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Submitted by pucciot on
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Do I need Weekly Staff Meetings ? - How do I keep them relevant ?

I don't do Weekly meetings with my Sub-Unit directs.

I have 6 Direct reports.

1 - Computer Support Tech

1 - Professional

2  - Paraprofessionals that do Technical work

2 - Paraprofessionals that do front-line routine technical work

We have a whole department of around 20 people. My Direct Manager has large weekly meetings for general staff communications.

For my small unit (7 people) there would be little to discuss as a group in a weekly meeting.

General staff news is covered at our Departmental Weekly meetings.

Project reports are done at the Departmental Weekly meetings.

Most of my staff does routine work on a daily basis or work directly with me on projects on a continuous basis.

I can see the value of doing One-on-Ones for each of my staff.  Yet, I am concerned that if I have weekly staff meetings that I will have very little to say and my Directs will have very little to report.

My concern is that they will report - "I fixed 10 computers this week" or "We filled 45 article requests this week."    And yes, I know they completed everything they had to do.

Were I to force the issue of weekly meetings, how can I structure them to be useful for my unit ?  Not redundant to the Departmental Meetings, and Not irrelevant to half my Unit staff.
 

Any ideas ?  Thanks

 

T. Puccio

hyubdoo23's picture

I used to have a department of 6 people. We had a stand-up meeting every Monday morning for about 10-15 minutes. We just solidified schedules for the week, any time off, anything to watch for, etc. Questions came up as and when, and the meeting was always relevant. I think it's a necessary touchpoint for the team, and fits well at the start of the week.

Cheers

Hyu

mattpalmer's picture

You might be in a position where a weekly team meeting *might* not make sense.  I didn't have them when I was running a tech support team, because like you, I didn't see the value in holding them.  I do have weekly meetings with my current team (strategic infrastructure development) because there is value in having everyone communicate their status to everyone else.

 

jocadl's picture

Recently, more often than previously, I've been in situations where I was part of a team that apparently had no purpose. At least, nothing coherent and valuable. My organization is undergoing major re-structurings, and somehow sometimes the "big picture" seems lost and professionals are grouped together by role or profession with very little cohesion around their actual everyday tasks and topics.

For every front-line manager, i.e. managing individuals, that's a MAJOR problem, and a trend that has to be dealt with and worked around.

You should work to find a common purpose for your team, otherwise it doesn't seem to deserve the name. A short stand-up meeting, as described by Hyu, seems like the minimum standard. If you drop that, you'll never have a team but a bunch of individuals to manage. I suggest you go ahead with the meeting, and then: Work with your team members! Give them the challenge to optimize their routines, in order to cut out slack, and then challenge them to come up with ideas for meaningful projects you can initiate and realize.

Hope this helps (a bit)
Jochen

dlfulle's picture

In my mind, a staff meeting is for a few purposes

- you to convey group goals and agenda

- staff updates to you and the team

- corporate updates

- to determine where you can help your team

- to have a "team"

 

It sounds like your boss has the corporate portion covered but I worry a bit about the rest,  One on ones can certainly help with coaching and individual goals but how does your team ensure they know what's going on in the rest of the group?  How do they know where each other are stuck and where they can help?  How do they identify synergies?  If you're concerned about what they report out, why not tell them what you need and provide feedback on the quality of the reporting?  

Like any other meeting identify the objective and then the agenda to get to that objective.  If you have no objective, or it is poorly defined then you won't get there.  That will really give you your answer. Like any other meeting, staff meetings are frequently done poorly, but a good staff meeting is more than worth the time.  

GlennR's picture

My department meets once a month. Each person is responsible for answering two questions:

  1. What is your biggest challenge right now?
  2. What is working well?
     

I do weekly o3s with my directs and you would be surprised what comes up as answers to the first question that are seldom, if ever, discussed on the o3's.

The second question isn't always answered as we sometimes run out of time. But frequently it is, and it's a great opportunity to give recognition and increase morale. It's not uncommon for me to be able to use those answers to help market our department to others.