For many businesses, regular office meetings are an essential aspect of the company culture. Meetings ensure that all attendees are on the same page, so to speak, by hearing all parties’ ideas, questions, concerns, misgivings, and suggestions.
Remember the Telephone Game? One person whispers a message to the next person in line, who then passes it along to the next person in line, and this continues until the last person in line announces the message to the group. By then, the message is usually far different than the one whispered by the one who started the progression. Meetings eliminate the Telephone Game effect because all attendees are hearing all information as it’s originally presented.
While office meetings can be constructive and effective, they’re also often among the most dreaded aspects of the job. Why? According to one survey, the number one complaint employees have about meetings is when attendees are allowed to ramble on repeat and repeat comments and thoughts. A close runner-up? Meetings are not inspiring, not motivating, and simply boring. If you’re noticing your team’s eyes glaze over during meetings, consider changing things up to make your meetings fun!
1. Break Bread
If you’re going to share information, why not do so while sharing breakfast or lunch, too? Food brings people together! To add to the fun factor, have lunch delivered from a different spot each time so the food doesn’t become monotonous. As an added bonus, your team will be free from daydreaming about where they’re going to go eat after the meeting.
2. Break the Ice
Once your group has assembled, start off with a fun icebreaker game to relax attendees, create a positive vibe, and help employees learn more about each other. Examples of icebreakers include:
- Go around the table and have everyone choose an adjective to describe themselves. For the duration of the meeting, everyone has to be referred to by their adjective rather than their name.
- Tell your team that today is a stand-up meeting. Or a sit-on-the-floor meeting. Or a roaming (walk around the outside of the building while meeting) meeting.
- Write various questions on scraps of red, brown, green, yellow, orange paper. Fold them up and put them in the center of the table. When everyone is seated, pass around a bag of M&Ms and have each person choose one. Everyone has to choose a scrap of paper correlating to their M&M color and answer the question inside.
3. Pick A Winner
Anything is more fun when you have an opportunity to win something! Why not compile a box full of gift cards, gift certificates, and fun, inexpensive “prizes” and award one at the end of each meeting? You can have attendees draw scraps of prizes to find out who the winner is, hand out fortune cookies with one fortune saying “winner,” etc. Be creative!
4. Give them a Break
Especially for infrequent (weekly or monthly) meetings, why not schedule them toward the end of the workday and allow all attendees to cut the workday short and leave after the meeting is over? You can be pretty certain everyone will be in a good mood, and that you’ll be eliminating the most-hated meeting complaint — rambling on!