When I worked for another employer, we had regular staff meetings. I sat semi-patiently in these meetings to listen to the information we were being provided, even when it was the same information we had heard before. Input from the staff was not solicited, encouraged, or eventolerated.
Does that sound familiar? As we were preparing our most recent webcasts about meetings, I was thinking about the relationship between effective meetings and employee engagement. Certainly meetings provide an opportunity to engage employees in their work, but too often this does not happen.
One legitimate purpose for meetings is to provide information to employees. This is essential, as employees need to have all relevant information if they are to participate in problem solving or decision making.
Some traditional managers consider a meeting to be successful if information is delivered and there are a minimum of complaints. This type of one-way meeting fails to capitalize on the value of using the collective experience and wisdom of the participants.
Engaging employees means providing the opportunity to involve everyone in the two-way flow of communications. Everyone has the opportunity to share their ideas in an atmosphere where their contributions are valued. Where appropriate, we ask for their input in decision making and helping achieve the mission and vision of the organization. In turn, employees realize they are a valued part of the organization and are more willing to put forth the effort to make it successful.
The organizations we have worked with at CALMC have recognized the importance and value of engaging their employees. They have realized the benefits of the process, whether it is through increased efficiency, new methods, improved safety, or whatever the targets were for that employer.
While you are thinking about meetings, be sure and take a look at the CALMC On-Demand page on our website, calmc.org, and take a look at our webcasts about meetings.