Ok, everyone, on the count of three, how much do you love receiving the monthly reminder for the next “All Staff Development Meeting”? One… Two… No, we’ll stop you there. We already know the answer. You’re already groaning at the thought of it. Maybe it is the tone-deaf announcement from a sterilized, watered down company voice. Maybe it is the overly corny, “no one gets the joke except the one person in HR” messaging. Or maybe you are just anticipating more of the same ‘ol same ‘ol. No matter which way you slice it, you are simply not excited about the message you’re receiving. And no one else is either.
Invariably, most employees end up on both the sending and receiving ends of announcing upcoming meetings. So whether you are a primary sender, a primary receiver, or a little bit of both, here are our top ways to announce a meeting without inspiring groans from your receivers.
Shake Things Up
Change begets change, so you can start by changing attitude by changing the script of your meeting. Do you typically start with a few minutes of company chatter or socialization? Great—this time kick it up a notch and ask attendees to pull questions out of a hat to answer. You can make the questions relate to a theme or use it as an entrée into the meeting. What is most important is that you keep it fun and interactive by weaving the personal and passionate into the framework of the meeting.
Create Excitement Through Mystery
Plan something exciting (we’ll get to that in a minute) to lead your meeting and keep it hush hush. Instead of sending a detailed agenda and pre-meeting notes, which are guaranteed to take the wind out of your sails, shroud the big surprise in an air of mystery. Let attendees know there will be a very unique, unexpected surprise during the meeting. Maybe they should wear comfortable clothes or bring a picture of their favorite superhero… but hey, that’s all you’re saying.
Plan Something Actually Exciting
There is a fun way (and a not fun way) to do everything. Have an all day HR meeting planned to address issues in your company culture? You can spend your day adding notes to a whiteboard in front of sleepy associates eating stale danish—or you can have everyone choose their favorite superhero, divvy up teams by Marvel or DC, and then task teams with coming up with a skit or song that conveys the company image they want to see. The goals are the same—but the means are wildly different.
Make This Your Regular Approach
Remember that the more you inspire your meetings, the more likely you are to avoid the groans and annoyances that often accompany typical meetings. Atypical meetings, team building events and company initiatives do not have to be limited to annual events or special occasions. You can infuse elements into your regular work routines every day.