UMD’s Thriving Workplace Initiative is making the University of Maryland a great place to work by providing tools and support to foster engaged, inclusive and empowered faculty and staff across campus.

Each Monday, its Five to Thrive list offers five strategies crowdsourced from research, experts and our own UMD community to help your workplace thrive.

This week, TWI tackles the dreaded department meeting. Avoid “death by meeting” with these strategies:

  • Seek input on the agenda from your staff. If there are topics that could use some pre-meeting contemplation, circulate it beforehand.
  • Save meetings for issues that cannot be addressed or solved by email, such as making big decisions, tackling a tough challenge, addressing emotionally charged or complex news, or devising a plan.
  • Keep the momentum going. Share meeting notes and action items with your group immediately after the meeting.
  • Use technology for good. Eliminate the distractions of email dings and scrolling by asking attendees to stow or silence their phones. Instead, use technology such as webcasting, video conferencing and live chats to bring the team together. Consider project management tools like Google Docs, Airtable or Basecamp in lieu of a meeting to generate ideas and strategies virtually and flexibly.
  • Customize attendees and keep it small. Who needs to be there? Will they bring diverse ideas to the table? A smaller group of four or five allows everyone to connect, listen and participate. Outcomes can then be shared with the larger group.

Want to make your meetings more productive, even anticipated, events? Watch this TWI short for more tips on how to “resuscitate the meeting.”