Most companies invariably have one (or more) morning team meetings, and we often find them annoying and disruptive to our daily routine or tasks at hand.
Meetings are considered important for moving your business forward through sharing information, solving problems, reviewing performance, making decisions and planning projects. They can also help to foster team building and inclusivity.
However, meetings are usually seen as dull events that can be dreaded by everyone…including the organizer.
They also cost the company good money.
The National Statistics Council says 37% of employee time is spent in meetings, and 47% of employees consider too many meetings to be the biggest waste of time on any day – more than social media or email.
As a leader, how can you turn your meetings from “dull and dreaded” to “energized and effective”?
Morning Team Meeting Activities to Energize your Team
Here are a few morning team meeting activities you can do to run engaged and productive meetings for all attendees:
Start at an odd time
Instead of the usual 9 a.m. morning team meeting, start your session at say 8:48 a.m. Having an unusual start time is useful in helping attendees remember a meeting time.
The brain may associate regulation with “boring” and “predictable” so, if the time is altered from the regular 8:30 or 9 o clock meeting to something a little more off-beat, it will not only help attendees remember that odd time, but also not associate the meeting with “dullness”.
Also when you say 8:48 a.m., start right on dot. Don’t wait if the senior most person isn’t present. Set expectations with your team beforehand so that you all expect to start the team meeting at the appointed time.
Do not allow latecomers to attend or better yet have a silly consequence for late attendees!
When team meetings start on time, they are more likely to finish on time. They are also usually more productive and allows the meeting to unfold quickly and effectively.
Hold an icebreaker
Use the first 10 minutes as a social mixer or icebreaker. Asking your team how they’re doing and starting your meetings off with an icebreaker and some small talk can do wonders for your relationship.
Team Building has an awesome list of icebreaker questions you can try.
For example, everyone can be asked to say one interesting thing they did over the weekend or brag about one accomplishment at work. They can even share a funny incident that happened to them or in their department since the last team meeting.
Instead of taking turns going clock-wise or anti-clock wise around the room –make it even more interesting by playing catch-ball.
To play catch-ball:
- Everyone stands in a circle.
- You take a rubber ball and throw it randomly at one person.
- He/she shares his weekend experience or funny incident and then throws the ball to another random person.
- Not following any pattern makes it a lot more fun!
Sometimes people miss catching the ball…and that leads to some laughs too!
This is a great way to set a relaxed and fun mood to morning team meeting which are generally perceived as serious, mind-numbing events.
The “catch-ball” technique can also be done virtually with online spinners, dice, or simply having people talk in the order that they entered the group chat.
Start with a pop-quiz
Preferably, pertaining to the topic of the meeting. This not only wakes up all participants, it also sends a message that everyone needs to be prepared for meetings. They should have read the information and notes sent prior to the meeting and understood the agenda thoroughly.
This is a great method to ensure productive and effective morning meetings where you have everyone engaged and participating.
Have some food fun
You may have skipped a hearty breakfast to attend the early morning team meeting, but this fun food game will take care of your rumbling stomach.
Ask one member of the team to bring a new and different kind of bread to each meeting (You have to ask them in advance). Rotate this responsibility to each member of the group. You could even vote on the best “bread winner” of the month.
For remote team meeting, try having a virtual pizza party or sharing a meal with the team whether it’s one team member’s breakfast and another team member’s dinner time. Eating during the meeting can make for interesting conversations and add a more light and friendly feeling to your discussions.
Lastly, arrange for glucose-based drinks during your morning meetings or invite your remote team to sip their coffee or energy drink as they chat online. This increases concentration and willpower which is essential for effective discussions and decision making.
Engaged meetings lead to creative brainstorming sessions and productive decisions. While most employees dread morning meetings, innovative leaders can find ways to make meetings fun as well as productive.
Hold short meetings
Don’t set meetings that are longer than 20 or 50 minutes. The maximum amount of time that produces productive discussion on one topic is about an hour. Meetings that last for more than an hour, tend to be unproductive.
Hold stand-up meetings
For weekly (routine) sales/marketing updates try a 10-minute standing meeting. Everyone stands up for the duration of the meeting.
If you want to have brief meetings, try this technique. It also tends to get people physically moving which brings more energy to the meeting. Moreover, when people are standing they will get to the point faster.
To ensure effective participation, don’t dominate the discussion. Be positive about all inputs. Also, state that participation is paramount from all attendees.
Usually every meeting has few individuals who typically don’t speak up. To engage them in the decision-making processes, write few questions related to the meeting agenda on the board or in the group chat before attendees arrive.
Then ask each person has to write their answer on a Post-It note and place it next to each question – or submit it to the group chat in a numbered order. This process should be done before any discussion starts on the agenda to get everyone’s thoughts out in public.
A modern-day ‘talking stick’
Another way to increase participation is to have a small token, say a poker chip or a talking stick, given randomly to a person to speak.
After that person has shared his idea, he passes it to another person who has yet to receive the chip.
Randomization helps to keep the participants’ attention and everyone gets to speak.
A virtual talking stick can be made through the technology of the mute button – force everyone to mute their mics while someone else is talking. This allows the person speaking to talk without interruption. Then, by any unconventional method, take turns speaking by allowing each team member to talk individually before opening up the discussion to the entire remote team.
Plan and execute your meetings with the right policies and they will truly be valuable and productive, rather than a complete waste of time. Try these morning meeting activities and your morning meetings can actually be something that your employees look forward to, rather than dread! To get more ideas check out here.
What other tips do you have for holding engaging morning meetings? Let us know in the comments below. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions or enquiries.