I recently came across a couple of articles on Forbes about employee engagement and found some interesting insights. It is said that “employee engagement is the emotional commitment the employee has to the organization and its goals*.” And some indicators of engagement included the belief that managers have the best interest in mind for their staff, and that employee voices are being heard and valued.
How do we then instil such beliefs in staff and create a platform where their opinions and contributions are valued at year-end staff meetings? Good news is, it is absolutely possible to achieve these goals through some of these ClassPoint-enabled strategies and avoid situations like the one below:
In this blog we will be exploring ways for you as the meeting presenter or school leader, to increase staff engagement at three main phases of a meeting; the start, during and end. The activities we are sharing in this blog can help foster a caring culture and provide valuable insights about staff so that presenters or school leaders like yourself, are in a better position to provide appropriate support and help.
Starting Your Meeting
After a long break from work and school, staff may require a little warming up to one another at the start to help them get more comfortable contributing their ideas and opinions as the meeting progresses. Surely a good dose of fun and laughter is good for the soul!
Asking staff to upload their baby photo using ClassPoint’s image upload function as an ice-breaker is such a light-hearted activity and fun conversation starter, especially if there are interesting stories behind those photos. Pump up the fun factor by hiding respondents’ names so that everyone gets to guess who’s who!
If time is a constraint, you don’t have to go through every staff’s picture in one seating; break them up and have this activity done after tea-break or a heavy lunch to overcome the food coma.
Providing time for staff to reflect on their experiences for the year and have them articulated can provide such rich insights into challenges they faced and successes they experienced. These can greatly help you, the presenter or the leadership team, gain a deeper understanding of the staff; areas that are important to them and their strategies to cope with difficult situations.
ClassPoint’s image upload function allows staff to respond to this question symbolically through an image of an object or a hand-drawn picture if materials are available. Drawing can help individuals express deep emotions when words fail to convey especially when it’s a complex mix of emotions.
During Your Meeting
Knowing and celebrating every department’s achievement can be a great source of encouragement to everyone. In fact, sharings of such nature can also inspire other departments with new project ideas!
Try getting departments to guess one another’s top achievements before the presentation starts, using ClassPoint’s short answer activity. Staff will need to recall key events or projects embarked by other departments and collectively come to a consensus of the highly successful ones. This definitely beats sitting passively waiting for the presenter to “download” the information.
Increase the fun by preparing small tokens for the winning department which can get the most number of correct answers. This is a sure-fire way to motivate everyone to perk their ears during their colleagues’ presentations! 😄
Planning of Events/Projects
When planning events and programmes for the following year, multiple dates and deadlines could be tossed around. And if there are no visuals to aid the discussion, it can be confusing for staff. Thankfully ClassPoint allows you to customise whiteboards!
This will allow you to launch your calendar or timelines anytime it is needed during your discussion. And, the markers on the taskbar helps you to annotate on the whiteboard effortlessly turning your staff event planning into a working conversation.
To increase staff engagement, you can even invite them to suggest possible dates or deadlines by inserting the annotated whiteboard as slide, and then make it interactive with the slide drawing function. Using ClassPoint slide drawing tool, all staff can annotate their suggestions on the calendar or highlight black-out dates like what you see below:
We have developed two sets of whiteboard templates; one set is monthly calendars and another is primarily for project timelines. These can be found in the latter sections of the slides deck.
Concluding Your Meeting
Involving staff in voicing their thoughts about plans for the following year will not only help you discover the apprehension everyone could be experiencing but it could also potentially help in developing more wholistic plans and solicit buy-ins.
With ClassPoint’s short answer function, all staff can openly air their hopes and views and as an extension of this activity, everyone could be grouped in smaller teams to discuss ways to tackle those possible challenges.
Articulating Support Needed
The proverbial “different folks, different strokes” holds true in many situations. And using ClassPoint’s short answer function for staff to articulate ways they would personally like to be supported by the school, is definitely one of those.
Doing so not only conveys care, but also takes away the guesswork from school leaders. Also, if you want to keep answers anonymous between each staff member, names can be hidden at the point of submission but at the back-end, you will still be able to identify individuals and their corresponding responses.
These are some recommended activities are designed to create platforms for every staff’s voice to be heard because it is so easy to fall into the trap of only paying heed to staff who are more forthcoming and vocal with their thoughts.
While the intention behind some of these activities are to foster a caring and appreciative culture, this is also very dependent on what presenters or school leaders do with the information solicited from those activities that will speak a lot more.
For instance, staff could be authentic in sharing how they would like to be supported by the organisation in view of the plans for the following year, but if no or very little action is taken to provide the kinds of support they desire, then it really defeats the purpose of running that activity.
We have provided a deck of downloadable slides with these and more activities included. Do deliberate over the choice of activities for your next year-end staff meeting which can best achieve your goals and increase staff engagement!
*Kruse, K. (2015, June 26). What Is Employee Engagement. Forbes. Retrieved November 15, 2021, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/kevinkruse/2012/06/22/employee-engagement-what-and-why/?sh=2279cd4e7f37