Tag Archives: meetings

6 Tips for Managing Your Employees

Praveeni

Managing people is a tricky job, even for the most skilled business school grads and experienced professionals. Running a business and managing staff is more than just delegating tasks and supervising employees; it means you are accountable to both your clients and your staff.

Here are a few tips for managing people :

  1. Delegate work according to skill level and capability
    As an entrepreneur your staff is there to help you achieve your goals and grow your business. Being in charge is doesn’t give you the right to palm off tasks you don’t enjoy on your staff. You must delegate work according to your staff’s skill level and capabilities. Each member of your staff is unique and has different strengths and weaknesses;  it is your job to recognize their strengths. You need to get to know your staff and their capacities in the workplace. Remember to be fair in your delegation, resist the urge to pile work on your strongest staff members and delegate easier tasks to those who might be struggling. Make sure everyone has a fair share of responsibilities within their assigned roles.
  2. Hold weekly meetings
    Weekly meetings are a common practice in most workplaces as it gives co-workers and managers alike a chance to discuss progress, plan the coming week, and initiate new tasks. Make sure you get status updates on the work you’ve delegated and ensure the participation of all your employees in weekly meetings. This  will allow you to assess how employees are dealing with the workload and determine where changes need to be made.
  3. Schedule open door time
    The “Open door” policy isn’t always the best approach to increase productivity. As a business owner and manager you may need time alone in your office to work, brainstorm, meet tight deadlines, and sort out your thoughts. However, your employees will have questions and concerns to discuss with you, designating a time when you will be available to address these concerns is a great way of showing your concern and approachability. It’s a good idea to schedule “open door time” every day or at least 3 times a week; this way employees know they can talk to you about their concerns.  This practice is often adopted in academia where professors have “Office Hours” within which students can meet them to discuss grades, assignments etc.
  4. Exercise open and effective communication
    Open communication is the key to effective management. Bosses are often the bearers of good and bad news. Inform all employees at the same time. Some business owners feel that they should only share information with certain employees who they determine “need to know it” or for whom it is “relevant”. However this scenario often results in closed door meetings between bosses and just a few staff members, leaving other employees feeling left out, suspicious and anxious.  Engaging in closed door meetings of this sort is highly discouraged as it promotes division and suspicion. Of course some information needs to remain confidential but as a business owner you must be discrete about how you go about disclosing information to staff.
  5. Keep it professional
    Sometimes as a business owner it may be tempting to befriend your employees since you hired them and they work directly for you, but it’s important to keep it professional. You may be closer to certain members of your staff than others but attempt to maintain the same level of interaction with all employees. Avoid going out to lunch with  the same staff members every week or sitting next to the same people at meetings. This makes others feel like you’re playing favourites and will result in jealousy, competition, and workplace conflict as everyone wants to be close to “the boss”. You can engage in conversations with employees outside of working hours but remember to keep your composure.  Be polite and keep it professional, don’t get too personal.
  6.  Introduce team building initiatives
    Initiating team building activities is a good way to foster a collectivist environment within your business and make employees feel included and welcome. Introducing office outings such as a lunch out of the office will allow you to connect with your staff in a new environment and boost morale. If going out is not feasible, organizing a potluck or simply celebrating employee birthdays with a cake or dessert is a great way to promote interaction. As a business owner you need to make sure employees are team players working toward a common goal.

Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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Business Meeting Etiquette

 

Praveeni

Business meetings are a great way to share information, regroup and discuss upcoming projects and initiatives.  Meetings are usually between 1-2 hours long (can be longer in some cases) so it’s best to be prepared and maximize the meeting time you do have.

Here are a few etiquette tips for a successful business meeting :

 

1. Schedule your meeting well in advance
Make sure you provide enough notice for your meeting so participants can make themselves available.  External meetings should be scheduled 2 weeks in advance. Internal meetings can be scheduled on shorter notice, 24-48 hours in advance. Try to choose a location that is convenient for all parties involved; a familiar place that is fairly close to everyone and has the same amount of travel time, if required.

2. Confirm your meeting ahead of time

Although you provide adequate notice for your business meetings, it’s always a good idea to confirm your meeting date and time. This should be done 24 hours before the meeting for external meetings, and 2-3 hours before the meeting time for internal meetings. If you’re a participant you can also contact the host or meeting chair to confirm your attendance.

3. Set an agenda

An agenda lets all participants know what to expect at the meeting. When participants know what will be discussed ahead of time they can prepare whatever materials they need for the meeting and optimize meeting time. Agendas should be sent out prior to the meeting (about a week in advance for external meetings and a day in advance for internal meetings).

4. Arrive early if you’re the host

If you are hosting or chairing the meeting arrive a few minutes before your co-workers or participants. This will give you time to make sure the meeting room is ready so you don’t take up meeting time re-arranging chairs or looking for stationary.

5. Power down

When you’re at a meeting your cell phone should be on silent and kept off the table. Resist the temptation to check your phone.  Texting, emailing or even accepting calls during a meeting is extremely rude and unprofessional

6. Don’t Chit-Chat

Although some meetings can get a little boring and mundane avoid engaging in your own private conversation with someone during the meeting. This is distracting to other participants and very disrespectful to the meeting chair or host. Maintain eye contact with whoever is speaking and give them your full attention.

7. Take minutes

Minutes help participants keep track of exactly what went on at a meeting. Having a designated minute taker ensures all meeting proceedings will be noted and tracked. Minutes should be distributed 24-48 hours after the meeting so it’s still fresh in the participants’ minds.

8. Follow up

You should always follow up with your meeting participants a few days (24-48 hours) after the meeting. This can be done via email or over the phone. Make sure everyone understood the purpose of the meeting, address any questions that may arise, and review delegated tasks or projects if any.

Praveeni Perera is the CEO and co-founder of Professional Edge Consulting a corporate training company based in Ottawa offering training and coaching services to clients around the world.  She can be reached via WebsiteTwitterFacebook or her Blog.

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