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5 Ways to Revitalize Your Team Meetings

5 Ways to Revitalize Your Team Meetings

Introduce Innovative Icebreakers

An icebreaker isn’t only a fun way to start a team meeting. It is a strategic tool to make the meeting more engaging and unify the team. With an effective icebreaker, you can set the right tone for the entire meeting and help people feel allowed to be open and participate. According to the research by the American Management Association, creative icebreakers keep 30% more participants engaged .

A tech company in San Francisco has noticed how their team’s communication and project outcomes got better when they started using icebreakers before every meeting. The secret was that those icebreakers were always closely connected with the meeting’s agenda, making people inspired and ready to contribute.

Case-specific Activity

Ask each of the team members to share a short personal story that relates to the meeting’s main topic. This activity not only helps to warm up the group but also adds to different ideas and perspectives. For example, in a digital marketing firm, when the whole team shared stories of their first time with social media, it helped make the mood a bit lighter. However, simultaneously it gave them an idea for a client, and the following nostalgic marketing campaign brought 20% more traffic.

Virtual Fun

For a remote team, “Two Truths and a Lie” or a quick quiz about the company’s products might be a good way to make a boring afternoon meeting a bit more effective. People become more lively and ready for complex topics after an entertaining virtual game. A team of software engineers working remotely for an e-commerce company, for example, had a quick quiz about all the product categories they develop. The following brainstorming brought 15% more ideas on how to make the products better.

Visualization

Ask the team members to find some image or object at their workplace and share its picture with you, explaining its significance to the team. They can also show this object during the meeting if it is done remotely. Once, when the project management team tried this, people felt 25% more connected to their team and were more effective in collaboration. Short team contest. At the beginning of the meeting, start a 5-minute contest that relates to your team’s work, for example, trying to think of as many ways to use a common product as possible. Such an icebreaker will make people more creative and unified. An engineering team, for example, did this before each brainstorming session and during the discussion were 20% more effective at finding the ways to solve a problem.

Rotate Meeting Leadership

One of the easy wins to increase engagement is empowering different team members to lead the meetings. This practice not only distributes the work of the leader but also helps to evoke a sense of ownership and inclusion among team members. In a mid-sized software development company, employing rotation of the leader of the weekly meeting resulted in 15% increase of the team engagement. Each time, a different team member would conduct the meeting, which allowed to do the meeting in a different way, focusing on different aspects of the project or the team’s life.

Clear Guidelines

Of course, some guidelines need to be established to ensure that the transition between the different leaders does not have a negative impact on the meeting. First of all, every leader should understand the content of the meeting and its objectives. A design firm used one shared format of the template for the agenda that must be present in every document. Using this simple tool every week saved them approximately 30 minutes of the preparation time for the weekly meeting .

Leadership Training

In addition to that, it would make sense to give some brief meeting management training to those who do not have experience conducting the meetings. Such training could include simple tips and tricks that help to lead the discussions, manage the participants, and to keep the meeting within the time frame. A consulting company reported that after a few training sessions for the young leaders, the company’s meetings became more efficient and now decisions are made 40% faster than before .

Rotation According to Expertise

Another option to employ the rotation of the leader is to give each team member a chance to lead the part of the meeting that is within their area of expertise. This approach helps to generate new ideas and puts the focus on the strongest attributes of each team member. An engineering team reported that their new product development and the ideas generated by it became much better after applying this approach .

Implement Interactive Tools

Having interactive tools in meetings can significantly enhance the participation in team meetings. This feature provides more interactive solutions if you use such ways like real-time polling, collaboratively provide comments on the important document or virtual whiteboards. It allows all team members to participate actively and contribute to the discussion.

There is a vivid example where a digital marketing agency implemented real-time polling and saw a 25% increase in participation during the team meetings. For instance, this initiative permits for soft-spoken staff members who shared their opinions and suggestions during meetings and collaborated on new marketing campaigns.

Real-Time Polling

As a team meeting leader, you can use real-time polling to make quick decisions, or to ask for your team’s opinion, feeling, or mood. For example, at one financial agency, the team had live polls during every team meeting, and this resulted in quicker decisions regarding which project should be prioritized. Moreover, it showed the team that everyone’s participation is important. Some members appreciated the ability to fight with no one in a separate room and to keep their opinions to themselves.

Collaboratively Edit the Document

Team members can collaborate over creating the meeting or taking the minutes using Google Docs or Microsoft OneNote features. It helped to prevent any misunderstandings or query the specific details. Moreover, right before the meeting, every employee can add their update to the agenda. The example from a tech company showed that their meetings used to last approximately three hours, and now, with collaboratively editing the documents, it is possible to reduce it to 2-2.5 hours for sure.

Virtual Whiteboards

It is a great solution for brainstorming during your team meeting. It can be used for people participating in the meeting from a distance. A design company used a tool called Miro for virtual whiteboarding and now sees a 5% increase in productivity.

Schedule Unconventional Times

Moving team meetings to unconventional times can shake up the routine and optimize energy levels. Higher attendance and more alert participation can result from experimenting with meeting times—particularly in workforces spanning various time zones. One tech company in Seattle saw a 20% improvement in attendance and productivity after shifting their standard mid-morning meetings to late afternoon. Their developers preferred to code in the morning without interruptions; it made more sense to schedule meetings later when they were less likely to be in “deep work” mode.

Early Bird Sessions

Consider arranging meetings early in the morning for teams that are already energized to start their day. An insurance company in New York started their 8 AM team meetings and reported that decisions were made faster and with more consensus as team members were less concerned with pending assignments.

Lunchtime Pow-wows

Arrange meetings during lunchtime to create a casual atmosphere that can lead to more candid exchanges. A Los Angeles creative agency started serving food during their lunchtime meetings and found that the social setting contributed to a 30% increase in the sharing of new ideas.

Closing Time Chats

Occasionally, a meeting towards the end of a standard working day is a good way for teams to compile their accomplishments of the day before winding down. A customer service team started having 4 PM wrap-up meetings, which decreased the carryover of outstanding issues by 25%.

Rotating Meeting Times

Another approach is to rotate times for the meeting to suit the peak hours of different team members, which is particularly relevant for workforces on flexible schedules. A multinational with over four time zones affected a rotating schedule of early and late meetings, resulting in near-universal attendance by all workers—greatly enhancing global team synergy.

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