entrepreneur meeting

4 ways to put variety in your meetings

Whether your business has meetings daily, weekly, or hardly ever, you might have wondered how you can make them more interesting. Of course, remaining professional and sticking to the task at hand is paramount, but there are also ways you can make meetings more appealing and help your team feel more alert, creative, and engaged.

Here are four ideas to help inject some variety into your meetings.

1) Step out of the boardroom

A change of scenery can have a revitalizing effect on your team. Try holding meetings in a different spot if possible. For example, in a local coffeeshop, park, restaurant over lunch, or other location that’s nearby and comfortable.

2) Try short, daily, stand-up meetings

A study at Stanford Business School showed that, when meetings were held standing up and taking 10-20 minutes, decisions took 34% less time to make, with no noticeable difference in the quality of the decision. Why not try regular, super-quick meetings held standing up? These short meetings may sound like a weird idea, but some teams find they improve focus and productivity. Daily stand-up meetings are not intended to replace traditional meetings for strategic, big-picture topics. Instead, they’re best for fleshing out daily tasks and responsibilities.

3) Make it a team effort

Finding ways to foster collaboration and discussion can help your team feel more engaged. For example, you can hold the meeting using your own words and not reading off an agenda. You can also ask the team to help you quickly brainstorm some ideas for a project – one person’s thought might spark an idea in another person.

4) Ban meetings for one day

Are you having hour-long meetings every Wednesday just because you always have? Are you hearing feedback that certain employees don’t feel meetings are relevant to what they do, or that they take too much time away from work? If so, you may want to try setting aside one meeting-free day per week. This way, your team can be assured that there’s at least one day where they can put their heads down and work. This way, when you do have meetings (and do try to only have them when it’s necessary), your team will actually have something to contribute.

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Small business blog posts we liked this week

How is your new year going so far? Do you have everything on track? Whether or not the answer to that question is yes, we thought you’d appreciate some recent small business insight from around the internet. From employee creativity to new tech snags, here are some small business blog posts we liked this week:

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How to hang on to great employees

Now that you’ve hired your amazing employees, how are you going to keep them on board? After spending the time training and developing them, it’s not usually fun to lose them – and not fun for the employee either.

Here are some ways you can improve your employee retention:

  • Pay employees fairly, in line with similar jobs on the market.
  • Give bonuses or rewards in recognition of hard work.
  • Develop an employee handbook so everyone will have written records of company policies like employee benefits packages, employee responsibilities, safe working condition requirements and performance assessment information.
The best piece of advice from experienced entrepreneurs

Don’t you wish other entrepreneurs could give you advice on making employees happy? Today’s your lucky day! When we asked experienced entrepreneurs what their best piece of advice would be for budding entrepreneurs, many of them talked about performance assessments. That’s when you meet privately with each employee on a regular basis to discuss expectations and performance, discussing possible areas for additional training, development or rewards and recognition.

These private meetings are a great environment for open communication where you can listen to any concerns your employees may have. Make sure that your employees can approach you with concerns, ideas and questions. This is a great chance for you to be a good leader and make your employees truly happy.

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Dan Pink’s enlightening talk on motivation

At GoForth, we’ve been enthralled by this video illustrating Dan Pink’s TED talk on what motivates us:

Not to ruin the ending, but as providers of entrepreneurial education – and entrepreneurs ourselves – we love the idea that money isn’t necessarily the best motivator in the workplace. This is great news for small business owners – save your money! Favour purpose over profit and get creative with ways to inspire your employees!

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