Out of the box meeting ideas to keep your employees engaged
Meetings have the capacity to enable or stifle creativity so make sure that your meetings are engaging for your employees. Here are some tips to keep them engaged.
Start with wins
Begin on a positive and share any wins since the last meeting. Whether that’s a bug being fixed, you’ve organised for a new heating/air conditioning system or Bob’s wife has just given birth to twins. Starting on a positive vibe will help to keep people thinking positively.
Get people thinking with a brain teaser
Engage people’s brains right from the beginning with a quick brain teaser and a prize for whoever solves it first. This will encourage people to get settled quicker so that they can solve the teaser and get the highly-coveted prize.
Set a timer and stick to it
A meeting that runs on too long will not be appreciated by anyone. The longer the meeting goes on, the higher the chance that someone is thinking about lunch, all the work that is piling up or needing a toilet break. Make your agenda and stick to it. Try an egg timer or an app with the amount of time you have allotted for the meeting and when the egg timer runs out, you all leave. This way, you will get used to having shorter meetings, rather than letting them run on.
Bring (healthy) snacks
Keep those stomachs quiet by providing some snacks, particularly for longer meetings. Hunger is a big distraction during a meeting so if you’re planning to take up a lot of time, make sure you have thought of this. Try to provide energy-boosting foods – such as bananas – alongside meeting favourites like pastries, doughnuts and biscuits.
Invite specialists in to speak at your meetings to provide a new point of view and lots of useful information. This will help to spice up the meetings and keep everyone learning something new and exciting.
Dedicate time for questions/ideas feedback
Make sure you give your employees time to ask questions and give ideas, as this will give them a forum to point out issues and ideas that you may not have considered and will make them feel like they are more valuable.
Find new surroundings in a local meeting space to shake things up and get everyone out of the office for a little while. The facilities on offer may give you access to technology you don’t normally have and it can be nice to have someone else putting on the spread too.
Take it in turns to lead meetings
Give the reins to someone else for a meeting. This allows you to take a back seat and see how your team is interacting but also allows for different people to showcase their specialities and will keep it interesting. You can always take back control if they need a little help but you being there just in case should give them the boost they need.
If you’re having a short meeting, don’t bother sitting down. Keep everyone standing in your meeting room and get to the point quickly. Standing up will keep their bodies (and minds) more active and will encourage the meeting to be done before too long.
Get everyone to stand up every so often
If your meeting is too long to be able to stand up for the whole of it, get everyone to stand up every half hour to relieve any aches, pains and restlessness. You could even get everyone to walk in a procession around the table back to their space, just to make sure that the blood is flowing properly.
Get new chairs or beanbags
If you’re noticing a lot of fidgeting (more than standing up every so often will fix) consider getting new beanbags or chairs that are more comfortable. It may be that yours are worn out and your employees are struggling to focus, while struggling to find a comfortable position.
Order in lunch for everyone
Reward employees with lunch at the end of the meeting (or later in the day if the meeting was first thing in the morning) so that they know that their needs will be met.
Do a quiz at the end with prizes
Get employees to pay more attention to the meetings by letting them know that there will be a quiz about the meeting at the end with prizes for whoever (or which team) gets the most correct answers.
Schedule the meeting for an odd time
If people have begun to associate 9am with a tedious meeting, schedule the meeting for 8:53am or 9:12 to create a little change. Start the meeting on time, and you could always devise a forfeit for those that arrive late.
Have a buzzer for off-topic conversations
Meetings are notorious for getting off track so have a buzzer or randomly select someone at the meeting to keep hold of the buzzer (or a device that will make a noise) and set it off anytime the meeting gets off track. This will help keep the pace better and have everyone out sooner.
If you need a new setting for your meeting, check out our meeting rooms for hire in Swindon.