Let’s face it. Staff meetings are boring. Who wants to sit inside a stuffy board room and listen as person after person goes off-tangent and the meeting agenda crawls achingly slow out the window?
Here at Two Tall Totems, we don’t have traditional staff meetings. Instead, we have Stand Up meetings every Tuesday and Thursday at 9:30AM sharp, with everyone getting a chance to speak in turn. Some offices have it once a week; others, twice a day.
Never had a Stand Up? You should, and here’s why:
1. Meetings Are Short And To The Point
Standing keeps it short. There are no tables, hence no possible distractions by mobile devices or laptops. Our meetings rarely go past 20 minutes (which gives each person roughly a minute and a half to speak), and we keep the format simple. Every person at our Stand Up tells the group what they’re working on, what their current blockers are, and an answer to a special question designed to get to know the team better. Stand Ups are definitely not a time for in-depth discussion or story telling.
2. Meetings Are Consistently Scheduled At 9:30AM
Scheduling consistent Stand Ups motivates us to get to work by a specific time. Since we work in a mobile development (tech!) company, this encourages those of us who may be working remotely to come to the office and stay engaged. This often results in spontaneous collaborative efforts that improves our efficiency and benefits our clients and projects.
3. Builds A Stronger Team Environment and Promotes Collaboration
At any given time, we work on multiple projects with different “teams” within the office. I have noticed that after Stand Up meetings there is more discussion and collaboration between teams and teammates. It isn’t often we get to talk about what’s happening within a project, and Stand Up gives every employee a chance to have their say.
4. Allows Transparency and Cohesion
Stand Ups let our staff know what’s going on across departments. Instead of siloing information, it’s laid out and discussed twice a week. Knowing what someone else is working on now or in the past will, later on, give reference to who may be the best person to ask a question, or to get help from. By communicating information in a Stand Up, we have a truly transparent and cohesive office environment.
5. Great Time For “Newbie” Introductions
When I started at Two Tall Totems, I was introduced to the entire team the next day at my very first Stand Up. Stand Ups give new employees (and clients) the chance to be greeted face-to-face by everyone in the office, a sense of welcome to the new hires, and builds community in the office environment. It also makes that first initial intro a lot less awkward!
6. Efficient Problem Solving
Stand Up meetings means you meet more often, but in shorter amounts. Instead of meeting every Wednesday for 2 long hours, you meet for 15-20 quick minutes (in our case, every Tuesday and Thursday). I have noticed the more frequently we meet, the faster issues get identified, and the faster we are immediately able to take corrective action.
- What’s your favourite dessert?
- Name 3 words that describe you.
- If you could live in any other time period, when would it be?
- What’s the perfect day for you?
- What’s your favourite Pokemon?
- Name one of your favourite TV shows.
- What did you do the last time you had fun?
- What is one thing that you have been wanting to learn?
- How do you recharge yourself after work?
- What’s your favourite food?
- What was the last book you read?
- What was something you learned in the last two weeks?
- What colour is the person to your left?
- What’s the last photo you took on your phone?
Deep & profound question this AM: "If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?" ? #standup . . . #coffee #meeting #tuesday #morning #goodmorning #philosophy #question #goals #icebreaker #deepthoughts #hungry #designer #developer #officelife #team #startup #startuplife #tech #bctech #vancouver #yvr #latergram
Meetings don’t have to be dull and boring. Make it fun, engaging, and get to know your team!
Does your office use Stand Up meetings? What positive results have come out of your Stand Ups? I would love to know – tweet me at @Two Tall Totems!