Not Another Team Meeting!

Boardroom MeetingMeetings aren’t normally something to look forward to, but there can be real benefits from having a weekly team meeting at your firm – if it’s set up to do the right things.

Share the big picture

Most of your team members work pretty much in isolation at their own jobs and don’t see the overall ‘big picture’ of where the firm is going. It’s also highly probable they don’t really know much about or understand just what it is their colleagues are doing. A weekly meeting is a good place to share the knowledge of where the firm is going and what everybody’s working on, even in brief.

Understanding priorities

Everybody in the business has his or her own priorities, but unless these are related to the priorities of others in the firm conflicts can result. Fighting over scarce resources can cause any number of projects to miss their deadlines. Each week – and it’s probably best at the start of the week, give everyone in the team the chance to outline their priorities and support needs so that conflicts don’t arise and the allocation of resources is made according to the greatest need for them.

Directing the traffic

When people get focused on their own list projects it’s possible for them to lose track of what the business really needs them to focus on. Management can play the part of the ‘traffic cop’ at weekly meetings and direct work to where it’s going to deliver the most benefits for the firm. Everybody on the team will see what’s most important and what can be taken off the critical list until more time is available.

This doesn’t mean there’s a need to trivialize anybody’s workload. When people are busy they tend to see what they’re doing as important and it’s up to you to communicate the reason why some projects are more important than others. It’s also up to you to make sure that everybody is working on things that are important to the business as a whole.

Training

How often does it happen that something like a new photocopier is installed and only one or two people know how to work it? The usual result is paper jams and a mad search for the one or two unfortunates with the means of getting the equipment serviceable again.

If you have a regular weekly team meeting you can overcome this lack of knowledge and share information about equipment or procedures with everybody, even if it’s just how to use something correctly and general advice on what not to do.

The quest for perfection

Getting everybody in the firm together gives them a chance to tell you what’s in need of attention. If only one person believes there’s a problem it’s probably not all that critical, but if all the team members agree on it it’s something you needed to know!

There could be one key project that’s become a roadblock for others trying to get their work done, or it might be that something’s jamming up the works that you’ve been unaware of. Bringing it up in a team session also lets you ask the group to come up with a solution. It’s always a good idea to let others help you in finding answers to a problem.

Motivation

Meetings that get everyone together can be motivational tools. Everybody feels better when they really feel like they’re part of a team and that others are working as hard fulfilling their responsibilities as they are.

Your people will also feel motivated by the chance to participate in goal-setting by having a say in the priorities of the firm and by eliminating the risks of missing deadlines in their own projects. They’ll have a new feeling of importance when they see that what they do fits into the ‘big picture’ of the business.

Has this convinced you?

If you do begin weekly meetings you’ll have to remember that you then have a commitment to keep them going. Every meeting must be held for a purpose and that purpose has to be shared by everyone there. Start out with the intention of creating a team event that drives greater efficiency and motivation and see how it looks as an agenda.

The benefits to you from a successful use of weekly team meetings are easy to appreciate. Things in the office will run smoother, resources will be better allocated, deadlines will be met, people can get their work done without creating problems for others and everybody will feel better about what they do.