When to Hold an Office Meeting

Posted on Nov 8, 2013

Meetings are a great way to communicate with your staff (as a group) and work on projects together. However, they also need to serve a useful purpose and be appropriate for the situation.

The following are some suggestions for when to hold meetings and when another format is more appropriate.

Hold an office meeting:

When you are planning a key change that affects everyone. Holding a meeting as a group ensures that everyone hears the same message at the same time and that your staff are able to provide input before you make a decision. If it is a key change you may need to supplement this with individual discussions (given that not everyone will speak up during the meeting) but ensuring everyone hears the same message at the same time prevents rumours spreading and allows you to address concerns immediately.

When you want to recognise the efforts of someone or everyone. Staff appreciate recognition amongst their peers and in turn there are many circumstances where you will wish to celebrate as a team. Doing something together to recognise achievements is a positive reason to hold a meeting and it will benefit the morale in your office (which in turn aids productivity).

When you need to work on a project together. Holding a meeting as a group means that you only need to communicate the information once and it allows everyone an opportunity to contribute. It is your role as the facilitator to engage those who may be reluctant to speak up and remember that the quality of your project will be improved from hearing every perspective.

Don’t have an office meeting:

When you could have easily put it an email. If it’s simply a sharing of information then it can be done quicker and easier in an email. Remember that your focus should be on actions in your business rather than arranging and attending meetings.

To manage individual performance issues. Individual performance should always be managed in a one on one meeting. Holding it in a group situation is demoralising for the individual involved and it will prevent you achieving the most from your staff. It is also an awkward situation for other staff members and not an effective use of their time – remember this is time spent away from their tasks.

When you have already decided to do something. Holding a meeting to share a decision which you have already made is essentially a waste of time. Your staff may also wonder why you held a meeting if you didn’t wish to have their input and it can be damaging in terms of morale. Instead use an email to communicate what’s happening and by when. If you have concerns about how the decision will be received then you may need to decide whether to have a meeting first before making a final decision.

When it affects only part of the group. If something only affects certain members of your staff then speak to them directly, rather than involving everyone in the discussion. If other staff need to be informed then do it in an email. There’s no need for them to sit through a meeting that isn’t relevant to their role and again this takes them away from their important tasks.

Holding office meetings for every situation is an easy trap to fall into, however, remember that your core focus should always be on creating business and servicing your clients. Make sure you only hold meetings when they are the most effective way for you to achieve these goals.