According to a recent survey, workers would rather go to the dentist, talk about politics at a family dinner, or call Comcast before attending a bad meeting. Pretty dire, right? Poorly run events are the last thing your employees want to join, which is why they may feel uneasy about the calendar invite you recently sent. 

Despite people's underwhelming feelings towards meetings, you can save the mood, boost productivity, and improve the effectiveness of your event by doing a simple meeting pulse check. A pulse check is a technique group leaders can use to 'take the temperature' of the group, checking in on moods, attitudes, and general understanding.

By taking the pulse of your group and understanding where they're at mentally, you can prevent negativity from festering and bring focus back on the topic at hand. The method is a fantastic, quick way to grab your attendees’ attention. However, checking the pulse of your employees during a meeting isn’t possible without the right strategies. If you want to do an effective meeting pulse, here are five tools and methods you should use.

1. mORALE Check-In

When all of your attendees arrive at your meeting, you should take a temperature check to understand the mood of your group. Maybe someone on your team is struggling or has something exciting to share. Whatever it is, you need to create a space to gently check in with your employees. 

Sometimes, your employees won’t be open to sharing their feelings without anonymity, making it critical to have a tool that allows your workers to submit feedback without revealing their identities. 

When your meeting starts, give employees the option to anonymously share their thoughts about the meeting topic, their day, and their roles. With this sense of privacy, your employees will deliver raw feedback that will help you tailor your session to your workers’ needs. 

2. Share Accomplishments

Another great way to check the pulse of your employees is to ask them to share recent accomplishments. These achievements can be professional or personal. It can be as fun as starting a new passion project or finishing the Ironman Triathlon. 

The point is to see if your workers have anything positive to say. When someone is in a good mood or engaged in the workplace, they tend to have uplifting comments, so if your employees are quick to share accomplishments, that’s a good sign of a great meeting pulse.

Conversely, if your employees are slow to mention their achievements or do so begrudgingly, you may need to find a way to get them ready and excited so that your meeting is a success. It’s also best to implement this method at the beginning of your event so that you know how to proceed. The best case scenario is everyone shares their accomplishments and you start the meeting positively

4. Ask for Input and Feedback

Throughout your event, you can do a quick meeting pulse by simply asking for input and feedback. For example, maybe you’re gathering with your team to do a project kickoff meeting. If that’s the case, during the event, ask attendees how they feel about the scope of the project, the tools and methods you’ll use to complete the project, and everyone's specific roles and responsibilities. 

Interacting with your team and getting their feedback throughout the meeting will be a great way to check in with how they’re feeling and whether they find your meeting beneficial. Just make sure you don’t overdo it by constantly asking for input. Garner feedback at the most critical points of your event to see how things are being received. 

The meeting pulse determines success

Checking the pulse of your employees at every meeting is crucial. How your team feels will determine whether your event is a success, making it imperative to do a meeting pulse before and during your time together. Only then will you know how to enhance your meetings and make them beneficial for everyone involved.