Meeting the Meeting Challenge

Not another meeting!

If you’ve heard or thought, “Not another meeting!” you know what a challenge having or attending meetings can be. Yet, having well thought out and appropriate meetings will enhance your construction company’s ability to perform. Meetings address two basic components of establishing a highly functioning business – information and relationship.

Keep in mind; some meetings can be replaced by an email or a shared document. When possible, do that! For the meetings you must have, keep these guidelines in mind.

  • Consider who needs the meeting before creating the attendee list
  • Start and end on time
  • Have an agenda
  • Recap agreements before the meeting ends
  • Be sure attendees have hardcopy or digital notes as follow up

Also, when preparing the agenda, remember the meeting’s purpose as well as what the appropriate outcome should be. Some examples:

  • Reach a decision
  • Develop a plan
  • Give instructions or teach a new skill
  • Introduce a new approach
  • Reward growth or success

5 typical construction company meetings

While different industries have a variety of meeting types, the following five business meeting types serve the construction industry well. In no particular order and with no comment concerning frequency these are the meeting types we’ve seen be useful for experienced and discerning commercial construction contractors.

  • Team Alignment
  • Decision making
  • Problem-solving
  • Team building
  • Safety

We discuss each one in the following sections.

Team Alignment

This meeting is sometimes known as a Status Update meeting. One of the main purposes of this type of meeting is to make sure everyone on the team is on the same page.

It is in this meeting where you’ll be able to address any problems that have bobbed up, make decisions, prioritize next steps, then assign appropriate tasks.

This meeting saves valuable work time by avoiding rework scenarios. And, it aids in reducing frustration among team members.

Typically, your team members will be silently (or vocally) asking this question, “How does this affect what I need to get done?”

Encourage them to add these two questions to their thought process at each team alignment meeting.

  1. “What do I need from others to move my work forward?”
  2. “What can I offer that can help other team members in this instance?”

 

Decision making

The purpose of this meeting is to:

  • Gather information
  • Suggest solutions
  • Evaluate options
  • Decide how best to move forward

It’s easy to understand that the use of collective intelligence leads to a more informed decision. And, while the purpose of this meeting is to find a solution or decide on a path forward, there is a by-product that’s invaluable.

The by-product has to do with team morale and, put simply, team buy-in. When individuals participate in group planning, they are much more likely to embrace the decisions and do their part to work toward the goals.

Decisions being what they are, and people being who they are, makes it imperative that this meeting ends with a recap of what decisions were made. Be certain to provide written notes (to all participants) of decisions and what responsibilities were assigned to whom.

Problem-solving

Often, problem-solving meetings take place when an emergency needs a quick resolution. With that understanding in mind, it is best to follow simple guidelines for achieving the best outcome.

  • Get the right people in the room
  • Know the priorities
  • Set the agenda
  • Defer to the person or persons with the greatest expertise for the matter at hand
  • Give high priority to the input of people who will be implementing the decision

When the problem to be solved is not an emergency, the above steps are still useful.

The outcome of a non-emergency problem may be:

  • Resolved
  • Delegated (either in-house or outsourced)
  • Deferred to a future agenda

When meeting notes are sent to attendees, they should include:

  • Decisions made
  • Assigned tasks
  • Any follow-up matters
  • Future agenda items

Team building

No matter which form it takes one of the best ways to begin team building is to celebrate team successes. And, always be on the lookout for ways to praise individual growth points and accomplishments.

This article from the Wrike blog offers 12 Awesome Team Building Games Your Team Won’t Hate.  You can pick and choose what would work well for your team. The activities listed run from just a few minutes to two hours. They look like fun, and you should check them out.

Further, if you want to work on team building you may want to plan events that don’t’ have “team-building” written all over them. They are subtle yet effective ways to get your team to learn more about one another and to engage better.

Here’s a list of five to get you started.

  1. Attend volunteer events as a group
  2. Eat together – better yet, add cooking to the event (Chili Cook-off or Short Cooking Class comes to mind)
  3. Have a try at an Escape Room
  4. Gather at an Axe Throwing room (I think this would be great, Tonya isn’t so sure.)
  5. Go Geocaching together

 

Now, watch and listen for feedback to see what types of events your team prefers.

Safety

We talked about better management in your construction business through daily safety meetings in this post.   Check it out, it has relevant information.

And, here’s a brief safety meeting reminder.

Keep it:

  • Standing
  • Brief
  • Entertaining
  • Insightful

Meeting the challenge

Meeting the meeting challenge is easier when you determine which types of meetings are most beneficial for your construction company. Follow the basic rules, communicate well, and have some fun along the way.

 

It is our desire this article (among our growing library of construction-centric informational articles) helps assist commercial construction contractors build better building businesses. 

Providing Accounting, Contract Document Management, and Advisory Board Level counsel for small to medium commercial construction subcontractors.

So you can Run With the Big Dogs. Call us! 866-629-7735

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