No matter what kind of business you run, company meetings are essential for keeping everyone in the know of the latest goings-on, as well as ensuring everyone knows where they stand during projects and tasks. To keep your team engaged from start to finish, it’s important that you use the right tactics, otherwise, they may lose interest and leave the meeting without retaining any information. You may find that how you handle meetings yourself could be improved, so whether you’re hosting meetings virtually or you are able to in person, here are some essential tips for improving your company meetings.

Choose a Suitable Platform

If you’re having to hold company meetings virtually due to the coronavirus outbreak, you must pick a conferencing platform that your team can use with ease. Depending on the kind of business you run and the age of your employees, there may be some people who aren’t the most tech-savvy, meaning they may face difficulty even joining the call and participating in the meeting.

To avoid any confusion, you must pick software that is straightforward and easy to use. Zoom in particular is used by thousands of businesses across the United States, as it’s known for its simple instructions.

Establish the Reason for the Meeting

If employees don’t know what to expect from the meeting, they may have all sorts of questions, worries, and concerns that can hinder their focus and concentration. It’s important that as the company leader, you lay out the purpose for the meeting from the beginning. Make sure there is a plan in place that you can follow, as without order, the meeting can spiral out of control.

Whether you’re about to launch a new product, start a project, or want to reiterate the importance of health and safety, employees must be kept in the know. Regarding safety meetings, it’s a good idea to make them weekly so your team knows what protocols to follow.

Communicate Effectively

Effective communication is essential when holding company meetings. Being able to speak to your team directly about anything and everything is critical for building healthy working relationships. Possessing interpersonal skills allows you to communicate both in person and on paper effectively, meaning your team are always given instructions and know what is expected of them in your business.

Should communication lines break down, this can hinder the outcome of your projects and tasks, so to avoid clients jumping ship and going elsewhere, keeping communication at the forefront is paramount.

Listen to Your Team

In addition to communicating effectively, you must listen closely to your team and take their viewpoints on board. No matter what is going on in your business, letting everyone in the team have a chance to speak will help them feel more valued and respected within the organization.

If you don’t take an interest in what your employees have to say, they may not feel comfortable continuing in their role. The last thing you want is to deal with a high staff turnover, so being open-minded and seeing different sides of a situation is key for not only broadening your mind but improving your company meetings.

Don’t Let the Meeting Overrun

When holding a company meeting, make sure you let employees know from the offset how long it will run for. Even though you’re the boss and in charge of what happens, you should still respect and appreciate your employees’ time. If the meeting overruns by a long time, your employees may have tons to catch up on which can hinder productivity levels within the whole organization.

Try and stick within a time limit, not only to show that you value your employees for taking the time to attend but also so that no one loses interest. If you have difficulty explaining everything within a certain timeframe, this can make you seem unprofessional to some members of the team.

Remove Distractions

We all have a smartphone nowadays, and if your team members use theirs for work and personal reasons, it can be hard for employees to stay engaged throughout the meeting. While technology is beneficial in many ways, staff who constantly check their phones won’t be paying close attention to what is going on in the meeting.

If you’re holding the meeting in person, you have more control in terms of removing distractions. For your team to stay and remain present throughout the meeting, make sure any smartphones, laptops, or tablets are switched off.

Use Visuals

To keep your company meetings interesting and engaging, rather than speaking at your staff for the whole duration, using visuals and PowerPoints can be a great way to keep your team interested. If you add visuals like videos or images, this can make all the difference and help your staff stay connected. You can even add an element of fun such as a quiz at the end of the meeting that will not only inject some competition between team members but help you know who listened to you from start to finish!

Make Sure to Follow Up

Once the meeting is over, that doesn’t mean everything is finished. Whether you want to get feedback for how the meeting went, or if your team retained all the information you provided, following up with staff is critical for keeping your business afloat. If you’re not happy with how the meeting went, encourage your team to be honest with their own feedback. How you handle criticism is what will test you as a business owner. If employees didn’t like the way you conducted proceedings, they need to be open and honest and offer ideas on how meetings could be better presented.

If you need to hold another meeting, make sure you give your team plenty of time in advance to prepare and as mentioned, give them an indication of what to expect.

No matter the reason for the company meeting, keeping everyone engaged from beginning to end can be difficult. Some people’s attention spans only stretch for so long, so making use of the tips above and implementing them into your meetings will ensure employees take more notice and stay focused throughout.