May is Global Employee Health & Fitness Month, and with it comes the opportunity to introduce new ideas to make being healthy a little easier. One effective tool is the walking meeting. Ideal for small team meetings, walking meetings avoid the conference room chat and takes your meeting on the move.
By moving, both the body and the mind are engaged in the process, enhancing creativity, and problem-solving skills while preventing the mental haze that comes from sitting in under florescent lights all day. Below are some tips to help you get your first walking meeting in order:
- If possible, use a park or other outdoor setting.
- This is still a meeting, so make sure everyone turns their phones off.
- Bring a water bottle, or a cup of coffee.
- Employee energy levels are typically lowest in the afternoon, so hold your walking meeting in the then to have the most impact.
- Avoid loud and crowded areas.
- A group of six or more will tend to break into smaller groups with side conversations. This is great if you are brainstorming, but be sure to bring everyone back together in the end to stay productive.
- If the group size of is six or more, participants will likely have to deal with multiple side conversations. This is fine for brainstorming or problem solving, but they need to stop and gather back up as a group to keep the meeting productive.
- Make a goal for walking meetings each week. Replace weekly status updates with supervisors with a walking meeting and build up to more frequent strolls.
- Consider using wearable devices or pedometers. See how much extra activity a day they receive will be a great motivator for employees.
- Allow employees to wear comfortable shoes to work, or to keep a pair at their desk.
- Plot out the path ahead of time so it lasts the amount of time a typical meeting at your company lasts. Consider plotting multiple for 15, 30 or 60 minute variations.
- If your employees spend a lot of time on the phone, suggest they transfer calls to their cell phone and encourage them to walk/pace around rather than sit.
- Allow participants to record the meeting to refer to later.
With these tops you are ready to take our next meeting out of the conference room and into the streets!