December 31, 2021
With the start of the new year comes company, client, and team meetings galore. Making meetings fun and engaging is an important part of motivating your team to accomplish great work. No one, virtually or in person, wants to sit through a long meeting without interaction between team members. In fact, that’s what gives meetings a bad name.
The truth is, your meetings may be failing because they aren’t engaging enough. Research shows 9 out of 10 people daydream in meetings and 50% of people find meetings to be unproductive overall. Those are heavy statistics to swallow, but if your current meetings are dry and prolonged, these numbers probably make sense. And it is true, attending too many meetings or meetings that are too long can cause demotivation. But there are ways to avoid the disconnect and we’ve got them covered here.
Before we look into some fun meeting ideas to bring your team together, let’s take a look at some of the important benefits meetings provide.
Benefits of Meetings
- Provides a space to communicate important updates and feedback
- Aligns the group on roles, tasks, and priorities
- Encourages discussion and teamwork
- Strengthens team communication and unity as a company
- Allows collaboration and unity between different departments
One thing to keep in mind is all meetings are different. A virtual meeting is different than an in-person meeting, and a small company meeting is much different than a large company meeting. Nevertheless, they matter and there are ways to engage everyone in each setting. Here are fun meeting ideas that will motivate your team regardless of size, location, department, or even individual personalities.
Fun Meeting Ideas
1. Group Breakout Sessions
A fun zoom meeting idea or in-person idea is to break everyone up into small groups. If it is a large company meeting, try to plan the groups beforehand and encourage different departments to mingle. Odds are, they don’t really know exactly what the other departments are working on. Even for a large team that has different many areas of focus, breakout groups create a sense of belonging to the whole. This makes it easier and more engaging as they rejoin the big group because they have a better sense of the big picture and can follow along.
Group breakout sessions also allow voices to be heard and challenges to be addressed. In a large group, people may not feel the need or want to speak up. But everyone’s voice is important as it is a contributing factor to the company’s success.
2. Shout-outs and Recognition
Employee recognition is a key component of engaging employees in meetings. Recognition doesn’t have to be a large spotlight, but rather letting everyone know the hard work that someone is contributing. This goes for small and large meetings. For large meetings, ask managers of each department to provide insight into key performers and successes. Remember that not everyone enjoys recognition the same way, so it is important to make sure you know how to fulfill each employee’s needs. Check out our employee recognition survey to find out how to show your employees individualized recognition the right way.
3. Icebreakers and Team Activities
Team building gets a bad rep. But so do meetings. The key to a good team activity, like a good meeting, is doing it the right way. Engage groups of any size and location in a fun activity that gets them talking and having a good time. This can be as easy as a (good) icebreaker or a short 30-minute activity. Icebreakers and activities loosen everyone up which will bring more positive energy as you get into the meeting topics. If you have an extra-long meeting, consider adding an activity in the middle to break it up and replenish the energy.
Here are some of our favorites:
4. Motivational Speakers
Bringing in a great motivational speaker is a fun meeting idea that will really get the audience thinking. The speaker can be someone outside the company who can provide different insights into mental health and wellness, business management, diversity and inclusion, or any category you feel is most beneficial for your team. Define the goal and intent of your meeting and look into finding a speaker that can provide knowledge in conjunction with what you’ll be talking about. Or, simply bring them in to talk about a topic you feel is important to your employees. One thing the pandemic has made easier is getting motivational speakers to your meetings virtually, and it is a fun zoom meeting idea if you can’t bring them in person that will have everyone talking after it’s all over with.
5. Showcase Pride
A fun meeting idea can be as simple as allowing your employees to showcase their pride. Everyone has something they are proud of, so let them share. In a big or small group, this is an engaging way to motivate all employees. Employees showcasing their moments of pride can inspire others to want to do the same.
Lastly, if you’re planning your yearly company meeting, don’t call it a meeting. Get creative so it doesn’t sound like all business. Some examples could be 1st Quarter Kick-off, or Looking Ahead in 2022. Get your team excited for the new year and remind them why they love being a part of your business. And don’t forget to send out a recap because there can too much information to remember at once. A good New Year’s Resolution for the workplace? Have meetings that don’t have 9/10 people daydreaming. Good luck!