”, “Spence has been great allowing us to handle daily client inquiry”, “That client is really great to work with,” etc. This feedback is meant to be uninterrupted – a constant flow of positive observations with no commentary, justification, or caveats. Nothing is too small to share; “John helped me clean up after the team lunch” or “Meagan held the door for me when I had my hands full” are both fair game.
The “one thing”
Meeting about the team’s long-term goals can take many different forms, but here’s an example I’ve seen many people get results from:
Every three weeks, team members take turns identifying the “one thing” they think should be changed to enhance team functioning. This should be about the task – not an individual. The team then considers each suggestion and decides together which one thing should be the focus for the next three weeks. During weekly meetings, status updates can be given and adjustments made. It is strongly suggested that the team find ways to solve the initial problem together and see progress before choosing the next one thing.
Taking the time to be intentional about your team meetings may seem tedious, but it helps ensure that you maximize the time you spend communicating throughout the year. It can also help to gather feedback from your team when doing your planning to make sure everyone’s voice is heard.