Strategies to Improve the Quality of Your Staff Meetings

Staff meetings play a key role in the smooth operation of senior care facilities. When done efficiently, meetings serve as the cornerstone for communication, collaboration, and operational advancement. However, unproductive or poorly executed meetings not only waste valuable staff hours but can also lead to frustration. Prioritizing efficient and productive workplace meetings can help improve staff morale and engagement, enhance the overall quality of care provided to residents, and ultimately prove to be a valuable investment of time for all involved.

Post-Pandemic Meeting Trends

Jeff Mains

Jeff Mains, CEO of Champion Leadership Group

The Covid-19 pandemic has had various impacts on the senior care industry, one of which was an increase in the amount of time workers spent in meetings. According to data from Pumble, in 2020, workers attended more meetings than in previous years, although meetings tended to be shorter in length. Meetings focused primarily on maintaining team connections and one-on-one check-ins. The National Bureau of Economic Research reports that on average, the pandemic resulted in 12.9% more meetings per person, though meeting length decreased by 20.1%. The 63rd International Meetings Statistics Report predicts that meeting numbers will continue to increase in 2023, meaning workers will likely continue spending more time in meetings.

The Power of Effective Workplace Meetings

The quality of workplace meetings can have various effects on staff. Data from Pumble indicates that when meeting interaction processes are more functional, such as when team members are engaged in constructive problem-solving, those meetings result in higher team productivity and organizational success.

Meeting quality also plays a role in boosting staff morale. Holding effective meetings can help staff feel valued and become more effective and engaged communicators. A University of Nebraska study found that meeting satisfaction can boost employee empowerment rates. Empowered employees subsequently trust leadership, are willing to think outside the box, are team players and are consistently motivated, making them highly valuable additions to a team. Meetings can also contribute to employee empowerment by reducing miscommunication, eliminating ambiguity and promoting healthy collaboration between staff.

Unfortunately, holding effective meetings can be a challenge. Pumble data reveals that the majority of employees feel that frequent meetings stop them from being able to focus on their work, and 76% of senior managers believe the meetings they attend are unproductive. Common disruptive behavior during meetings, including phone calls and texting, late arrivals and early departures, and long, irrelevant conversations can detract from a meeting.

How to Hold More Efficient and Effective Workplace Meetings

There are a number of strategies that can help improve workplace meetings to enhance collaboration and foster a more productive and engaged team environment.

Jeff Mains, CEO of Champion Leadership Group, emphasizes deliberate planning as a critical factor in ensuring a meeting’s success. “Planning is essential,” he says. “Leaders should explicitly outline the meeting’s objective and expected outcomes, ensuring that it matches with larger company goals. Setting a clear agenda and discussing it with attendees ahead of time allows everyone to arrive prepared and focused.”

When conducting a meeting, it’s important to create an environment in which staff feel comfortable interacting and contributing. “All participants must be encouraged to actively participate and interact,” says Mains. “Leaders should foster a welcoming environment that promotes open communication, idea exchange, and constructive feedback. Meetings that are brief and to the point, with time for questions and discussion, enhance efficiency,” Mains explains. After a meeting, leaders should follow up by summarizing key points, action items and dates.

Saad Alam

Saad Alam, co-founder and CEO of Hone Health

Following up on action items has a direct impact on the value of the meeting. “If no one acts on the plans discussed in the previous meeting, then you’ve just wasted time,” says Saad Alam, co-founder and CEO of Hone Health. “Over time, as things come up, it can be easy for your team to forget certain tasks if they’re not followed up on. To prevent this, consider emailing your team members periodically after meetings to check in and see if they’ve made progress toward their action items. Another option is to assign each member tasks with due dates for even more assurance. This way they’ll prioritize them and your meetings will produce tangible results for the next meeting.”

Alam notes that it’s also helpful to end meetings on a positive note. “Always make it a priority to celebrate something at every meeting,” Alam suggests. “It can be anything small or significant, such as improving a process, successful integration onto a new platform, or an employee milestone such as someone reaching their KPIs or celebrating a work anniversary.” Celebrating achievements allows your organization to show appreciation and help your employees feel prioritized and valued. “This is a great way to provide a positive atmosphere in meetings, and motivate your staff to pursue continued success,” Alam says.

With workers spending more time in meetings post-pandemic, the importance of conducting effective workplace meetings cannot be overstated. By embracing the principles of efficient meeting management, senior care organizations can optimize resources, streamline decision-making processes, and enhance the overall quality of care provided to residents. In an ever-evolving workplace landscape, the commitment to fostering meaningful, results-driven meetings stands as a testament to an organization’s dedication to excellence in caregiving and operational success.

Topics: Executive Leadership , Facility management , Featured Articles , Leadership , Operations , Staffing