Top tips for running the most effective facilities meeting possible

Facilities management team meetings can be lively, informative, must-attend events that end with everyone feeling more positive than when they arrived. But be honest – is that how yours are perceived? If you feel that the meeting has become a boring rigmarole that you have to go through each week or month, take a look at these tips for injecting energy and effectiveness into the time you spend with your team.

1. Be positive

If this is the one time that you get together with your staff, show that you are pleased to see or talk to them. Greet them positively, by name, to get the meeting off to a good start. This isn’t management school theory, it’s common politeness yet a surprising number of managers forget to do these basics and appear unaware of the poor impression it gives.

2. Plan for the meeting you want

If you have a written agenda, don’t just churn the standard one out, month after month. It gives everyone a tired feeling of “same old, same old”. So freshen up the agenda with something unexpected. Or if you find that a great deal of the meeting is taken up by run of the mill reports from each participant, ask them to circulate these by email beforehand and, instead, spend the time gathering ideas about how things can be improved.

3. Build engagement

Ask people to send in any items they’d like to see included on the agenda. And don’t forget to ask team members to raise any subjects they want to have included in future meetings. This will help build engagement.

Building a team isn’t always about activities that are specifically labeled as “team-building”. If members of the facilities management team work in different locations or do very different jobs, it’s quite possible that they have little clue about what another team member’s job involves. So use the meeting for some short presentations from team members about what their job entails and its highs and lows.

4. Include a bit of slack

If the meeting is a highly disciplined, timed march from one agenda item to the next, you may miss out on hearing about things that are currently enthusing, enraging, or exciting, your team. So build in a tea break or a general chat at the end; something that allows people to engage in a less formal manner. You’ll get to hear the gossip and will be able to “take the temperature” of the group by listening to them.

5. Use the opportunity for team development

It’s an ideal time for a 10-minute briefing that extends the team’s understanding of the role they play in the organization. Perhaps you could show them some new trends in equipment and how they might change the job in the next few years. If anyone’s been to a trade show, or on a training course, ask them to share what they saw or learned.

Use your team meetings to foster engagement and build the team’s knowledge and skills, as well as getting through day-to-day business. Your team will respond with a far more positive attitude, not just to the meeting but also to what they do every day.