The team meeting, much more than a meeting: a real tool for employee engagement
At MindForest for several years we have had a habit, come rain, shine or snow (or if the planet is hit by a pandemic): we gather the entire team once a month for 90 minutes.
It is also an opportunity to celebrate successes and achievements (both professional and personal), to pass on knowledge and share experience and to train each other in new methods and tools. This important gathering for MindForest is the Team Meeting.
Since the beginning of the Covid crisis, we all know that it has been particularly difficult to get together. However, for the MindForest team it was unthinkable to give up this meeting. For two years, we continued to meet despite the obstacles, adapting the format of the Team Meeting: it took place online thanks to the Zoom application… And on 25 April, the MindForest team organised its first face-to-face Team Meeting in two years! We enjoyed it so much that we would like to talk about this experience and share our best practices. What are the advantages of a Team Meeting? How can it be integrated into a company’s strategy and ensure its effectiveness?
What exactly is a Team Meeting?
A Team Meeting can be defined as an event during which a team (department, company, or even a sports team for example) meets. The objectives of a team meeting include: effective information sharing, providing a framework for an exchange on various topics and creating links between company employees.
It is of course possible to adjust this frequency and duration to suit the needs of your company. The meeting can last as long as desired/necessary (although it is strongly recommended not to exceed two hours). Of course, if there is no relevant topic on the agenda, the meeting can be shortened or cancelled to maintain the interest and enthusiasm of the participants.
What are the advantages of a Team Meeting?
Quite often, team meetings are not universally appreciated. Indeed, many employees consider them counter-productive, time-consuming, even pointless… But very often, the reason for this lack of interest is due to their poor organisation. However, if introduced on a regular basis, a team meeting can have many advantages, such as:
- Creating synergies between the different members
- Improving communication and encouraging the circulation of information
- Strengthening group cohesion and bringing teams together
- Engaging, motivating and retaining employees
- Celebrate successes and achievements
Thus, a team meeting remains an indispensable means of exchanging ideas and engage employee.
How do you organise effective team meetings?
At MindForest, this is a ritual in which all employees participate. To attract and maintain their attention during the Team Meeting, it is important to organise it in advance and ensure that it does not drag on. There are many ways of organising an effective meeting; here are some of the rules we use for our Team Meetings if you would like some inspiration:
Our 5 tips to make your team meetings worth it
MindForest employees meet once a month to discuss their projects, maintain relationships with colleagues, and anticipate and overcome challenges together. Here are our best practices to make your Team Meeting just as effective:
- Do not cancel: this ensures that the Team Meeting becomes a habit, if possible always schedule your meetings on the same day and at the same pace
- Use a variety of presentation tools: do not just use PowerPoint (try out dynamic supports, paper format, etc.)
- Create informal moments: set up games, break times, share a meal, anecdotes…
- Set up fun workshops and activities: at our Team Meeting on 25th April, we started the meeting with an “Ice Breaker”. This generic term refers to an activity that allows you to start a meeting in a playful way, by “breaking the ice”. It is also possible to use animations, games and applications, virtual or otherwise, to capture the attention of participants and ensure that important information and key messages are understood.
- Try holding meetings away from the office: it doesn’t matter where, as long as it’s outside the usual working environment!A special tip: go outside or rent meeting or co-working spaces. For example, the MindForest One Lounge, rue Sainte-Zithe in Luxembourg City.
The Team Meeting, so much more than just a meeting
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is an integral part of our strategy and is part of a resolutely participative approach; it is supported by the Management and an accepted concept for all our employees who actively contribute to it via our CSR committee created in 2014. Through our internal actions, our certifications as well as our varied expertise, we aspire to set an example, share our best practices, encourage our clients to adopt a well-constructed CSR approach and act in an environmentally responsible manner. We take our CSR commitment very seriously, not only because it is the right thing to do, but also because we believe it is a key element in the growth of our business.
The Team Meeting is part of two of the four pillars of a CSR strategy: economic and social:
- Collective intelligence: by including workshops, games, and informal moments during the team meeting you encourage mutual support and facilitate the generation of ideas and innovation. A united team is more efficient and productive.
- Relationships and working conditions: the healthier the relationships, the more trust is built up within the team and the better the working environment is for employees’ well-being.
- The development of multiple and transversal skills: Each month, a person presents a project, a tool or a method. Thanks to these exchanges, employees share knowledge and increase their skills.
As with any meeting, the aim must be to provide added value for all participants, whose involvement normally constitutes a major cost factor for the company. If everyone shares the same mindset of knowledge sharing and mutual respect, then the contributions will reflect this and your people will look forward to the next Team Meeting!
A company’s greatest asset is the people who work for it, if they feel united as a team, they will work well together, where better to reflect this than at a regular interactive Team Meeting?