How to Deliver Team Meetings That Inspire – A Guide for Supervisors and Managers

If you are not having team meetings at least bi-monthly, your venue is not operating at its full potential. It’s really that simple.
If you ARE holding team meetings but staff dread going to them and roll their eyes when they are asked to attend…. You’re doing it wrong.

Part a) A team meeting is a perfect opportunity to motivate, inspire and unite your team. It’s an opportunity to articulate the value they bring to the company as individuals and as a team. It’s an opportunity to share wins, smashed targets, record days, great feedback and outstanding performance. It’s a chance to reveal upcoming events and promotions and reiterate the vision of your venue.

Part b) It’s also a good time for the team leader to set standards, to communicate targets, highlight areas for improved performance and share relevant goals.

Part a) and part b) must go together to achieve the results you are looking for.

 

Too often, team meetings are used for the sole purpose of delivering negative information and to tell staff all the things they are doing wrong. Sound familiar? I mean seriously….who wants to attend THAT meeting?

Instead, use your meetings to engage your team, remembering the Four Key Emotions That Lead To Engagement. Include at least one thing that inspires, one thing that empowers and one thing that makes your team feel confident and enthusiastic about their job. Of course, we must address the issues as well but do so in a collaborative way, at the right time, and in the right manner.

We have found bi-monthly works best for hospitality teams.

Enhance the way your team performs with these ten simple strategies that will make your meetings effective, engaging and productive.

 

  1. PREPARATION GIVES BIRTH TO CONFIDENCE

Prepare your content. Know the purpose of the meeting. Why is the meeting being held?  What are the goals of the meeting? What exactly is the information you want everyone to leave the meeting with?  Be clear, be straight to the point and choose your words carefully.

When you are starting out, it can be daunting having all eyes on you, especially with a large team. The more you rehearse the easier it will be. Practise aloud what you are going to say and how you are going to say it. Have a set agenda. You can certainly use notes so prepare them if necessary. Use bullet points: during the meeting, you can read a point– then elaborate on the point without using notes before moving on to the next item.

  1. CHOOSE THE RIGHT PLACE

Depending on the style of meeting, select your location carefully. A more formal meeting or training session should be held in a quiet area where both you, and your staff can concentrate. Always prepare your area prior to the arrival of your team. Ensure the music is off, chairs are ready where you would like them to be, lighting is appropriate and air conditioning is at the correct level. Is it a long meeting? Do you need refreshments to sweeten the deal? Where possible, avoid meeting in places where people are cleaning, setting up, entering or leaving, or doing anything else that could distract your team.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. SET CLEAR GROUND RULES

Prior to the meeting, make sure that your team understands how important it is. Set the ground rules and let them know prior to arrival, that they are expected to be on time, and that mobile phones must be turned off. If staff arrive late, make a point of noting their arrival – “Hi James, thanks for joining us”. You can cheekily let them know that you are thrilled they are late because you need someone to help you pack up after the meeting. Stick to it and at the end of the meeting ask them to stay and pack up with you. You can then privately chat about why they were late. It’s important to set a standard of punctuality for meetings out of respect for everyone’s time and commitment. By addressing tardiness in this way, you are ensuring no one on the team will want to be late to a meeting again!

  1. BE ENERGISED AND ANIMATED

Your energy level is in direct proportion to the team’s engagement. If your energy level is low, their engagement will be low. High energy is infectious. The more energetic and animated you are, the more engaging you will be. You will look and feel more energetic if you stand and move around a little as you speak. For a small group (less than 6) it may be more appropriate to remain seated. Prepare to stand (or sit) straight and tall with your shoulders back. Use plenty of hand movements, smiles, jokes and gestures. Remain professional but be you. Look at each member of your team. If you are looking at them, you will be able to judge their engagement and modify your presentation technique accordingly.

