Kyra Sproule: Meetings can be fun, inspirational, informative, educational, or all of the above. One thing all business meetings have in common is that they are most effective when well planned and appropriately managed. Meetings are the best way to communicate with your team. They get everyone together, engage them and provide you with the opportunity to motivate them. So how can you make your team meetings great?
Create an agenda and stick to it
Decide what the goal of the meeting is and create an agenda listing all the important topics that need to be covered. If necessary, ask other attendees if they have any items to add to the agenda. When the agenda is finalised, send it out to everyone well in advance of the meeting so they know what the meeting will cover. Remember when creating an agenda to list the items in priority order, that way you can be sure the most important things won’t get rushed or missed out if the meeting runs longer than anticipated.
Use your time wisely
No one wants to sit in a long meeting. It’s harder to stay focussed and people may choose not to contribute in an attempt to reduce the time they have to be there, so try to keep meetings short and sweet. Having shorter meetings, more frequently tends to be easier to schedule in a salon, spa or clinic environment, and can also yield better results.
It’s also important to stick to the agreed upon timeline for the meeting, that means starting on time, and finishing on time. You may need to stop conversations if they go off on a tangent or are unrelated to what needs to be discussed. A good way to do this is to offer to take these conversations “offline” and have them at another time.
Keep it positive
While a common goal of meetings is to discuss improvements that need to be made and goals that need to be met, make sure you also take time to focus on what’s going well. Team meetings are a great time to recognise both individual and team successes, so when your team members meet their goals, or do something great, celebrate them! It’ll make your team feel good and motivate them to continue working hard for your business.
Get your whole team involved
Encourage your staff to actively contribute and participate in discussions. Everyone has something to add to the business and it’s important they feel comfortable to share their thoughts and opinions. They may have a great idea to share and their feedback could lead to an initiative that really helps improve business.
You need your salon, spa or clinic to succeed, and you can’t get there alone. Explain your business goals to your team, and help them understand how they fit in to the overall strategy and its success. Set achievable goals for the team and decide which tasks should be completed before the next meeting. Make sure you check in at the next meeting to see if everyone’s still on track and decide which tasks to tackle next.
Make meetings fun
When people have a chance to laugh together and learn together, they’re better able to work together as a supportive, cohesive team. Team meetings are a great time to incorporate fun team building and learning activities. Another way to ensure everyone is excited to come to meetings is to bring baking or other treats along.
One on one meetings
Many of the tips above are just as relevant for one on one meetings as they are for group meetings, but there are a few things to remember specifically when meeting with individuals.
For a one on one meeting, be sure to choose a location where a private conversation can take place with little to no interruptions, both parties should feel comfortable to speak without fear of the conversation being overheard. Meeting with a manager can be a source of anxiety for some people, you can help ease their anxiety by scheduling regular catch up meetings. This may seem counterintuitive, but having more frequent meetings, even if they are brief, helps create an open line of communication, which in turn will help your staff feel more comfortable about meeting with you one on one.
Individual meetings work best when both people have a chance to speak and share their thoughts and opinions on a subject. Remember, your team member’s perception of a situation is their reality, none of us is perfect and we often don’t see things in exactly the same way. You should aim to be attentive, not defensive, as your ability to embrace others’ points of views will further establish your success as a leader.
Always end all your communications with a genuine positive comment. If you don’t have a regular meeting scheduled, take a moment to plan your next meeting and agree on the actions that will take place before then.
Meetings are great for keeping your team and your business on track and on the same page. Use the tips above to make sure you’re making the most of your meetings.
Kyra Sproule is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator at Kitomba Salon & Spa Software.