Guide for making your HR meetings more effective
Name one person that actually likes to sit in an HR meeting, bar the person who thinks they’re getting a short break from work by attending. Despite being infamous for being boring and tedious, HR staff meetings are an essential part of the business world. Why not be proactive in making them as engaging as possible?
I’ve spent years in HR, working for companies both big and small around the world. The same problem that comes up time and time again within these companies are the ways in which they implement meetings.
Today, I’m going to share a complete guide to streamlining your HR meetings, from preparing compelling PowerPoint presentations to refining your meeting’s duration. I will explain how to get everybody in and out in time with all the information they need, working on the same page and optimally engaged throughout.
Holding an effective meeting is one of the most important skills an HR professional can have. Mastering this skill will help you become a more successful recruiter and leader.
In this article we will focus on holding effective HR meetings specifically, but if you+re interested in more tips for becoming a better leader, check out our short leadership tips for managers.
The importance of making your HR meetings more effective
A recent piece of research, titled “Unlocking the UK’s Daily Savings Time”, found that busy professionals attend an average of 60 meetings a month, with 30% of management claiming the time spent in these meetings is wasted.
Once you include impromptu meetings (drop-by meetings, which 40% of all employees found a waste of time) and the time spent preparing for meetings, this is a huge amount of time spent.
By running efficient and effective meetings, you can save so much time and enhance productivity levels beyond belief, not just in your HR department, but across your entire business. The difference between busy and productive people is often in great and effective meetings.
How frequently should you hold HR meetings?
There’s no set pattern or proof that meetings should be held with a certain level of consistency. A meeting should be held when there is something important to have a meeting about.
If you’re working on a specific project, then you may want to have a meeting once every two weeks, so everyone can get on the same page and catch up.
If you’re having a department meeting, you might want to hold these once a month. These kinds of the meeting can be held every six months to keep all of your team members up to date with the position and direction of your business.
Bringing your whole team together is also very important because it creates a sense of togetherness in your company, which is an important step in engaging and nurturing your talent to stop them from leaving.
Recommended duration for an effective HR meeting
As a rule of thumb, you are never going to want to have a meeting that lasts over 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, people are going to start getting restless, fidgety and bored. There’s simply no reason to carry on the meeting if nobody is taking anything in.
From personal experience, I aim for 20-minute meetings since these seem to be the most effective, only exceeding this time if brainstorming and idea-sharing is part of the meeting.
If you’ve dedicated half an hour for a meeting, it’s essential that you stick to this timeframe. You’ve budgeted this time for a reason, and everybody else in the meeting will have set aside the time to have it completed. This mentality will also help to keep your meetings on the subject.
How to create an effective presentation?
Way before your meeting is due to be hosted, you need to start considering how you’re going to put together your PowerPoint presentation.
“Keep your presentation short and direct to the point of the meeting. Less is more when it comes to words. Always remember that you need to be the focus of the presentation, not the presentation itself,” shares Sarah Sweeney, a project manager for Academized.
To help you make the most of your presentation, here are a few key points to remember:
- Minimal text - you should be talking from notes or memory, not reading the screen (40 words per slide)
- Use visuals to attract engagement (photos, images, infographics)
- Use readable fonts and colours
Here are some useful online tools that can help you create an effective presentation:
- Grammar Checker and Colon VS Semi Colon: These are two blogs dedicated to sharing knowledge, so you can improve your grammar skills.
- State of Writing and My Writing Way: These are two online blogs that are full of writing guides you can follow when creating content.
- Cite It In: A free online tool you can use to add professionally formatted citations and references to your content.
- Essayroo: An online service that can help you proofread and edit any content you need perfecting.
How to prepare for an HR meeting?
First and most important, it’s vital that you rehearse for your presentation. This only has to be done once or twice but getting yourself familiar with your content to this degree can help to boost your confidence dramatically.
Next, you’ll want to prepare the meeting room or the place where your meeting will be held. Make a conscious effort to get there early and make sure that sure any laptops, speakers or equipment you’re using works perfectly before the meeting starts.
You’ll also be able to set up and hand out any documents or folders that are relevant in your meetings. Don’t forget the little things such as lighting, air conditioning and even making sure there’s the right number of seats, all of which can cause distractions once the meeting has begun.
How to hold a great presentation?
It’s all well and good creating a stellar presentation that guarantees to make a huge impact on your audience. However, the success rate of your presentation solely depends on how you present it.
The art of presenting a PowerPoint presentation can be quite difficult. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of simply what’s reading off the screen.
If you really want to engage your listeners, start to bring in stories, examples and HR and recruiting inspirational quotes. This is a much more personal way to connect with your audience and is far more engaging than simply referring to facts and figures over and over again.
Finally, body language is also insanely important. The popular notion of attributing55% of all communication to body language, 38% to the tone of voice and only 7% to your actual words, points to the great importance of body language in communication.
In order to make your presentation more successful, here are a few key points to remember:
- Make eye contact with your readers
- Move around and don’t be static
- Speak with emotion
View every meeting as a chance for a good experience
When people come to your meetings, try not to think of it as a meeting but as a chance to give your listeners and audience members an experience that they’ll enjoy.
The more someone is enjoying themselves, the better they’ll absorb the information you’re giving them. You can even try to start or finish your meetings with a dose of humor. If you need an inspiration, check out our list of popular recruiting and hiring jokes.
In order to keep continuously improving your meetings, it is important to ask for feedback. Asking for feedback is the first of five top tips you need to follow if you want to get promoted, according to Ex Google HR Chief, Laszlo Bock.
When you’re coming out of a meeting, ask your co-workers for feedback.
How to do it? Simply ask these 2 questions:
- What worked well?
- What could have gone better?
“Those are two very simple questions, but you’ll be surprised at how powerful the feedback can be when you ask for it and express a willingness to work on it.”, say Laszlo.
So don’t be shy, put yourself out there and ask! Younger generations, starting with Millenials, are especially prone to be asked what they need, so they will surely appreciate it.
As you can see, there are many things you can consider when trying to piece together your meeting. While your attention may have been on the meeting itself, hopefully now you’ll see the importance that preparation and organization beforehand can do wonders for your meetings, maximizing efficiency and effectiveness.