12 Ways To A More Effective Meeting

Meetings are meant to be a way of getting workplace issues solved and to move forward, but in many companies they quickly become the bane of everyone’s existence. Rather than assisting the work flow, they are actually hindering it and wasting time of employees who would be better off sitting at their desks getting real work done. Meetings can also lead to staff frustration, and if your staff are resentful towards the company, they’re not going to do their best work. Here are some tips to make meetings work, increase your company’s efficiency and help your staff to be a lot happier.

Do You Really Need to Have That Meeting?

Before setting any meeting, make sure you actually need to be in the same room to achieve an outcome. Having a single-task meeting isn’t the only way to get that task completed – there are other ways to brainstorm, consult and get consensus. Try having an email discussion, putting a time limit on replies so you don’t waste time waiting for responses to reach a decision. It may not be done as quickly as a one hour meeting, but staff will be able to complete other tasks while the discussion is in train, and have time to consider the question carefully rather than being put on the spot in the boardroom.

No Agenda, No Meeting

Never walk into a meeting not knowing what it’s about and what the discussion points are. Have a strong agenda that states each point of discussion, who is responsible for it, and the outcomes that need to be reached. Never hand it out on the day – always send it out to the participants at least a day before so they can be prepared and have answers to potential questions so there isn’t any ‘existentialist’ discussion. Put a time limit to each agenda item, so participants know this isn’t an invitation to chat endlessly. If it’s a regular meeting, make changes every now and again to the standing agenda to make sure it doesn’t end up in a rut over time.

Only Invite Who You Need To

Once your agenda is set and you know exactly what you need to discuss, only invite the staff that will help you towards your outcome. Many meetings tend to be top-level only, but it’s not necessarily the case that management have all the answers. Invite the specialists and technical staff if that is the information you need. Don’t disqualify staff from a meeting because of their level. This will also avoid managers making promises they can’t keep because they’re not aware of what’s possible at the operational level. Also, some staff feel that they need to be ‘in the know’ and want to be invited to every meeting, but if they’re not going to make a contribution, they don’t need to be there.