How to Execute Effective Team Meetings

Finding time for team meetings isn’t always easy in a busy veterinary practice. Unfortunately, if you don’t schedule regular meetings, you’ll lose an important opportunity to share new medical information and policies, discuss concerns and solicit suggestions that will make your practice more efficient. These tips will help you ensure that your meetings are productive and efficient.

Invite the Entire Staff

Your entire staff play a part in making your practice successful, so why not include all of them in meetings? Even the high school student who cleans your kennels part time may have something important to contribute to staff meetings. If you don’t feel comfortable letting voice mail pick up calls during your meeting, assign a staff member to the task, as long as the same person isn’t always covering phone duty.

Your entire staff play a part in making your practice successful, so why not include all of them in meetings?

Alternate Meeting Times

When your business is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., it’s easy to get the entire staff together for a meeting. It’s much more challenging to hold meetings if your office is open from the 8 a.m. until 9 p.m. It may not be possible for every employee to attend every meeting, but a greater percentage will be able to contribute when you alternate meeting times to accommodate as many staff members as possible.

Set an Agenda

An agenda provides structure for your meeting and also allows your staff time to collect pertinent information about the topic before the meeting date. Before the meeting ends, ask for suggestions for topics to be discussed during the next week’s meetings.

Encourage Discussion

It’s easy to become bored if you’re not an active participant in a meeting. Unfortunately, meetings often consist of one person after another providing dull, dry reports while the other attendees feign interest. When you encourage employees to share their thoughts and ask questions about topics, you may find that your meetings are more productive and interesting.

Move the Conversation Along

Whether you have a particularly talkative employee or find that sometimes the conversation drifts away from the original topic, it’s important to maintain focus during your meetings. If you don’t, you may only have time to address half of the items on your agenda. At the beginning of the meeting, let employees know that you only have a limited amount of time and need to get through all of the agenda items. If the conversation turns to the waiting room magazine selection when you’re supposed to be discussing improvements to the appointment scheduling process, directing the group’s attention to the agenda can help get the discussion back on track.

At the beginning of the meeting, let employees know that you only have a limited amount of time and need to get through all of the agenda items.

Keep a Meeting Record

It’s not always easy to remember what was discussed or agreed upon during a meeting that happened two months ago. Appointing a different person to take minutes during every meeting will eliminate confusion regarding who was going to research web design companies or write client survey questions.
Weekly staff meetings offer the perfect opportunity to provide important updates, offer mini training sessions and share information about your practice’s strategic and financial goals. When they’re run efficiently, meetings can be an important tool that will help you improve your practice.

Sources:
Entrepreneur: 5 Tips for Effective Team Meetings, 4/21/16
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/272078
Veterinary Practice News: How to Overcome Resistance to Change: Hold Effective Team Meetings, 12/1/16
http://www.veterinarypracticenews.com/how-to-overcome-resistance-to-change-hold-effective-team-meetings/
Dvm360: Energy for Your Tired Veterinary Team Meetings, 9/1/13
http://veterinarybusiness.dvm360.com/energy-your-tired-veterinary-team-meetings

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