  1. START WITH A BANG

The mood and tone of the meeting is set in the first two minutes. Use this time to grab their attention. Start with a bang and get everyone excited by some good news. Congratulate the top-performing member of the team. Announce a new staff discount, offer or initiative. Share some fabulous feedback you received or read online. Get everyone to give your newest team member a welcoming round of applause or high five each other across the table because they are just so ridiculously awesome. Create a buzz and lift the energy of the group right from the start. Get people smiling and laughing. Tell the greatest Dad joke in your repertoire if you have to! Then, let them know it’s time to get down to business and bring them back to the points at hand.

  1. STICK TO THE AGENDA

Keep each point of the agenda concise and simple – you will lose the interest of your team if you include too much detail. The shorter the meeting, the better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. IT’S A MEETING NOT A DISCUSSION

A meeting is VERY different to a workshop. A workshop allows for plenty of discussions where opinions and ideas are thrashed out. A team meeting is NOT the place for this. A meeting has a specific agenda and the purpose is to keep your team informed, united and on the same page. If you think there are particular team members who may be resistant to items on your agenda it is always best to get them on side prior to the meeting. The meeting before the meeting is often more important than the actual meeting. No one wants to be blindsided. Introducing something out of the blue, that will cause disunity, or an uprising is a recipe for disaster, mutiny or trouble down the track. The meeting before the meeting is also important if there are controversial items that you need to discuss or approve with your boss beforehand. As a manager you represent the company and the brand, therefore meetings should never contain anything that may incite staff to feel negatively about the organisation or damage the brand or put the organisation in a difficult position.

If you are announcing an unpopular decision it is important not to ask questions to which you may get answers you haven’t prepared for. Ask questions you KNOW will get a positive response. Let staff know they can talk about it with you at a later date if they have any major concerns.  For example: “Unfortunately we will be closing the staff canteen and staff will need to provide their own lunch from now on. We’ve been pretty spoilt to have a staff canteen for the past few years and I know it’s disappointing but it’s simply not feasible for us to operate it anymore. The good news, is that on Friday’s we’ll have a BBQ between 12 and 2pm. I mean we all love a BBQ right?”.

If the conversation starts to drift away from the matter at hand, regroup by saying something like “that’s probably a discussion for another time, right now we are on a time limit so let’s get back to the agenda”. Become a master of the tone that infers ‘this is my meeting and it will not be hijacked’.

  1. SHARE TARGETS AND SECURE COMMITMENTS

Sharing relevant company and departmental targets and goals empowers your staff. It helps them to see the role they play within the organisation. It ensures they feel part of the big picture, and shows that you value their involvement. You won’t have much success during a team meeting if you just dictate instructions. An interactive session will encourage much more engagement, and will allow the team members to feel that they have contributed. Involve your team in the setting of targets. Don’t tell somebody to make five sales, instead ask how many sales they think they can make. Ask them to improve productivity: if the usual time frame for a job is 1 hour, ask if they can better it by 10 minutes? You’ll soon find that when one or two people step up, everyone else starts to follow because they don’t want to fall behind the others. Encourage people to set their own stretching targets, and it’s much more likely that they will meet them. Congratulate those that have met targets, it will subtly drive their competitive spirits!

  1. END ON A POSITIVE

Bring the meeting or training session to a close with something positive. Let the team know how much you believe in them and can’t wait to see the results in action. Share some positive feedback or some goals or milestones that have been reached since the last meeting and congratulate them for being a part of it.

  1. HAVE FUN

A lot of team training sessions and meetings are painfully dull.  Inject personality into the meeting, and make sure you run a lively agenda. Formal meetings or training sessions all have serious elements but use laughter as an icebreaker. Laughter, applause and High 5s release dopamine which makes us feel good! A joke and a cheeky smile go a long way.

Throughout the year VPTD’s training sessions are exclusively for our clients, we do offer some open hospitality training sessions twice a year. Our February Open Training Sessions are specifically for Hospitality Leaders. The schedule consists of half day or full day sessions. Pick and choose the most suitable ones for your team members or book all the sessions for a four day boot camp in Hospitality Leadership.

See more information here