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What’s the best way to liven up boring meetings?

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Question: "I am the Chairman of our Safety Committee, which meets once a month.  But no one cares what is going on.  We decided to do a potluck meal last month, but once everyone finished eating, it was back to the same boring routine. No one ever seems to have any input, knowledge or enthusiasm to offer at the meetings.  How can I make our meetings more fun and exciting and get our members to participate more in our discussions?” — Keliiokalani A. Tauiliili

Comments

Have you thought about doing quarterly meetings instead of monntly meetings? Sometimes no one participates because there is nothing new to say from the previous month. By going to a quarterly or even bi-yearly meeting this would afford everyone some time to see what is new, voice concerns, come up with ideals etc. and you could always call an emergency meeting if the situation arises. How is your agenda written, does it have tabled items from the previous month do you have new items on your agenda, are there specifics like safety classes updates or changes in policy. Are the members allowed to add items to the agenda, if not then they may not feel they can "really" participate.

How about having guest speakers visit to give talks/demonstrations on various topics?
You could also rotate meeting facilitators to encourage more participation.

Offer prizes to participants who bring in ideas for making your company safer. Post the ideas and have open discussion on each.

I agree that it definetly sounds like you are meeting too frequently. People will have more input if they have had the time to collect or have new related experiences.

If this is meeting that you present alot of required information each month but nobody seems to listen then you need to have a serious pep talk with the group expressing how you feel nobody is listening and that they are hard to approach because of this poor behavior and that it is no longer acceptable. A department here had this problem a while back and they changed things like, the food choice improved, the attendants where required to hand in notes, and each month one of the attendants is required to present something that happened that was related and how they handled that (like a grand round), they also set goals for the month and presented results. The attendants did greatly improve but you will always have the few that have a lack of respect for a meeting. Good luck, PS it was a department of medical doctors and they were required to take notes and participate, so don't feel like anyone is above this improvement.

I would have a different person set the agenda each time for the meeting. It not only means that they have some control and they get to lead the meeting, it also may lead to a deeper appreciation for what it is like to head the meeting and the frustrations involved in having no responses back from colleagues. Then add some possible incentives to each meeting. Perhaps a small prize for the person who participates the most or contributes the most ideas and so on...Tell them what the prize is, but perhaps don't always give away what they have to do to win it. This way people don't tailor their responses only to win the prize. Designate the person in charge of that meeting to track the responses and give out the prize at the end of the meeting. $10 gift cards for coffee or gas are always popular.

We try to get group discussion involved in our meetings as much as possible. Using your safety committee as an example, if you have a directive about a new safety issue, go around one-by-one and have each participant say what they specifically will do in their department to comply with this new issue. If people know they are going to be required to speak up, they will pay more attention.

We do a jeopardy type game with flip charts and we break into groups, we have a word, for example, customer service and we think of questions that will spark conversations to improve or continue and then we discuss. We are not sitting around a table, we are all standing up and moving around so it keeps us energized. We always keep an open forum, it works best for us.

assign responsibility to more individuals for part of each meeting so that they have a vested interest in everyone paying attention - make the assignment detailed enough so it requires them to do a fair amount of preparation

I am on the Safety Team here in my office and we get together with our Risk Management department and we offer to all employees of the City safety cards. This is given to staff for not having any accidents each month. They are scratch off tickets and you can be an instant winner that you go over to the Risk department and they give you a gift card to Wal-mart, or you may scratch off entry to win. This puts you in the drawing at the end of the year for up to $1,000. This is a great incentive for employees to be more safety oriented as well as an award. We also hold safety luncheons. We try to keep our membership to about 12 folks and we discuss ways to improve our safety.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Cathy January 28, 2010 at 11:54 am

Good afternoon. It’s so much easier to write a resume than to craft a spirit.
I am from Herzegovina and now study English, tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “Norco, zealous facilities is a other shootout home to enter incurable revenues between an regular hsi and professional opportunities in a medical process to obtain various settlements and daily flat products and to address the sea of hsis.”

With respect 8-), Cathy.

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