Few folks look forward to finance team meetings, but you can get a lot more from those touchbases with a little advance prep work.
These four strategies can help you get the most out of your regular staff meetings:
1. Send the agenda and require feedback
You’ve seen how easily meetings can get off track, and keeping staffers’ attention throughout isn’t always easy.
A little groundwork in advance can help solve both problems. Try sending all participants the agenda a few days before and ask them to email questions they have after reading through it.
The questions will help you better prepare for the meeting, and your finance team members will be more likely to pay attention to ensure their questions are answered.
2. Map out a timetable
Granted, not every member of your team needs to be there to hear every detail you’ll cover in your meetings.
So why make them? Follow the lead of one Washington DC-based company that instituted a “come-and-go” meeting strategy.
How it works: First create an agenda for your finance team meeting and estimate how long each topic will take.
Then you want to make a timetable for the meeting and figure out who really needs to be there for each topic. For example, A/R needs to be there when you discuss outstanding invoices, but not when you talk about ongoing investments.
Finally, send the timetable to attendees and instruct them to arrive when their relevant topic is scheduled to come up. Give folks permission to leave afterward.
Having to stick to the timetable helps keep meetings on track. And staffers can focus on their work rather than sit in meetings that aren’t applicable to them.
3. Ask yourself these questions
Looking to breathe new life into your weekly finance meetings? Most senior leaders admit in a Gallup poll 67% of their meetings are “failures.”
Here’s a new approach to engage your participants: Ask yourself these three questions beforehand:
- Do staffers know what’s expected?
- Have I praise to give?
- Do I want opinions?
Clarifying these before you set foot in the conference room or log on to Zoom can go a long way toward greater engagement.
4. Prep a non-work question to start the meeting
You could be getting more from each finance team meeting … if staffers leave feeling more connected to their team.
In a recent survey by Paychex, more than a quarter (28%) of employees said kicking off meetings on a non-business note made them feel closer to the team.
Try going beyond asking folks about their weekend plans. You could ask about anything from a local current event to which members of the team have ever been skydiving.