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3 keys to a productive morning meeting

Sonal Mishra
17th Sep 2016
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Morning meetings - love them or hate them, you can't skip them!

Such meetings are a common occurrence in the startup culture. They help build a culture of trust and drive everyone towards a common goal. In fact, this morning huddle is probably the single most effective interaction that you can have with your team on a daily basis.

There are many reasons why such meetings are held, including motivating employees, reviewing progress, providing feedback and suggestions and, most importantly, streamlining daily operations and deliverables. While the agenda is clear, employees often fear about the topics and shortcoming that might be raised with the whole team present.

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So how do you fill in the communication gap? How can you conduct meetings that your employees or team members look forward to every morning instead of dreading them? These steps might help you find a middle ground where everyone is motivated, satisfied and happy.

Declare the purpose in advance

The last thing you want your team members to do is replay their excuses in a loop in their minds for not being able to deliver within the deadline only to realize in the end that the meeting was, for instance, to discuss the social media plan for the month. What a waste of such a crucial hour! Employees who could have been a great help in framing the entire plan were busy dealing with their paranoia of being caught off guard.

So what should you do?Every evening before logging out, send a mail to all employees of the organisation or your team members explaining the agenda for the next day’s meeting. The agenda should include step-by-step details for the meeting so that every attendee can be on the same page at the time.Some ideas of what to discuss during the morning meeting include theaccomplishments of the week, the priorities or projects of the day, the review of the team’s performance on top three metrics, the problems and roadblocks that need attention, client updates and achievements and milestones.

Make sure each item on the agenda is clearly described in the mail. It’s good strategy to reinforce your mission statement and refocus everyone on the team goals. This is will help them prepare better that will in return make the session productive and engaging.

Make use of technology

Morning meetings need not be dull and boring.It has been proven that using visual modes of communication is more stimulating that verbal presentation. Put it this way – a lot of people feel sleep deprived, grumpy and peevish during the first few hours of the day. Giving them lectures, suggestions, feedback or anything that involves extended verbal projection will only push them to their limits. How about using projectors to track performance or suggest changes?Even if it means opening the social media page and looking into the previous week’s insights. Always open your meeting with any kind of visual presentation. It can be anything from a social media page to Google Analytics or may be anemail that you got appreciating the work of the team. This small step will make your employees pay more attention.

Get the minutes of the meeting

Either you jot them down or appoint someone else to do it. Make sure it is a different person every day. Have a little ball in the office. Whoever penned down the minutes from the previous day starts off by passing that ball to another team member, and since nobody knows who's going to get the ball, everyone will be on their toes, all ready with their notepads and a pen.

Make sure you conclude the meeting by sharing these pointers aloud with everyone. If you continue to practice this, soon it will become a crucial segment of the meeting that your employees would look forward to, even the ones who weren’t paying much attention throughout.

You can also mail this copy to everyone who attended the meeting. This serves as a reminder to those who were assigned tasks. It is advised to use task management software to share the tasks assigned to respective team members so they are wary of the deadline that they have to meet before the next meeting. Most companies use web and mobile applications designed to help teams track their work. Some of the most popular ones are Asana, Basecamp, The Lean Office, Hippo Hub, and Pyrus.

Effective team meeting is a good way to raise morale and engender a good spirit of teamwork in your employees. When done right, morning meetings can increase your team's productivity and motivate them to perform better.

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