Are your meetings becoming a boring snooze-fest?
Workers now spend more time in meetings than ever before, with the number of meetings attended by employees increasing by 12.1%. Unsurprisingly, it's easy to run out of ideas and topics to make it more interesting.
That's not all—recent meetings statistics point out:
- People perceive 71% of meetings as unproductive
- Remote employees multitask in at least 41% of meetings
- 39% of workers have slept off during a work meeting, while at least 91% of employees daydream while meetings are on
- Remote employees spend at least 1-3 hours of virtual meetings weekly, and over 55% think the meetings should have been an email
Even high-performing sales teams report that 17% of salespeople are finding it increasingly hard to stay motivated.
So how can you do things differently? Luckily, there's always room for creativity where you can get your employees' motivation and engagement back on track.
Let's explore 15 fun ideas to make your meetings more awesome and less tiresome.
15 fun ideas and topics for staff meetings at work
1. Kickstart every meeting with a win
Yes! You must set the tone of your meetings right from the beginning. Some good news indeed gladdens the soul and sets the team spirit high. It doesn't always have to be a major win. It could be expressing joy at reaching a milestone, acknowledging a top performer in your team, or announcing a recent accomplishment. Either way, starting with a win is undoubtedly an excellent way of engaging your team and keeping the meeting pleasant, increasing staff motivation.
2. Introduce an icebreaker
Okay, maybe you don't always have a recent win to share at each meeting. How about starting off with an icebreaker? An icebreaker is a good conversation starter that involves getting people to share their stories and experiences.
Usually, this 5-10 minute activity helps the staff know more about one another beyond work-related stuff. It also allows you to take control of your meeting by preventing it from going off-track due to loss of momentum or lack of spirit.
Some fun icebreaker ideas include:
- Quick questions like, what's your favorite ice cream flavor? Two truths and a lie? What's a random fact about yourself?
- A "no smiling" game where everyone stares at each other with a straight face. The first one to smile or laugh is out of the game.
- For remote meetings, you can do an emoji check-in, where everyone chooses the most suitable emoji that best describes their mood that day.
3. Use interactive presentations
Anoher way to keep your meetings fun and engaging is by using interactive presentations.
When you cultivate a habit of having creative, interactive presentations, you encourage your staff to willingly participate in meetings, hold their attention and stay actively engaged.
Here are a few creative interactive presentation ideas worth your time:
- Live polling and quizzes
- Multimedia elements like videos
- Collaborative apps or software
- Gamification elements
4. Brainstorm with sticky notes
When you need to generate ideas to solve a problem, sticky notes can become very handy. The team members will each write down their ideas simultaneously and then explore their different views. This is an effective tactic to get everyone involved, especially those that don't speak up at meetings.
You can brainstorm by posing a problem or presenting an actual issue and then asking each staff member to provide a possible solution, even if they sound unrealistic. Then give each member a sticky note to put down their ideas. When you say "go," the team has 5-10 minutes to write down everything that comes to mind. And when time's up, they can either announce their ideas or stick the notes on a whiteboard where the team leader will arrange each note into named categories.
For remote teams, you can use an online sticky note tool or a Google Sheet to be accessed by everyone.
5. Include competitions
Competitions are another fun idea you can use for your next meeting. But to truly engage employees, gamify them by turning everyday activities into games.
Divide your staff members into groups or pairs and carry out pop quizzes, trivia questions or play mini-charade games. You can award points to each group and even offer them prizes as a reward. These friendly competitions make your meetings engaging and highly entertaining.
6. Change your meeting format
Are your staff members tired of the old, boring, and lecture-type structure of meetings? Then it's time to flick the switch. Changing the format of your meetings helps you prevent monotony and keeps the meeting fresh.
For example, you can transition from a lecture style to a Q&A format. Or ditch the conference table and stuffy room for a "walking meeting." Gather your group, take a stroll and talk.
Another format you can try out is a "workout meeting." This format does the double work of helping your staff exercise while discussing important topics. The workouts should be light, like gentle yoga or casual bike riding, so your workers won't be out of breath and find it hard to communicate.
