How to Keep Your Management Meetings Engaging and Impactful

Management meetings in a small business can often be seen as a waste of time or unimportant compared to that day’s priorities. However, they are, in fact, a fundamental way to grow your business and profits—no matter how small your business may be (even if there are just two of you).

As a small team, we understand the challenges you face in balancing customer needs and internal operations. It’s common to consider rescheduling or even cancelling management meetings in favour of immediate delivery. However, it’s crucial to remember the long-term benefits these meetings bring to your business.

Our goal is to help you free up your time as a business owner, increase efficiency, and grow your business and profits. This guide builds on our previous discussion about management meetings and goes beyond the basics to demonstrate the importance of prioritising these meetings and what to do when you simply have to reschedule.


Why regular management meetings are important

Management meetings provide a structured means for strategic decision-making. They allow you to step back from day-to-day operations and focus on top-level decisions that shape the direction of your business.

Management meetings also encourage transparency and collaboration among senior team members and give you an opportunity to review Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of business activities.

As a business owner, the more insight you have into business operations, the more information you have to make educated decisions to increase efficiency, grow your business and increase profits.

Learn more about the importance of regular management meetings and how to run an effective management meeting by reading our previous guide: Management Meetings: The Secret to Strategic Success for Small Businesses.


How to avoid rescheduling or cancelling your management meetings

The simplest way to avoid cancelling a meeting is to find a regular, typically quieter time. However, when unavoidable conflicts arise, keeping your meetings productive and engaging can remind members that prioritising attendance over operational needs does have its benefits.


1) Encourage each member to contribute to the agenda

Members are more likely to attend a management meeting if they have an invested interest or a purpose to show up. Before each meeting, ask each member to add an agenda item they would like to discuss. This method also allows you to better prepare meeting agenda topics and helps encourage quieter team members to participate.


2) Rotate the meeting lead

Rotating meeting leadership can foster engagement by providing a fresh perspective. Rotation can also create personal growth, a sense of ownership, and empathy by allowing each team member to prepare and experience the challenges of hosting a meeting for themselves.

Top tip: Ensure each meeting still has structure so important topics aren’t missed. This structure will also comfort anyone unfamiliar with taking the lead.


3) Share something new

While specific topics should be covered in each meeting, introducing new information can help keep meetings engaging and encourage members to prioritise attendance. New information can include new research results or activities.

Top tip: To maximise the impact, you can build suspense by sharing a highlight prior to the meeting but only reviewing the full information during the meeting.


Tactics for when things get busy

When you feel that the demands on the business outweigh the importance of a meeting, why not put some systems in place to ensure you’re at least getting the highlights?

Here are some practical ways to keep business insights transparent:


1) Hold a short business ‘health check’ meeting instead

Still have a meeting, but limit the meeting to 15 minutes and highlight the top-level KPIs, such as revenue, sales and cash flow. Avoid assigning any action points, but agree on a fixed (ideally immovable) date when you can have a full meeting.


2) Send a summary email

If a meeting needs to be cancelled or moved, outline the top-level KPIs in an email. You could also include a summary of any notable topics that need to be discussed in the full meeting. This allows managers to review things in their own time and prepare for a full meeting.

Top tip: Avoid having a meeting over email. Note any comments in replies, but encourage meeting participants to bring their thoughts to the full meeting.


3) Collaborate over messaging services

While a formalised in-person meeting is always preferable, practicalities can get in the way. If participants can collaborate over Messenger, you can set up a dedicated management Slack or Teams channel to post quick updates on critical metrics and urgent matters.


How ETC can help

Management meetings are vital for small business owners, and you should always do your best to keep up with regular meetings. These meetings help you make strategic decisions, track your progress towards objectives, and maintain the regularity needed to sustain growth. The transparency and collaboration fostered in these meetings can lead to more engaged and motivated team members. They are the compass that can guide your business toward greater efficiency, profitability, and long-term success.

If you need help finding ways to make your meetings more engaging or embracing the practice of management meetings, no matter how small your business may be – even if there are just two of you – we can help. Please get in touch.

If you are new to ETC, why not contact us for a free new business review? We’ll spend two hours with you, giving you professional coaching and will leave you with actions for immediate implementation.