Getting all employees on the same page is critical as we balance keeping our doors open for business with making major management changes in response to the current dairy markets. Above that, we must also prioritize the health and safety of our people.
Operations Manager / AgriStaff USA

That’s why meetings matter, right now more than ever. A staple of effective employee communication is holding employee meetings. Employee meetings are an excellent way to ensure uniform communication of your expectations, changes and updates. We always recommend holding regular employee meetings. However, it is as equally important to hold effective meetings. By following the five tips below, you can hold a positive and effective employee meeting.

1. Organization

The most important aspect of an employee meeting is organization. Ensure you are giving your employees enough notice of the meeting, so everyone is able to attend. Even better – schedule your meetings regularly (for example: second Wednesday of every month), so everyone on the farm knows to block off that timeframe. Also, encourage your employees to think about any issues or concerns they may want to bring up ahead of time so you can control the content of the meeting. Create an agenda for the meeting and stick to it. An agenda will help you keep the meeting focused and on track, without going over your allotted time. This can also help you to prepare any content or training materials you need ahead of time, as well as prepare a list of topics and how you will address each.

2. Lead person

It is very important to have a lead person for the meeting. Find someone who can take control of the meeting and keep everyone on task. Ideally, you will have an individual who is comfortable leading and talking in front of a room of people, as well as being able to step in to keep the agenda on track. This person will lead each topic and moderate the meeting.

3. Control the meeting

One way employee meetings can derail is if there’s no control over the meeting. Your lead person will be responsible for sticking to the agenda, controlling the conversation and keeping the meeting moving forward. It is important to stay focused and positive throughout the meeting. Try to avoid too much repetition and keep moving through the agenda. It is recommended that you leave some time at the end for questions and to touch base with your employees on how things are going overall.


4. No drama

It is important for the lead person to keep everyone on task and cut off tangents. Additionally, never allow personal attacks or singling out between employees. There are times when specific situations need to be discussed, but overall, never discipline an individual in front of the group. If issues arise, or if a specific employee issue needs to be addressed, save time after the meeting to do so individually. If an employee brings up a sensitive topic, ask them to continue the conversation privately after the meeting. A fear many managers have is that employee meetings only create more drama. While this can happen, if you have a strong leader moderating the meeting, you can prevent drama and keep the meeting controlled and focused.

5. Follow Up

An easily forgotten aspect of employee meetings is to follow up. Be sure to follow through on the topics discussed during the meetings so employees view the meetings as productive and worthwhile. It will help create positive attitudes towards employee meetings when issues brought up are actually addressed.

Lastly, if you have a multi-lingual employee base, have translators available so each employee can fully understand what is being discussed and have an opportunity to be heard.

Employee meetings are a vital piece of every organization. A few simple steps and bit of planning will help you lead effective, drama-free employee meetings.  end mark

PHOTO: Getty images.

Becky Rodriguez is an operations manager at AgriStaff USA. Email Becky Rodriguez.