For virtual meetings, employ the quirkiness of Zoom in your meetings. This can make employee evaluations less stiff and formal and more dynamic. Play around with humorous filters, or decide with your workers to pick a fun place you can set as a backdrop—like the Eiffel tower or Niagara Falls.
7. Add some role-play
What better way to keep your meetings fun and interesting than introducing the idea of role-playing? You can assign some of your employees to act as clients to provide a different perspective. Aside from incorporating fun in your meetings, this role-play will enable you to think and prioritize your client's needs, ultimately increasing customer satisfaction in your organization.
8. Change the meeting topics
To prevent your meetings from becoming too repetitive and stagnant, consider introducing a different theme for each weekly meeting. You can tailor your topics to a specific theme and allow room for topic feedback to let team members choose what they want to discuss. This makes your sessions more interesting and enables you to expand your employees' knowledge beyond what they already know.
9. Share hacks on tools and processes
Apart from making your meetings enjoyable, you can also keep your staff engaged by enriching them with topics that provide value and hold their attention to the end.
Suppose your employees want to learn about effective resource management. You can consider sharing guidelines on internal processes and tools, user onboarding software, tips and tricks for different tools, updates and improvements and common problems to properly educate them on the topic.
Also, you can ask participants to share any hacks or shortcuts they've discovered or provide feedback on a new tool you're considering to implement across the organization.
10. Rotate employees to take the lead
You might feel it's your responsibility to take the lead at every team meeting. But chances are, your staff members are bored listening to you all the time.
Bring a different dynamic to your meetings by delegating the meeting-lead duty to each team member. They'll be more engaged if they're expected to contribute. And not only will this test their leadership skills and provide a new experience for them, but it'll also allow you to explore different perspectives.
11. Invite a guest speaker
Consider bringing in a guest speaker to your staff meetings. This will make your meetings fun and exciting and also help your employees learn a thing or two.
This person could be an industry expert, a business celebrity, a professional connection in your network, or even a customer who can share insights and advice that will impact your employees.
12. Play "Have You Ever"
Another excellent way to build meaningful connections between your remote team is to add a little fun game to your virtual meetings. Have You Ever, for one, is the perfect game to trigger laughs and get everyone to loosen up during staff meetings.
The game is pretty simple—one person asks the group a "Have you ever…" question, and everyone who has done that will hold up their hand in front of the camera. Here are some typical questions:
Have you ever:
- Gone to the bathroom during a conference call
- Faked a bad connection to avoid talking at meetings
- Fallen asleep while others were talking
- Stuffed things under your desk to look like your office was cleaner it was
- Cooked a meal or did laundry while on a call
13. Create your unique meeting tradition
Another exciting way to enhance your meetings is by developing a captivating work tradition. For instance, you can create an end-of-month luncheon, closing chant, pizza meetings, morning meditation exercise, casual dress code day or anything else that will engage your employees actively.
These small activities encourage positive rapport and break bad team communication habits. For remote teams, you can have a no-camera meeting Friday to make your team feel as comfortable as possible or even work from the bed if they feel like it.
14. Keep the meeting flexible
Make your meetings flexible by giving your employees the option to attend certain meetings virtually.
Sometimes, people don't just want to leave their desks and gather in a room for a simple meeting, and this can accommodate your work-from-home team as well. A flexible meeting schedule will enhance your work culture and prevent a toxic work environment.
15. Make time for questions and personal interactions
Allocate time for a brief question and answer at the end of every meeting to ensure your employees understand the crucial points of the meeting. In addition, give room for personal interactions, especially in remote meetings.
This will help employees actively engage each other, thereby boosting their morale.
Your meetings don't have to be boring—provided you put in the effort to ensure the meetings don't grow stale and cause members to tune out. After all, you want effectiveness and productivity when conducting meetings, right?
Get your meetings back on track by drawing inspiration from this list of fun meeting ideas that lead to more thoughtful discussions, increased engagement and greater productivity.
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