Even at the most fun and innovative organizations, monthly company meetings can be a bit dull. Long agendas, topics that have previously been discussed, inconvenient meeting times, and endless note taking are all factors that can lead to a less-than-desirable experience. There is a long list of mistakes that cause these meetings to be a challenge to run and maintain interest. For facilitators and attendees alike, the seemingly simple task of dedicating a short amount of time each month to discuss important topics can be downright difficult.

Thankfully, there are ways to get around the standard staff meeting experience. Focus on ways to get employees excited and engaged. This can mean engaging them in the meeting itself, but it can also include getting them excited about the company. It isn’t always going to be possible to make the meeting interesting. There also won’t always be relevant ways to engage staff in the content being presented. When this is the case, use ideas that will spice up the meeting, and will ultimately promote long-term engagement in the organization.

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If you are looking for employee engagement ideas for your next monthly company meeting, review these suggestions for ways to promote engagement and make the time enjoyable.

Surprise Staff Members with Social Time

If there isn’t going to be much to cover at the next monthly meeting, treat your employees to an exciting surprise. After briefly discussing what needs to be discussed, allow your staff an extra break from their daily duties. Encourage them to use the time to socialize with other staff members, and to take a moment out of the day to unwind. Feel free to bring games that don’t require a large time commitment to add to the fun. Leveraging this suggestion will promote a more relaxed and calm work atmosphere.

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Everyone Loves Good Food

As one of the most common (yet most loved) ways to add some spice to a meeting, supplying food never fails. From the standard bagels and doughnuts, all the way up to catering from a favorite restaurant, food makes people happy. It’s a known fact that will never change. To make sure that everyone can participate, be aware of food allergies and special diets, and try to accommodate where possible. This idea is the perfect choice when you want to add something special to the monthly meeting, but you aren’t able to deviate from the agenda.

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Trivia + Prizes

To promote active listening during a monthly meeting, asking trivia questions and giving away prizes is a unique option. Create questions based on the content being presented, and ask the questions throughout the meeting (rather than waiting until the end). The prizes that you give away for correct trivia answers can be inexpensive (e.g. $5 gift cards). Before offering prizes at a meeting, be sure to check with your HR department to ensure that all company guidelines are being followed.

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Make the Meeting Interactive

Avoid the uncomfortable ice breakers. Instead, add meaningful activities to engage employees in discussions relevant to the agenda. For example, if a discussion is needed about how to improve a process, split attendees in to groups. Create an interactive way for them to work through problems that would have otherwise been a dry discussion. Impose a time limit on these activities, and have groups join together at the end to discuss thought processes, ideas, etc. By making the meeting more interactive, it’s a talent management strategy because employees are less likely to browse the web, doodle, or do something else that takes their attention away from the content being presented.

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