Business meetings are known for being unproductive and boring in which team members roll in late, pay more attention to donuts than the agenda and practically nothing new is accomplished. But of all business meetings, HR team meetings are perhaps the most infamous for this type of behavior.
HR team meetings don’t have to be unproductive or a waste of time. Of all the people in a company, human resource management team members should have the most clarity.
Alas, it doesn’t have to be this way. HR team meetings can be fun, effective and new ground can actually be covered.
Effective Meeting Strategies for HR
Here is advice on how your HR team can hold an effective meeting the next time you get together:
1. Have a clear purpose for the meeting.
Team members need to know why the meeting is being held and what they are expected to contribute to the meeting. Per The HR Booth, “A team meeting is a perfect opportunity to achieve a lot of things. It is a chance to catch everybody up on what is going on in the overall scheme of things. It is an opportunity to gauge how each individual is traveling and to identify potential problems. It’s also a chance to reinforce your mission statement and refocus everyone on the team goals.”
2. Let employees express constructive criticism.
According to Paul Falcone, a Human Resources executive, many employees become frustrated at their jobs because they are made to feel like their ideas don’t matter. “They went through the motions day-in and day-out but had no real impact or influence over their working environment,” Falcone writes. “This simple invitation satisfies the basic need to be heard and make a positive difference.”
3. Don’t lose track of time.
“Make sure to respect your employees’ time by starting and ending on time,” Andreas Hesse of Clear HR Consulting writes, “Have someone keep track of time or to bring the meeting back on track if the discussion gets off-topic.”
4. Ask questions.
Pat Wadors, ServiceNow’s Chief Talent Officer, asks three questions in the team meetings that she conducts:
- Question 1: Who do you depend on to do your job well, and why are you grateful for that person?
- Question 2: What are 1-2 things you are working on that will impact the business?
- Question 3: To achieve your goals, do you need any additional support from this team?
Stephanie Bevegni notes that Wadors “creates a culture of cohesiveness by asking the right questions that maximize time and streamline discussion, yet still strengthen colleague camaraderie”. The questions that Wadors asks her team members may not be the ones that you need to ask yours. But asking the right questions is a great way to drive passionate conversations and enhance team dynamic. Find out the questions that will work for you.
5. Provide good leadership.
This is necessary in every aspect of business, but especially meetings, unless team members will leave the meeting feeling as if they have wasted their time. “Good leadership is necessary to fulfilling your purpose and transforming great ideas into action plans,” Katy Nottingham of Zamp HR writes. “Make sure you’re both physically and mentally present and that you’ve prepared sufficiently to direct (but not dominate) the meeting.”
6. Try experimenting.
To decrease excessive meetings and increase team productivity, the folks at HR Cloud suggest holding a stand-up or walking meeting.
7. Stop having a lot of your meetings.
Tom Haak tells the story of how Amazon starts meetings with 30 minutes of silence. During this silence, participants read a 6-page memo that contains the objectives of the meeting and the necessary background. This brings the participants to a level playing field. Haak suggests that trying the Amazon approach has two benefits: 1) the quality of the meetings goes up, and 2) the number of meetings goes down. This makes life simpler and easier for everyone in HR.
Following these seven effective meeting strategies can not only enhance productivity, collaboration and teamwork, but it can end up being the most important part of your day or week. Bringing your team to a standstill to accomplish something amazing doesn’t have to be boring. Every person can feel the impact of the organization in a real way when they understanding the meaning behind what they do and why they meet.