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Feedback Meetings Communication Food

As general manager, I want to make sure that I stay on top of the employees' attitudes and interests, so I hold an open meeting in the afternoons on the last Friday of each month. I am always surprised at the low attendance in these meetings. What are some ways to get more people to come?

If you find that your open meetings are not drawing much of an audience, there are some key steps that can help build a crowd. After all, these meetings can be highly effective sources of increased information, motivation, and organization, but not if your employees opt to stay in their cubicles.

The most obvious step is to ask the employees why they are not attending. Perhaps they have too much work to complete at the end of the month, or maybe the time of the day or even the location is inconvenient for them.

It will also be helpful to review the content of these meetings, particularly in terms of whether anything is ever done with the issues, complaints, or suggestions that are brought up. If the employees are merely venting, and there is no follow-up action, that can be enough of a deterrent to keep many away. It will also be important to make sure that there are no reprisals being taken against employees because of what they may say or ask. A little publicity can also boost attendance. It is particularly important for the employees to hear about the positive changes that have been made as a result of their inputs in these meetings.

Of course, don't forget one of the most powerful incentives that bring people to meetings: food. If you feed them, they will come.

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