Even if you don’t have a specific reason for a meeting of your management team or staff, organized business conversations can provide a wealth of opportunities to improve your operations, marketing, products or services or just to brainstorm new ideas to better your company. Creating a list of topics for regular meetings can help you identify potential problems, spot opportunities and create a better team.

Progress Reports

Hold Monday morning meetings of your department heads to let your management team know how the company is doing, if anyone is having any problems or if opportunities exist. These meetings don’t have to have a specific outcome and are for information sharing and requests for support. Hold annual employee meetings to let your workers know how the company did during the previous year and what your plans are for the coming year to create a sense of collaboration and improve morale.

Brainstorming and Problem Solving

Hold regular meetings to solicit ideas from managers, employees, vendors and customers. Review what customers like about your products or services and if they’d like any new features. Ask your staff for suggestions on how to make the company a better place to work or how to improve operations. If one department is having a problem, bring in the other department heads to ask their opinions on possible causes and solutions. Ask how the problem in the one department is affecting the others. In addition to a meeting of other managers, consider having a meeting with low-level staff members in a department who make the product or create the service every day.

External and Internal Analyses

Bring together key employees to discuss changes in the marketplace, industry trends, your competition, your customer base, possible legislation or regulatory changes, the national economy and other factors that affect or might soon affect your business. Discuss the state of your internal policies, procedures and operations, even if you are aware of no problems. Examine your budgets, safety procedures, morale and other workplace matters. Use your discussions about external factors to determine if you need to change your internal behaviors.

Staff Reviews

Don’t wait for the end of the year to discuss and review the performance of your staff. Spotting problem workers or those who are performing beyond expectations early can help you address problems or promote valuable workers in a timely fashion. In addition to reviewing specific employees, look at clusters of workers to determine if the workers in a specific area of your organization need better training or more tools.