Keeping Connected With All Of Your Employees

Keeping Connected With All Of Your Employees

by Christine Muller

Are you struggling to keep connected to employees?  Are you wondering what they are working on and how productive they are being?  Are you trying to keep connected to those distant or remote workers?  Think of ways in which to regularly connect (daily, weekly, bi-weekly, etc) to share important information and support networking.  Avoid long, unproductive meetings by considering ‘huddles’ or short, 15-minute touch base meetings to connect.  “Regular super-short meetings can yield major results-they serve to bond teams, keep projects on track, avert misunderstandings and more” says organizational psychologist Steven Rogelberg. 

We’ve all experienced those meetings that seem to go on endlessly or don’t feel very productive.   Many companies have been struggling since embracing a hybrid or remote work environment to keep people attentive and focused during meetings.  Few people actually like meetings and many feel that meetings prevent them from doing their own work.  Are they necessary?  Absolutely, but how they are structured can be critical to employee participation and engagement.  

One way to make workplace gatherings (meetings) more efficient and productive is to implement a “15-minute meeting.’  This approach was first introduced by Berlin-based financial automation company Monite in July 2021.  Business experts say the 15- minute meeting curbs employee burnout and boosts engagement and can be ‘prime sources of efficiency’ says Dannie Fountain, a Google talent sourcer and founder of Focused on People.   Less time means fewer distractions and increased engagement.  It will also decrease rambling and/or unproductive conversation.

“A 15-minute meeting allows managers to focus on key points and avoid their message becoming lost in conversation’ says Michelle Jimenez, SHRM -SCP and director of human resources.  “It also allows team members to focus on those key points and not spend wasted time and dollars digging through nonessential information.  This equates to higher productivity, higher return on investment and, ultimately, higher morale.”

How to go about setting up a 15-minute meeting:

1. Get Agile!  

  • Come into the meeting knowing what you want to achieve
  • Keep conversations meaningful but brief
  • Shut down tangential discussions – identify issues, but not necessarily solve them

2. Strive for Efficiency!

  1. Clarify key points of the meeting
    • Decide what you as a manager, want to accomplish. What are the priorities?
    • Recognize the best and most efficient way to accomplish those goals
  2. Lay groundwork for an effective meeting: 
    • Create SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and timely) meeting objectives
    • Prepare an agenda and send to participants in advance
    • Share notes, materials, links and other information in advance so participants can prepare ahead of time, and you don’t waste time discussing details during the meeting
    • Select a person to be the timekeeper and another to be the note taker.  Record who is assigned follow-up tasks by what date.

Examples of what to focus on:

  1. What has happened and any key wins?
  2. What will happen?
  3. Key metrics
  4. Obstacles

Tips to Remember:  

  • Shorter meetings should be designed to replace longer meetings!  Don’t just add more meetings to an already tight schedule.
  • Honor the 15-minute time frame!

Article by:  Brian O’Connell – May 26, 2003 SHRM HR Magazine Summer 2023 

Ted Talk:  The Power of You to Truly Make Meetings Work 

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