Well-run meetings result in motivated teams who contribute to decision-making and problem-solving and take pride in their work. Meetings are about making time to save time.
Formal or informal, ensure meetings are structured and purposeful with an agenda, and clear expectations around attendance and individual contribution.
Meetings need to work for your team and business needs. Will you have 15-minute daily catch ups and/or weekly meetings? Regularly ask your staff for feedback about your meetings so you can improve them.
- Start on time - don’t wait for late comers and finish on time
- Take and share notes - particularly if allocating responsibility or accountability
- Meetings should result in actions - not just be a talkfest
- Share responsibility - rotate who runs the meeting so everyone feels involved and gains experience
- Respect other’s contributions - give all attendees a chance to speak
- Set rules as a group - they can include things like silence is taken as agreement, address problems not people, focus on what can be done, outline a process for how people are to present their ideas and how the group will decide on things
Daily stand-up meetings
Daily stand-up meetings are to talk about what’s going on at work now, and to make sure everyone is ok with the day’s plan.
These meetings should:
- Take 10-15 minutes at the most
- be done standing up - it keeps everyone focused
- involve everyone on farm for the day
- identify obstacles that could interfere with success for the day (including any new hazards)
- be run regardless of whether the ‘boss’ is there or not.
These meetings should not be used for:
- Allocating tasks for the day
- catching up on the weekend
- planning or problem-solving issues on the farm (this can be done when more time can be allocated or at weekly meetings).
Weekly meetings are used to improve how things get done on-farm and allow you to avoid miscommunication by delivering the same message to everyone.
These meetings should:
- Allow you to allocate tasks for the week clearly
- allow people an opportunity to contribute and be involved in decisions.
Potential agenda items:
- Health and safety – any new risks, near misses, or anything else to be aware of?
- major areas of work coming up on the farm (e.g. supplementary feed making, drying off)
- targets for the coming period - address higher level long-term farm goals.
- how we are tracking for the long-term targets on farm
- budgets - planned vs. actual
- planning or problem solving
- training undertaken and/or planned
- time off and leave allocations
- good news stories.