Unconventional meetings

Paul Sullivan of the New York Times, writing in The (Central Oregon) Bulletin, reveals surprising examples of new activities to increase productivity and retain employees

Eric Tetuan runs an event and production company called ProductionGlue based in Midtown Manhattan, New York

A few years ago, he saw staff morale was sinking and mistakes rising so he forced them to take walks, ride bikes or just sit by the Hudson River – not for solitary moments to recharge but to accompany colleagues to discuss work outside the office and so increase creativity

“There are a lot of distractions when in the office or a conference room – workers focus half on others and half on their devices – on a walk, we spur more ideas”

Think of Google rewarding employees with massages or Spotify’s lunchtime concerts – unconventional approaches to improve employees’ focus

According to Fractl, a Florida advertising agency, employees seek certain traditional benefits when job-hunting like health care, flexible hours and vacation time

However, Technology Advice, a Nashville marketing agency, say more elaborate perks like games rooms and gym membership are needed to retain workers

Professor Jennifer Chatman from the Haas School of Business at Berkeley says: “Above some level of financial security, people care about being part of a community and belonging at work – these kind of perks bring people together and make work more fun – in this way, they effectively increase motivation and performance”

And meetings outside can not only spur creativity, they can also help end impasses

Larry Newman, COO of Health Media Network, a health education company, credits surfing (sea waves) with helping him close several deals including the sale of his first company

“We had spent countless hours in meetings and with lawyers – I suggested we do this face-to-face – in between rides, we sat there in the water on our boards and talked about the final points – you’re negotiating to a human level, not a business level – it excites people”

So, find fresh places to hash out ideas – ‘they may sound fun and relaxing but they can also be productive’

1 comment

    • Hugh Doughty on September 4, 2017 at 7:10 am
    • Reply

    Great to hear about some fresh ideas, especially when it’s as cheap as getting staff to take a walk together to promote new thinking.

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