That Monday morning meeting can be a drag, especially when it’s scheduled week after week. Over time, it might start to feel like nothing productive is happening, or employees might start to disengage from conversation. Or maybe your morning meeting is still productive, but you want to keep it fresh and exciting, so employees don’t start to check out.
Whatever shape your morning meeting is in, there are plenty of ways you can infuse some excitement into it! It’s only when employees are actively participating that collaboration and progress can happen.
These are only twelve ideas—there are plenty more, and we definitely want to hear your own ideas below! But these twelve are a great starting point for your next morning meeting.
1. Bring Treats
Mornings can be rough. If you’ve ever had a bad morning, you know how that mood can affect your whole day. So bring a little pep into the morning meeting with treats. You could offer snacks—like muffins or fruit. Or really wake everyone up with coffee.
Bonus Tip: Don’t forget plates, cups, or napkins for whatever you bring!
2. Get Rid of Chairs
Get your employees out of their chairs! You don’t have to play any games or do jumping jacks, but have them stand for a little bit to get the creative juices flowing. There’s no denying that sitting all day is bad for you, and moving around—including standing—increases blood flow throughout your body, and most importantly, to your brain.
Bonus Tip: Employees don’t have to stand for the whole time; try just 10 minutes to start.
3. Start on a Positive Note
Take the first few minutes, and don’t talk about work at all. Ask if anyone tried something new in the past week, or what movies everyone saw that weekend. This allows coworkers to get to know each other—and shows that you care about your employees as people, too. You can still have a productive 50-minute meeting, and it won’t feel so much like “business as usual.”
4. Move the Meeting Space
Switch up to a different conference room—or take the meeting outside! If it’s a beautiful day outside, why stay in? You could even go off-site to a local café if the meeting is long enough. A new place can spark new ideas and create a level of excitement. Just make sure you give everyone a head’s up if the location changes, so you don’t have late, irritated employees.
5. Ask Employees to Come Prepared
Two days before the morning meeting, send around an email, asking the employees to come prepared with an idea or answer. It could be as simple as, “What is one goal you accomplished this month?” or, “How do you plan to improve a recent project?” Start the meeting off with a round-table answer and discussion. This way, employees have a time to prepare, and everyone can contribute.
6. Get Individual Input
Take time to check in with your employees, and and get their input one-on-one. Turn a morning meeting into individual 5- or 10-minute conversations with everyone on the attendance list. Ask for honest feedback on whether they find the meeting useful—and if they have any suggestions for change. After all, employees who feel heard are often more excited and engaged at work.
7. Take an Opposite Approach
Instead of focusing on what you want to happen, or what you want to get our of your morning meeting—ask everyone to do the opposite. What don’t you want to happen with your big project? And work backwards from there. Make sure everyone’s tasks aren’t leading up to the big “don’t” and check data to make sure those efforts are actually working.
8. Roleplay Customers
Many business decisions are made with the customer in mind. You want to know what they need, and then give that to them in an easy way. It sounds easy, but in some situations, you might not know what your customers want. Try being your customers, and acting out scenarios in which they may encounter your product. What would make them choose it? What else would they consider choosing instead?
9. Shout About It
Ask a question, or propose an idea to your team at the start of your morning meeting. Then let the group shout out their responses or answers to a designated writer—who jots them all down on the whiteboard. Right there in the meeting, you’re getting employees engaged and speaking up about their ideas. Because everyone is talking, you may even get some quieter folks to speak up.
10. End It Early
Make a deal with everyone—if we can get through our agenda in 30 minutes, you get extra time in your day. Get the team to hunker down and get productive first thing at the morning meeting, Then, set them free early, ready to keep the momentum going!
Bonus Tip: Send out the agenda 48 hours ahead of time, so everyone can be prepared to get to business.
11. Draw Your Goals
Sometimes the big picture gets lost in the day-to-day of execution. Bring paper, markers, and crayons to your next morning meeting. We know—it sounds a little far-fetched, but you’re looking to shake it up! Have everyone draw their goals or their motivation, and then bring that back to their desk. Don’t talk tasks, just talk goals and see how the mood shifts.
12. Take a Break
Has the office environment been incredibly stressful lately? Keep the morning meeting on the schedule, but take the time to decompress. Color, chat, or sit around and drink coffee together. It will help employees feel like they’re heard, appreciated, and that work is a safe space. Everyone needs to take a break, and that’s even true at work.
13. Bring a Guest
They could be a VP, director, or outside speaker to talk about changes or current trends. Be sure to fully introduce them to your employees—and if dress code needs to change, give everyone a head’s up. But letting the team sit back and soak up some knowledge can be a nice change of pace to your morning meeting.
Remember that it doesn’t always have to be about work. Yes, you’re there to get the job done—but if your employees aren’t engaging in the work, it’s not going to get done. If you can’t spare an hour to recharge your team, you might want to consider your strategy.
For those meetings that are more play than work, keep them short—a 30-minute break, and the meeting ends early so everyone goes back to work sooner, but still get their break.
Do you have any ideas to add to our list? We want to hear them!