It has been said that the meeting is a practical alternative to work. We know one bank CEO in Oregon that pulled out all his chairs from a conference room under the concept that a meeting should never last so long that people get tired of standing. Many other banks adhere to the 2 pizza rule that says you only invite enough participants that can be fed off two pizzas (preferably non-garlic). While we are not big fans of meetings, they can be practical if they have an objective, an agenda, follow up action items and a sense of team work. More importantly, they should have an overarching purpose.
Here are three meetings that you may not be having now, but you should:
The Vision Meeting
After goals are set, once a year management should not only present a set of objectives, in order of priority, but should take the time to reinforce the bank’s vision. People are not motivated about what you are going to do; they are motivated by why you are doing it. Keeping the “Why” front and center will be both motivations and efficient. We like when banks start this meeting with a general question and discussion from employees on “How do you want the Bank to look a year from now?” Talking about and agreeing on the brand, customers, financial goals, training, staffing and culture will help establish concrete goals that has Company-wide buy in. Without defining such goals, success will be elusive.
While many banks have an annual “kick off meeting” like the one above, few follow up on them. The key to vision achievement is to break the annual goals down into smaller monthly and department goals that can be more easily be achieved without being overwhelming.
These smaller department or team meetings start with a review of the previous month’s goals and then focus on what needs to be done differently to achieve any missed goals. Here, it is important to have each employee take accountability for what they agreed to do the previous month. At the end of each meeting, each employee should be given 1 minute to state at least one goal they want to achieve. Note takers should rotate and each month goals should be posted using an online collaboration tool.
Since monthly meetings tend to be shelved, it is the mangers job to “check in” with everyone on the staff at an individual level. Here, we suggest “walking meetings” where both sides get some exercise to stimulate creativity, get healthier and reduce stress in an informal setting. This is the time for the manager to help make sure the individual goals are achieved and that each employee is given the resources and support needed to achieve the goal. This is also the time to highlight any corporate goings on and Company information in order to keep everyone informed. This can be one-on-ones or in small groups that also have an objective to solve a particular problem.
Meetings are mostly despised because they tend to degrade to general discussions where decisions aren’t made. Having clear objectives and a process of accountability to turbo-boost your meetings so goals get accomplished is one of the best ways to change the culture in the bank. No matter if it is a credit meeting, loan sales, product design or risk, running meetings with a purpose will help morale, performance and may eliminate the need for both chairs and pizza.
What tips does your bank use to achieve better meeting productivity?
Submitted by Chris Nichols on June 01, 2013