Have you ever surveyed the people who’ve left your volunteer team? Maybe you oversee your Social Media team or live production or digital marketing or kids or ushers (or something else). Have you ever considered that maybe some people are leaving your team, not because of the task assigned or friction with team members, but maybe they’re leaving because of pointless meetings…
I’m not saying don’t have meetings or don’t get together with your team, but the operative word is POINTLESS meetings – the meetings that make people roll their eyes, wish they’d stayed home and disengage while thinking of an excuse not to come to the next meeting.
How can you tell if a meeting is pointless? Ask these questions:
- Can I communicate what needs to be said in an email?
- Could I record a video on my phone and send it by text message and have the same impact?
- If I quit, would the person who takes over for me hold this meeting or find another way to communicate this information?
- Is there a hands-on reason we need to be in a physical location together? (like new equipment, or new location, etc)
- Have I asked a few team members that I trust if this needs to be a meeting?
Most of the time, especially in the world of technology that we live in, we can find alternative ways to get information to people who need it. Here are a few alternatives for a pointless meeting:
- Create a facebook group for your team: Post information when it needs to be communicated and don’t let anyone in who isn’t part of your team – this is a closed group for team members only and for information as it relates to your team. Build relationships in the group by welcoming new team members, posting about birthdays and mix in some topics or pointers that would usually show in a team meeting. People can see it at their convenience and comment or as a question as needed.
- Post a live video in the group: Team members can hear and see you expressing what needs to be said, watch it back at their convenience and ask questions as you’re live.
- Send an email with information or a link to a private YouTube video: Some team members don’t have or use Facebook? No problem. Send them an email.
- Send text messages: see above… use multiple angles to reach people. Not everyone checks their email regularly and sometimes spam filters really get in the way of important information.
- Phone Call: Yep, I said it. Sometimes the information you want the whole group to hear is actually only applicable to one or two people. Don’t waste everyone else’s time, and if you know someone is going to have a ‘difficult’ reaction to what you need to communicate, give them the courtesy of a private conversation.
- If you really need to have a short meeting when everyone is together anyway. Take 10 minutes before or after a service on a Sunday, rather than 60 minutes on an evening where everyone has to make a separate trip.
- Go ahead and have a meeting, but don’t make it pointless. Use the meeting to share breaking news that nobody else has. Give away prizes, celebrate your team, and give them a reason to want to come back next time. Create such a fun environment that people are disappointed when they have to miss a meeting. Not everyone will be at the meeting, so you’ll need to send an email after to people who had to miss. Don’t make people wish they skipped the meeting and just looked for the email the next day.
Avoiding pointless meetings is one of the ways I’ve built a volunteer team that grows itself. If you’d like to learn more about that, download my free ebook here: The Pigs Are On The Runway!
What are some of the ways you avoid holding pointless meetings? Leave a comment below so we can all learn!