Morale-boosting Meetings Aren't Just Once a Year | Jobs In NewYork

Morale-boosting Meetings Aren't Just Once a Year

By: Margaret Hansen

In a recent poll, casual summer barbeques were rated the number one way to get the company together, capturing 73 percent of the employers' votes. The remaining 27 percent chose a team-building or training event. Formal holiday parties are not on people's minds or in their budgets - at least for the time being, receiving zero votes from our employers.

What do all of these large events have in common? They are non-work-specific meetings meant to boost morale. But what if you could infuse these morale boosting meetings into your staff's daily routine? Let's look at some examples:

Off-site 'Brainstorm' Sessions

For the cost of some Sharpies and large Post-it paper pads, hosting an offsite session is a wise investment. If you can host it at your house, you'll save the cost of renting a space.

"A well-planned and -executed meeting holds benefits that carry on after the event," says George W. Watts, author of the book Becoming Your Own Business Coach. Watts says that off-site meetings create the foundation for "Aha!" moments and advises leaders to regard them as an R&D cost.

Short, Problem-solving Meetings (As Needed)

"On occasion, I will spontaneously ask people to take five and get into a 'group think' mode with me on a given issue." says one Brown University staffer. "The synergy that arises when everyone puts their mind on a problem almost always results in a new, creative approach. In this way, I show the staff that I have a high regard for their opinions, and they help me to develop new ways of thinking. Win, win!"

Read more great insights from Brown University's Center for Learning ' Professional Development's morale idea-gathering poll [PDF].

Non-work, Enrichment Classes

Whether it's a Myers Briggs series, some yoga tips or a learning about flower arranging from a fellow employee, enrichment "meetings" around the lunch hour (AKA lunch 'n learns) are a nice way to ensure that your employees are getting out from behind their desk for a needed break. Ask employees to share the cost by paying a small fee, which will help with attendance.

The Power of Food

Whether it's a holiday potluck, coffee and bagels for all at the monthly staff meeting or a pizza lunch for a job well done - food is a great equalizer and motivator.

Other Meeting Tips

  • Email an agenda prior to the meeting (and stick to it)
  • Start on time
  • Schedule your meetings to start five or 10 minutes past the hour (i.e. 2:10pm). This will give attendees a breather and some prep time after returning from lunch or another meeting.

Margaret Hansen has been writing professionally since receiving a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Maine. She has worked for multiple organizations as a weekly newspaper reporter, a weekly newspaper editor, and in a variety of internal/external marketing communications roles. Her freelance career has focused on writing and editing for print, email and web publications in the employment industry, as well as manuscript editing and resume writing.