Meetings are essential to running any business, but unfortunately, they aren’t always as fruitful as they could be.
When run effectively, however, meetings can make a big difference in uniting your employees via a common goal, addressing current issues in the workplace, brainstorming new customer-centric ideas and boosting employee morale.
Wondering how to conduct productive staff meetings at your lingerie store? These 7 strategies are sure to get you — and your staff — on the right track.
1. Schedule wisely
When you’re in the planning phase, give careful consideration to the day and time you schedule a gathering. Believe it or not, when you have a meeting can have a major impact on how productive it is.
According to research conducted by WhenIsGood.net, the best time for a meeting is 3 p.m. on Tuesdays. It makes sense, because employees’ focus might be off at the very beginning and end of the week (as well as the very beginning and end of the work day) for differing reasons.
2. Define your objective
Don’t schedule a meeting until you’ve figured out the purpose. Ask yourself not only what topics you want to discuss, but what you hope to accomplish. Do you want to gather customer feedback from employees about a new lingerie line you’ve been carrying? Are seeking input about a problem the store is facing? Would you like to collect ideas regarding an upcoming in-store promotion?
Be clear on your objective and make sure to communicate it to staff when you invite them to the meeting. You can also ask them to come prepared with questions or ideas to cut down on any wasted time.
3. Develop an agenda (and stick to it)
Structure is key when it comes to planning productive staff meetings. Without a timeline and a specific plan for how you want to use the time, you’re more likely to end up getting off track. So it’s advisable to create an agenda with the subjects you plan to cover, in order, as well as how many minutes you want to allot to covering those topics.
Share that agenda with your employees in advance, and throughout the meeting, continue to check the time (or task an employee with watching the clock) to keep people focused and engaged.
Always cover the most important topics first in case you end up running out of time. If you end up needing to skip something on the agenda due to time constraints, don’t stress — you can always follow up with staff in an email or at a future meeting. However, you want to avoid adding things to the conversation that were not originally on the agenda.
5. Stand up
While it may be tempting to sit down during a meeting, it can be beneficial to ditch the chairs. In fact, a study conducted by Washington University in St. Louis’s Olin Business School found that when attendees stood up at meetings, they not only had higher levels of engagement but also became more creative while brainstorming.
6. Eliminate distractions
It’s no secret that technology can get in the way of productivity. At the beginning of the meeting, let employees know that using smartphones isn’t allowed. They’re far less likely to get distracted without a device at their fingertips for texting, checking email and surfing the web.
7. Save time for an actionable conclusion
Reserve five to 10 minutes at the end of the meeting to recap and discuss next steps. Have each attendee state their most valuable takeaway from the meeting and the main goal they’ll be focusing on going forward.
You might also ask employees to share their proudest accomplishment that week, whether it was a big sale, reorganizing some inventory or a simple compliment from a customer. This helps staff to feel motivated, engaged and accountable.
Meetings certainly shouldn’t be something you or your employees dread, nor should they drain valuable time. Follow these seven tactics to make sure they always have a positive impact on your business.