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Hi all,

I have been holding  weekly staff meetings for about a year now and some of my directs are suggesting that we make it every 2 weeks. I was wondering what you guys think of weekly vs every 2 weeks ? Would be great to get some points that we can discuss.

 

Paul

tlhausmann's picture

I admit to vacillating on this one.

*Most* times I believe weekly staff meetings are best--especially when there are several cross functional projects in play.  I've discovered that when the meetings are less frequent than every two weeks then I have to relay information between directs--and this is not effective.

Because I have been swamped with my own projects I am tearing a page from the MT manual and Delegating the Staff Meeting

http://www.manager-tools.com/2009/04/staff-meeting-delegation-and-succes... and will endeavor to get back to bi-weekly meetings after the holidays. (Because of travel and other reasons...our meetings have been less frequently lately.)

It may seem counter intuitive to have more frequent meetings when the tempo is increased--but it helps. In my experience, meeting once a week ensures everyone has the resources they need and no projects fall through the cracks.

 

mgrainge's picture

Mainly because I have a global team, and there's really no convenient time to get people together - we end up doing the call at 7am ET every other Tuesday.

We also use a sharepoint discussion board (rather than email) for ongoing team communication. It works well, although if the time zones worked out better I would do weekly.

m12345's picture

It's much easier to have the teams socialize when they get together weekly.  Any father apart and it becomes less natural.

 

Granted, 'playing nice' together is not the primary goal, but it is a much needed side effect for me.

ChrisH__'s picture

I like the way ROWE looks at meetings: every meeting is optional.

At first thought, people think that this means everyone will stop going to meetings.

In reality, people keep going to meetings, but they go to ones that are relevant and well run - that they feel they benefit from attending.

If people are asking for a meeting every second week, then maybe they feel that there is not enough relevant content in the weekly meeting to justify spending time together every week?

 

Chris

 

Mark's picture

If you meet every other week, all-staff cross communications become a back-burner issue.  If you meet every other week, one miss means you're at monthly.

Stuff happens faster than that.  Everyone has time to prep a 5-10 minute brief for everyone else that you get to hear and potentially elaborate upon.  and you need to hear it, and see how the team is doing as a team, rather than individually.  One one Ones won't show you all the conflict.  Staff meetings will, if done regularly.

Are you following our staff meeting guidance?  Regarding the agenda?

Why is it that most directs want to be less managed by their boss?  Because....directs want to be less managed by their boss.

This is secondary to the boss needing to manage them directly and specifically.  Your need trumps theirs. 

Mark

tlbeckner's picture

This is another very timely discussion for me! I just did a "hot wash" about our monthly staff meeting and got some disappointing information.

Some relevant things to know:

(1) Our department includes 4 distinctly different groups among the 14 members. Group A works offsite and has a supervisor and 3 directs. They provide direct support to a subsidiary operation. B is a one-member manager with 6 indirect reports who do not attend. Group C consists of 3 skilled clerical-type staff who have no defined lead and report directly to me. And Group D is a manager plus 4 professional staff and all report to me. Then of course is my admin assistant.

(2) I do weekly one-on-ones with all involved except for the Group A indirects. I also do rotating one-on-ones with group C, resulting in meeting with each member once every 3 weeks. I've found these to be very effective in maintaining morale and good teamwork across the department.

(3) Group D (plus B) is typically responsible for the largest department projects. They meet weekly to address issues specific to ongoing technical and project matters. It is a very productive meeting and thought so by all involved. Occasionally information from that meeting must be conveyed to groups A and/or C, and is usually done by me.

(4) We hold a monthly staff meeting for which I follow the MT guidance. We have an agenda with start times for each topic. It is scheduled for 90 minutes. We start on time (though I have some feedback to do to some late arrivers), and we end on time, regardless of items that may not have been covered as thoroughly as intended. One standing topic is "section reports" which allows for information sharing from Groups A, B, and D. Group C does not report as their job is typically the same on a daily or at least weekly basis. The reason for meeting only monthly was, as mentioned above by Chris, consideration of relevant information.

(5) We are a team of technically oriented individuals who handle financial matters for a $100MM+ governmental entity.

After a few years of having the same agenda, I did a modified version of a hot wash last year and it resulted in changing the agenda to add an item where each person, on a rotating basis, took 10 minutes to talk about specifics of their position and responsibilities, serving to educate the others. We also switched from an information tidbit (lesson presented by one individual each month) to a forum topic where we rotated a leader, but the topic was for discussion purposes rather than instructional. Most of these were well received and resulted in good participation and conversation, which I believe leads to relationships and a better work environment for everyone.

I took the forum topic for our January staff meeting, and did a “hot wash” for our staff meeting agenda. The WWW (what went well) did include many items from our agenda. The TALA (take a look at) is the area that surprised and disappointed me. They were to (1) make it shorter, (2) get rid of anything not directly work-related, (3) and move to no more frequent than quarterly. Although these all came from one member, others quickly jumped on the bandwagon. This person is a very high C, a member of group D, and a high performer. Although this is somewhat consistent with his high C behaviors, he is typically outwardly supportive of things that he knows are important to me and result in overall improved department performance. Another outspoken proponent of these ideas was my next in line (high S). Many of the individuals supporting these are members of Group D, who meet weekly and I believe feel they are relatively in the know about department issues.

My main concern was (what I heard as) the strong negativity expressed toward relationship building that comes from staff meetings. In addition, this pushes even more communication responsibilities back to me. Yes, my ego is bruised, but I still need to figure out where to go from here without using my position power to get there. Sorry for the long post, but thought you should have more facts. Suggestions, PLEASE!

Tess