When a one person business adds their first staff member, meetings are sure to follow. As the staff grows so do the number and length of “office meetings”. Last week a new client proudly invited me to an office meeting. Part of the purpose was to introduce me as part of the “team”. This was a home based business with an owner and three staff members. We met in the dining room; and after I was introduced, the owner asked everyone how they were doing. All three staff embers said everything was doing fine and then the owner spoke again about my function within the company..
Let me share the critique I gave the owner:
- First and foremost there was no agenda. I felt that the meeting was held because a business should have office meetings. I suggested that an agenda should be prepared and given to the staff members at least one day prior to the office meeting; that allows them time to be prepared with constructive ideas.
- Staff members should be encouraged to add their ideas to the agenda. If they are encouraged to do so, they will feel like they have an “ownership” position in that meeting. Ideas that need to be discussed should be submitted to the owner at least three days prior to the meeting so they can be added the agenda and distribute them the day before the meeting.
- The owner can also pose questions for discussion such as “How can we improve our customer relations?”
- A small business office meeting should not occur more than once every two weeks. In a small business there is interaction among all on a daily basis, and meetings should be reserved for important issues that concern all staff.
- A dining room table may have to work as a conference table for staff meetings. There was no coffee or other types of “goodies” served. I suggested that it may help everyone feel “more important” if the meeting was held off site, for example at a nearby Starbucks or Paradise Bakery or? The cost is minimal and there are fewer disturbances such as office telephone calls.
- Another suggestion I made was to have an outside speaker once a month. The topic could be anything from a motivational speaker to a “what’s new in technology” presentation.
Communications are the heart and soul of a fine tuned office. Make sure that all meetings have a purpose and a written agenda.
The deepest human need is the need to be appreciated. William James
Nick J. Petra CFP New ways to excel in your business are coming the second quarter of 2013. Subscribe to this blog at www.strategicduck.com to be among the first to take advantage of it.