How to Make Team Meetings More Engaging: 14 Actionable Ideas

Keeping meeting attendants engaged is more challenging than ever. Learn how to make team meetings more engaging by reading this in-detail guide.
How to Make Team Meetings More Engaging: 14 Actionable Ideas
Team meetings are a common part of work routines across various industries. However, while they are necessary, they can often become monotonous and unproductive.

Not all meetings are equally effective and engaging - in fact, 70% of meetings are considered unproductive, which creates the need for more engagement in order to enhance collaboration and communication (Notta).

Employee engagement is one of the most important factors within organizations, as engaged team members tend to be more productive and responsible than non-engaged workers (Forbes).

Let’s learn how to make team meetings more engaging by following 14 actionable tips and ideas. 

Colleagues working together, discussing content

14 Actionable and Effective Team Meeting Ideas for Engagement

The importance of team meetings is evident, so it makes sense to focus on having more engaging and productive meetings to maximize their results.

A study by The Muse reveals that company executives view more than 67% of meetings as failures.

Moreover, a research paper titled “State of the Modern Meeting” by BlueJeans shows us that team meetings are more common every time - 64% of professionals attended more meetings in 2018 than in 2017, and 43% of employees reported having more spontaneous meetings than normally.

Unproductive meetings waste more than $37 billion per year (Kumo Space), and today, we are going to learn how to carry on effective team meetings that focus on engagement, employee participation, and productivity. 

1. Ask All Team Members to Participate

The first tip for engaging employees in a meeting consists of encouraging their participation throughout the entire meeting.

One of the main reasons behind low engagement in meetings is the lack of interest in topics. If team members don’t feel included or appreciated, they’ll fail to pay attention to the subject of the meeting.

Begin by having each member introduce themselves to the rest of the participants, and ask them relevant questions related to the meeting as it progresses.

This simple gesture makes team members feel valued and taken into account, leading to a more engaging and productive meeting. 

2. Have a Clear Meeting Agenda

Creating a clear meeting agenda ensures that everyone is on the same page regarding the topics to be discussed.

Meeting agendas are an effective way to showcase the topics of the meeting, allowing team members to come prepared and know what to expect.

Sharing the meeting calendar in advance can help you reduce the meeting time and have a clearer understanding of the team goals, successfully boosting meeting engagement.

3. Allow Different Members to Lead the Team Meeting

Some of the best team meetings in companies are not led by the same team leader as always but by another member.

Rotating the role of meeting facilitator among team members brings diversity to the leadership dynamic, making meetings more entertaining and fun.

This will improve how your team feels about meetings, as it creates a sense of inclusivity and shared responsibility. Of course, make sure to discuss this with team members instead of randomly choosing someone to host the meeting. 

4. Assign Roles to Each Team Member

Some participants can feel like they are unnecessary in certain meetings. To reduce this feeling, start by assigning roles and tasks to each team member.

For example, a person can be in charge of taking notes, whereas another team member can simply track the meeting’s time.

To increase effectiveness, make sure to change the participant’s roles from time to time in order to keep engaging staff meetings coming up. 

5. Constantly Change the Meeting Location

If you are planning a long meeting in person, or if you believe that your team is tired of always meeting in the same conference room, then try to change the meeting location.

This simple yet highly effective trick can be enough to break the routine and infuse new energy into team meetings.

The new location can be something like another office room, a nearby coffee shop, or an outdoor setting. This will help all team participants to prevent monotony while encouraging creativity and new perspectives. 

Discussion during a meeting in a conference room

6. Introduce Ice Breakers to Lighten the Mood

Ice breakers help us foster a more relaxed environment to onboard new team members or lighten the mood among existing teams.

If you are meeting early in the morning, or if the topic of the meeting is not precisely related to good news, adding a couple of ice breakers can greatly improve the office’s current mood.

For example, asking fun questions or encouraging participants to share their weekend plans can initiate positive interactions, lighten the atmosphere, and set a more relaxed tone for the meeting.

7. Integrate Quick Team Building Activities into the Meeting

Quick team building activities can have a great impact on your team’s approach to meetings.

The objective is to enhance team dynamics, encourage active participation, and inject a moment of engagement to break up the monotony of discussions.

You can play a quick game, such as “Show and Tell,” or integrate a running game, such as “One Word,” where you choose a “word of the day” that participants will sneak into the conversation, ensuring improved engagement.

Integrating a 5-minutes game into meetings helps to reenergize participants, promote unity, and contribute to a more dynamic and interactive meeting environment.

8. Use Visual Presentations

Incorporating visual aids, such as slides or charts, during meetings helps to enhance communication and understanding.

Make the slides image-rich, incorporate useful data, and integrate the content of the visual material into the conversation of the meeting. 

