Q: We have our quarterly team meeting coming up. What content should I include to ensure it’s valuable to my team?

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A: Last week we confirmed the benefit of holding regular all-hands meetings with your team. Based on these findings, this piece will explore what content you should include in order to effectively address both the psychological and biological needs of your team.

Psychological Needs

Recognition of Achievement

While you have the group together, build in time to recognize the accomplishments of your team members since the last meeting. Work anniversaries, top-seller awards, promotions, peer-to-peer awards and embodying company values can all be called out in front of the team as “motivation factors” (according to Herzberg’s two-factor theory) to improve satisfaction. There is also the added benefit of motivating team members who do not receive any recognition at the meeting to up their game for the next one so they, too, can have this need fulfilled.

Delegating Responsibility

This is also a good time to announce new initiatives, products and systems. An all-hands meeting provides the perfect opportunity for you to delegate responsibility surrounding these announcements. You can guide your employees to from a cohort and task them with leading the new project or rollout. Let’s say you’re announcing a new system that will be rolled out over the next six weeks. While you might want to do all of the organizing and training yourself, the all-hands meeting is a great opportunity to hand responsibility to a high-performing employee or group of employees and increase the satisfaction of your staff.

Don’t have a new initiative or system to announce? Think about a necessary improvement for your store such as delivering more consistent customer service. You can still form an employee task force around this project, assigning them to work on an action plan that they deliver back to you.

Learning

There’s always something new to learn in retail—whether a skill or system—and an all-hands meeting provides the space for employee training. If it’s your pre-holiday meeting, for example, you can conduct training on your holiday gift guide. If there’s a new product collection about to launch, you can train on the features and benefits of the new items.

Biological Needs

The need for community

As a leader, you know that employees are humans first and workers second. To this end, relationships are very important to employee satisfaction. Allow some time in your meeting for either structured or unstructured community building. If you have a budget, order food and give people time to eat and catch up at the beginning or end. If your team is brand new—say your store just opened and staff members don’t really know each other—you may want to use an icebreaker or team-building exercise.

The need for respect

Humans want to be respected. One of the ways to address this desire is in recognizing achievements as discussed above, but the all-hands meeting also provides an opportunity to pass the “presenter” baton to your employees. Don’t be the only person who presents or facilitates at your meeting. Instead, give others the opportunity to do so—especially if they can share unique expertise on the topic. This will signal to the entire group that you know you’re not the smartest person in the room, you’re just the leader.

The need for clarity

This need is so easy to fulfill and yet is often missed in the rush to get through a meeting. When you present anything to the group, ask if there are any questions. In fact, ask, “What questions do you have?” or “What wasn’t clear about what we just discussed?” These open ended questions are more likely to garner honest answers instead of just nods or blank stares. Additionally, try to ask open-ended questions throughout the meeting instead of only at the end. By the end of your time together, people are tired of talking and listening and will be less likely to ask a question even if they have one.

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