5 ways to infuse a culture of care into your meetings
By: Elle Schlicker
Every organization has a culture whether they intend to or not. Are you floating with the current culture or are you intentionally creating a culture of care in the workplace people want to be a part of? Each culture has its own strengths and weaknesses. And the type of culture you create will depend on your values, mission and vision.
Culture at work improves employee satisfaction, increases productivity and helps to improve the bottom line. A clear, intentional culture that conveys care through the entire workplace leads to better results. It also will help you achieve your business goals.
We define culture as the collective values, norms and beliefs of the organization. In other words, it’s “how things are done around here.” Culture is the backdrop for everything that happens at your company and the day-to-day employee experience. It’s also the single most important factor in organizational success or failure.
Being intentional about culture means you approach it from an architectural model — which is based on proactive activity by leaders. Intentional or not, your company is socializing a culture. It’s telling people how to behave, whether they’re valued, how to get their work done and what matters to the organization. When a meeting is intentionally crafted with a culture of caring, it feels less like a meeting and more like an invitation. This can also help build and maintain trust so that your team will continue to open up.
There are numerous ways to go about orchestrating your culture with care. The following are practical tips to use in routine meetings that we also use intentionally here at Limeade.
5 tips to infuse care into your meeting culture
1. Foster better group conversations with prompts and popcorn style
Most people do not like to talk in groups by nature. At the beginning of a meeting, ask each person to share one thing about his or her work that was exciting or challenging. If someone shares something particularly interesting, have him or her elaborate on it for a few minutes. Another great way to kick off the conversation is to start with a prompt. Have the meeting owner open with a personal or professional question, challenge or recent win.
Why it works: Initiating and guiding conversation helps members of the team get to know each other better and feel comfortable speaking in a group. It also gives a bit of light-hearted relief to the working day, bonding the team together further.
2. Make meetings fun
If your meeting allows the extra time, games are a fun way to infuse interaction into your meetings. It’s also a welcome change of pace in the now meeting heavy day. Here at Limeade, we love Jeopardy and Guess that Fridge. Other ideas include themed meetings or treating your team to lunch if the meeting runs over the lunch hour.
Why it works: Facilitating team building online can be tough so a game breaks down some of that awkwardness and makes room for teamwork, competition, cross interactions and ideally some laughs. Little touches can go a long way.
3. Run effective meetings
After years of working remote and hybrid, there are two things that have increased in the workplace that we can all agree are causing fatigue: screen time and meetings. It’s crucial to put in the effort to run an effective meeting. For example, do the prep work, set a clear agenda, invite the right people, start on time (we like our partner Microsoft’s philosophy of 5 minutes after the hour for a 30-minute meeting and 10 minutes after the hour for an hour-long meeting), end on time and end with set next steps.
Why it works: Running an effective meeting can show care to employees. It shows you value their time, respect their schedules, care about their bandwidth and well-being.
4. Celebrate team wins and give shoutouts
Instead of starting a meeting with introductions or status updates, ask people to share someone they are grateful for that week and what they did to earn their admiration. It’s also a great time to celebrate wins together as a team.
Why it works: Taking a moment to celebrate each other and the hard work that’s been completed helps employees feel seen and appreciated. Plus, the meeting starts off on a positive note.
5. Make well-being a priority
Find an activity in your well-being program that suits your team and add members to the activity to participate. Step challenges are always fun, but at Limeade, we also get creative and have a planks and pizza activity across departments to get everyone involved.
Why it works: Weaving well-being into meetings can help bring a team together to work toward a common goal outside of their traditional roles. It not only encourages self-care but also helps relieve stress as a team.