In last week’s column, I discussed the importance of staff meetings and how they can easily bore you to tears in the process. Then I went on to describe the first four of my 10 suggestions on how to make your staff meetings more interesting, informative and maybe a little bit fun.

In last week’s column, I discussed the importance of staff meetings and how they can easily bore you to tears in the process. Then I went on to describe the first four of my 10 suggestions on how to make your staff meetings more interesting, informative and maybe a little bit fun.

In this week’s column, I’d like to continue on last week’s theme and give you suggestions five through 10.

5. Company executive visits

Asking internal executives from other parts of your company to speak at your staff meetings has a number of great benefits. First, it gives your staff the chance to learn what’s going on in different parts of the company. Second, it provides a forum for your staff to meet and ask questions of senior company leaders. These questions could be about company growth, clients, policies and other company-oriented topics. This deeper understanding of the company in general, can, in turn, help your department better understand its role within the company and thus provide better internal service.

Another advantage of inviting senior company leaders to your staff meetings is that it gives you a reason to contact them under the best possible circumstances. You are, in effect, calling them to say that you think they are very important to the company and have interesting things to say. From a political perspective, this gives you a chance to gain favor with these executives which may be of advantage to you at a future time.

6. Client/customer stories

People who work in internal functions — such as information technology (IT), human resources (HR) and finance — of large companies very often never see or hear about the company’s actual clients. If you work in one of these types of functions it’s easy to forget about what your company does and what services it provides to its paying customers. Asking someone from the sales or client service group to speak at your staff meeting can bring real meaning as to what your company does and the role your department plays in your company’s product offerings. As an example, if you work within IT supporting the hospital’s patient records, having a nurse tell your group a story about how an analysis feature in the software saved the life of a patient can bring a feeling of great purpose to your department’s work.

7. Virtual pizza

If you manage a virtual team, all of which are in the same time zone, say in Boston, New York, Washington, D.C., and Miami, Fla., have a noon-time staff meeting and order Domino’s pizza for all four locations. Then, strike up a conversation on the conference call about who likes which type of the pizza the best. Not only does it bring a non-business shared experience to the group, which increases team cohesion, but everyone is getting free pizza!

8. Foods of the world

In the second food example, say you have offices in Boston and London, have a joint staff meeting that’s approximately lunch time in Boston and dinner time in London. Then, from a food perspective, serve Boston type food in London and London type food in Boston. For example, in Boston serve fish and chips and in London serve New England clam chowder and lobster. This not only gives a great opportunity for discussion between the groups, but it’s also a learning opportunity to gain knowledge on each other’s culture.

9. Product presentations

These are presentations of your company’s products and services made by a company salesperson or marketing person. The concept here is that it’s of value for everyone working within a company to understand the company’s products. This knowledge can help your department better understand its role in the company, help understand how your company competes with its competition, and increase the sense of pride and loyalty that your team has toward the company in general.

10. Rotating leader

The rotating leader concept is that a different member runs the meeting each week. The advantage of this approach is threefold. First, it adds variety to your staff meetings because someone different is leading each meeting. Second, it gives each team member experience running meetings. Lastly, it provides you, as their manager, the opportunity to observe and evaluate your staff’s ability to run a meeting and lead their peers.

The primary advice and takeaways from today’s column is to know that:

* You can expand your team’s knowledge about your company via company executive visits, client/customer stories, and demos of your company’s products.

* You can enhance your department’s cohesiveness and teamwork by providing different types of food at your staff meetings.

* Rotating the leader of your staff meeting, helps your team grow by given them experience leading a group.

Until next time, work hard, work smart, manage well and continue to build your professional brand.

Eric P. Bloom is the president and founder of Manager Mechanics LLC, a management training company specializing in information technology leadership and is the governing organization of the ITMLP and ITMLE certifications. He is also a keynote speaker, nationally syndicated columnist, and author of the books “The CIO’s Guide to Staff Needs, Growth, and Productivity,” “Your IT Career: Get Noticed, Get Promoted, and Build Your Professional Brand” and “52 Great Management Tips.” Contact him at eric@ManagerMechanics.com, follow him on Twitter at @EricPBloom or visit www.ManagerMechanics.com.