Whether you are hosting remote or in-person meetings, make sure to maintain eye contact while reading a one-way presentation to ensure effective communication and engagement.

A businesswoman giving a presentation in the office

9. Consider Virtual Meetings for all Team Members

Consider incorporating attendance flexibility practices to encourage people to participate in staff meetings. 

In-office employees can feel more engaged by meeting virtually with their co-workers instead of being physically present in the same location.

This offers meeting participants the flexibility they need to participate in meetings, potentially improving the meetings’ engagement levels. 

10. Use Virtual Meeting Platforms Features

When hosting a meeting with a remote team, consider integrating interactive meeting platforms’ features.

For example, Zoom has a feature for live polls, which helps to encourage participation and keep all attendants engaged while they contribute to the discussion.

Likewise, other widely known platforms have mini-games that can be played before and after meetings, which works to successfully integrate team building activities for conference calls.

The use of live interaction features contributes to a more dynamic and stimulating environment, and it allows companies to combat Zoom fatigue, a problem that affects virtual teams in all industries.

11. Share a Win with the Team

A great way to start a meeting is to share employee milestones with all participants. Not everything needs to be bad news - there are many reasons to celebrate and drive employee engagement.

This simple trick helps people feel valued, as it emphasizes the significance of acknowledging and appreciating individual and collective achievements.

By acknowledging and highlighting successes, whether big or small, this practice fosters a positive and uplifting team culture.

12. Change the Meeting Format

Changing the meeting format is about introducing new initiatives to enhance the overall effectiveness of team meetings. 

You can come up with a new initiative by asking your team for new ideas, or trying new approaches to make the meetings more entertaining.

It is important to consider note-taking and multitasking during meetings is pretty common - 73% of meeting participants have admitted to multitasking while having a video call meeting (Pumble).

The meeting format plays a huge role in preventing distractions and enhancing participant focus, creating the need to restructure meetings if necessary. 

13. Allow Participants to Ask Questions

Allowing participants to ask questions fosters an open and inclusive discussion environment during meetings. 

This enables the possibility to create an open discussion where people can discuss problems and find answers to their questions effectively.

Keep in mind that meetings should be a comfortable space for all attendants to express themselves, thus making them more engaging and effective for everyone.

14. Get Feedback and Continue Improving

Actively receiving feedback from participants helps us create more engaging and effective meetings.

After each meeting, soliciting feedback from participants allows for a comprehensive understanding of what worked well and areas that may need improvement.

This will set the path to follow to enhance the overall engagement and effectiveness of upcoming meetings, providing more value to all participants. 

Summary: How to Make More Engaging Team Meetings

These ideas help team leaders and organizers create better team meetings for all members and participants.

You are now ready for your next meeting - this is a summary of the 14 best ideas to ensure an engaging and successful team meeting:

  1. Ask All Team Members to Participate: Encourages active involvement from every team member, fostering a sense of value and inclusion.
  2. Have a Clear Meeting Agenda: Integrating a meeting agenda saves time and boosts engagement by providing a structured roadmap for discussions.
  3. Allow Different Members to Lead the Team Meeting: Promotes diversity in leadership, making meetings more dynamic and engaging.
  4. Assign Roles to Each Team Member: Adds structure to meetings, ensuring everyone has a defined responsibility for increased participation.
  5. Constantly Change the Meeting Location: Adds freshness and prevents monotony, especially during longer in-person meetings.
  6. Introduce Ice Breakers to Lighten the Mood: Sets a positive tone by incorporating activities to break initial barriers and encourage team bonding.
  7. Integrate Quick Team Building Activities into the Meeting: Enhances team dynamics with brief, purposeful activities to reenergize and promote unity.
  8. Use Visual Presentations: Improves communication and engagement by incorporating visual aids, such as presentations.
  9. Consider Virtual Meetings for all Team Members: Provides attendance flexibility and engages in-office employees virtually for more inclusive collaboration.
  10. Use Virtual Meeting Platforms Features: Utilizes tools like live polls to encourage participation and combats Zoom fatigue with live interactions.
  11. Share a Win with the Team: Celebrates employee milestones, fostering a positive team culture and boosting morale.
  12. Change the Meeting Format: Promotes new initiatives and structures to adapt to changing dynamics and combat multitasking tendencies.
  13. Allow Participants to Ask Questions: Creates an open discussion space for addressing problems and maintaining a comfortable meeting environment.

Get Feedback and Continue Improving: Establish a feedback loop for continuous improvement, creating more effective and valuable meetings.

Author Details

Written by:
Najeeb Khan
Head of Training & Events
Leadership Development, Team Training, Belonging, Diversity & Inclusion, & Innovation
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