Everyone loves to hate meetings. Like school cafeteria food, meetings often serve up bland fare that deserves all the complaints that follow.
But teams can’t work without meetings. Meetings are, in fact, a major key to team success. This is because meetings themselves are the tools for managing team tasks and ensuring productivity. According to Heinemann & Zeiss in their paper Team Performance in Health Care (2002), effective meetings are not only essential to achieving goals and completing tasks, but also reflect the overall health of the team.
So is there a recipe for making meetings more palatable? Consistency is the first ingredient to better team meetings, according to The HOT Plan™.
HOT Team Meetings
The proactive work of the team requires consistent meeting times, and members’ schedules must provide for that. Being proactive means staying on top of work, and regular meetings keep everyone on task. Regular meetings also make it easier for people to create their schedules around the work of the team, an important factor in high team cohesion.
HOT team meetings should not only keep a regular schedule, but also a regular location and time and length.
Semi-monthly meetings need to last an hour; less frequent meetings may be up to 90 minutes long. Stand-up meetings, designed for quick reports, have gained popularity across industries. These 15-minute meetings have become part of our HOT plan routine as well, and are an important daily addition for our executive team, Tribal Council.
At Pitsco, teams stay accountable to Tribal Council through regular submission of meeting minutes. We have found it useful to provide all of our teams with a standardized template. Not only does the template capture meeting data in a streamlined way, it also guides the discussion itself by emphasizing the weight of certain activities. The recorder for each team submits minutes to Tribal Council and team members within 48 hours of the meeting.
Our HOT Team Minutes template includes:
- Action items update (old business and workflow)
- HOT goals (progress reports, deadlines)
- New business (discussion notes)
- Action items (upcoming deadlines, sorted by due date and identified by who is responsible)