Whether you chose to gather your team on a weekly or monthly basis, make sure everybody walks away feeling recharged and with a game plan. Here's how 12 entrepreneurs make run-of-the-mill staff meetings worthwhile.
A. Make Weekly Meetings a Must
We nearly doubled our headcount year-over-year but still maintain weekly meetings. With staff in three countries, it is important that everyone feels part of the company rather than satellite offices. It also gives employees the opportunity to gain insight into other parts of the business they would not normally be exposed to and offer alternative points of view. - Thomas Smale, FE International
A. Only Have Key Players Present
Weekly meetings can be a necessary but also time-consuming process. In order to make the best use of time, I hold weekly meetingswith the heads of the departments. That way I can get a good feel for what is going on, and if I need to schedule an additional meeting with a specific person, I already have some background information. This allows me to streamline the time spent in internal meetings. -Phil Laboon, Eyeflow Internet Marketing
A. Have Open Arena Meetings
I'm a big believer that small organizations should be holding an all-hands-on-deck meeting once a week to keep everyone on the same page. As you grow, this isn't sustainable so it'll likely be a meeting between you and your key people. Having a weekly meeting ensures everyone is aware of the work being done by others in the organization even if they don't speak frequently. - Lane Campbell, June
A. Leverage Them for Remote Teams
My entire company is remote with key members in Nevada, Texas, North Carolina, Minnesota etc. Having weekly phone meetings is invaluable to share key information, swap advice and get general status updates on our industry. Building company culture with a remote company is nearly impossible, but weekly meetings help build a real culture. - Mark Daoust, Quiet Light Brokerage, Inc.
A. Make Them a Time to Bring Different Teams Together
Despite being a small startup, we have bases on two continents. The Atlantic Ocean is quite a sizable body of water, and weeklymeetings help us overcome the challenges it poses! Weekly meetings bring the whole team together and provide us a forum to swap ideas, share advice and to reveal exciting new projects. The only dispute is whether to use Google Hangout or Skype! The jury is still out... - Marvin Amberg, Caseable
A. Use Them to Motivate Your Team
Fear of embarrassment alone may drive teams to double down and ensure that they never show up to a staff meeting empty-handed (i.e. no victories, progress, challenges or plans, etc.). So, in addition to letting teams exchange notes on their respective projects, meetingsenable staffers to review their progress and work towards future victories -- if only to maintain the esteem of their peers. -Manpreet Singh, TalkLocal
A. Hold Them on Monday Mornings
Monday mornings are hard. That's why we start our work week by having a meeting first thing Monday morning to talk about what's on the agenda for the week, what goals we accomplished the week before and to just get everyone in gear. - Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
A. Make Sure They're All Efficient
The typical hours-long staff meetings are thrown out the window at LexION Capital. There's a lot of talking and little that's actually accomplished. Instead, I hold quick 15-minute meetings with firm rules and rotate roles for each team member. It's extremely efficientand allows each team member to contribute their best ideas. - Elle Kaplan, LexION Capital
A. Take Advantage of a Team Lunch
At CoachUp, we hold a weekly team lunch. With 30 employees, we are still small enough to fit in the same room. It's a great opportunity to increase cross-functional mindshare, ensure people are connected to the company's strategy and progress, praise individual employees in front of the team and build stronger relationships. Team lunches are a very valuable way to strengthen a company's culture. - Jordan Fliegel, CoachUp, Inc.
A. Help Everyone Appreciate Each Other's Roles
Our 14-member team updates each other on what they have been up to. That way, sales understands what fulfillment is busy with, marketing can support sales better, product development knows what the customer feedback is, and I can give accounting and general administration updates. It helps the team bond, divvy new responsibilities and enables everyone to understand that how their work impacts others. - Wei-Shin Lai, M.D., AcousticSheep LLC
A. Hold Them During Busy Seasons
During our busiest time of the year (which is the fourth quarter, as we're a gift company), we have weekly staff meetings so all facets of the business are on the same page. Doing so decreases email and other internal communication, and face-to-face time helps us connect as humans while things grow and get stressful. - Sam Davidson, Batch
A. Use Them to Align the Entire Team to Your Strategy
We hold a half-hour "standup" every Monday to talk about topics that affect our entire team and are best suited to live discussion. We also use a proprietary digital platform that allows us to post detailed information that people can access on-demand (e.g. project updates, administrative changes). Still, live meetings continue to be valuable for keeping the entire team aligned. - Chris Cancialosi, gothamCulture
These answers are provided by the Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world's mostpromising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.