11 Ways To Give Your Staff Meetings More Life

Question: What’s one tip that you have for making staff meetings more engaging for your employees?


Limit Attendees

“The more people attending a meeting, the more passive each participant will be because they can let other people carry the intellectual load. Our policy is to limit most meetings to no more than 5 participants. The costs of large meetings are high – a one-hour meeting with 10 participants costs the company 10 hours. If the average hourly rate of the participants is $100, the meeting costs $1000.”




Limit Meetings to 30 Minutes

“Why did 60 minutes become the default time for meetings? If given a deadline, meetings will naturally become streamlined, people will pay more attention and everyone’s time will be used more efficiently.”


– ANSON SOWBY, Battery Productions


Give Awards

“We have a staff meeting on Friday each week. Before the meeting, everyone nominates a team member to win a championship belt. The person who won it the week earlier presents the belt to a team member who was nominated for doing something above and beyond expectations. It’s amazing how seriously people take the honor of winning the belt.”


– KELSEY MEYER, Influence & Co.


Provide Free Beer

“One of our long-standing traditions is to have one mandatory meeting each Friday at 4 p.m. featuring beer. In our new office, we even have a keg. It sounds silly, I know. However, a great work-related conversation always ensues, and connections are made that are deeper than “colleague-level.” These meetings build increased trust among the team and in the workplace.”




Encourage Participation

“Meetings with one or two presenters create a situation where everyone else passively listens. We try to make every staff meeting a “roundtable,” where each teammate shares her or his recent efforts. Knowing that you will be speaking encourages better preparation and engagement with what others are sharing.”


– AARON SCHWARTZ, Modify Watches


Start on Time

“My team recently implemented a new policy. Our daily check-in meetings will start on the dot, no exceptions. We even have a chain of command for who will run the meeting if the leader is late. This practice respects everyone’s time, keeps the meetings short and makes people take the start time seriously!”


– LAURA ROEDER, LKR Social Media


Implement Show and Tell

“Have everyone share a personal photo and corresponding story from a recent experience. This will allow you a valuable glimpse into the lives of your employees beyond the workplace. It will help you become a more “caring” manager and give you additional knowledge about your co-workers. You may even be able to use this information to improve your organization.”


–BENJAMIN LEIS, Sweat EquiTees


Keep on Task

“We took a page out of the developer scrum book, and it transformed meetings for our team. We have a daily stand-up meeting, limit it to seven minutes and give it a goofy name. This is our team check-in, and it reduces the need for nonessential meetings. Forcing everyone to stand keeps everything on task. Get in, get out and let great collaboration tools aid good communication.”


–DEREK SHANAHAN, Playerize / SuperRewards


Order Pizza

“The team is in the zone, with blinders on, before our Monday meetings. Somehow, getting the pizza order down has become like a warm-up engagement exercise. We go seamlessly from “In the mood for pineapple?” to “How can we improve this?” So long as you don’t mind possible cheese mishaps, stuffed mouths share great ideas.”




Rate Meetings

“At the end of every meeting, all participants put up a hand with one to five fingers to rate the experience. A rating of 5 is a meeting that starts on time, ends on time, doesn’t go off on tangents and stresses our company values. A 1-rated meeting is a total waste of everyone’s time. And it’s okay to give a 1!”


–ZACH CLAYTON, Three Ships Media


Rearrange the Agenda

“When you give employees the meeting agenda, they will choose when they will tune you out if you go in order. We give out an agenda, but we skip around so everyone pays attention. Sometimes, we will have mini-quizzes, fill-in-the-blanks or prizes to emphasize main points in the meeting. These strategies have kept our stylists engaged and excited to hear what is next on the unpredictable agenda.”




Photo Credits

Startup Collective

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