Meetings, in theory, are great, but the harsh reality is that many meetings are unnecessary. Even the ones that don’t fall under the ‘unnecessary’ category have the tendency to be unproductive, whether it’s from being poorly planned or from employees who would rather be anywhere else. All is not lost, however, you simply need the tools and know-how to make your meetings work for you and your employees.
Check out some of our tips below!
- Have your agenda ready: Being prepared is your best way to make sure your meetings are productive ones. If you need people to bring in materials, such as notebooks or ideas, clearly state that ahead of time. If you and the others in the meeting are fully prepared going into it, you’ll spend less time scrambling and more time working.
- Keep them short: The average employee attends approximately 60 meetings a month. That’s a lot of time spent in meetings and a lot of potentially wasted money. Meetings get a bad rap for being drawn out, but they don’t have to be. Be clear, be concise, and get them back to their work spaces in a prompt manner.
- Keep them small: Trying to hold a meeting with over eight or nine people can be a real pain. Between the small talk and questions, trying to keep control over a big group can be exhausting and time consuming. Try to keep your meetings to around five people. Choose people that can accurately and reliably relay information to the others that weren’t asked to join in on the meeting.
- Keep electronics out of the meeting (when possible): Sometimes it’s unavoidable, but if you can have a meeting without laptop and smartphone distractions such as email, your meeting will be more productive and generally go quicker. Add that to the fact that knowledge retention is higher when handwriting notes in comparison to typing, and you have a double win.
- The “Stand Up Meeting”: This might not work for all settings, but the general idea is that standing for long periods is uncomfortable and when you’re uncomfortable you want to finish the task quicker. The same goes for meetings. If it is a quick catch up meeting that doesn’t require notes or presentations, then the “Stand Up Meeting” is worth a shot.
Everyone hates meetings, even the person leading it, but they are a necessary evil. The key is balancing the time to productivity ratio. Use the five tips above and you’ll be well on your way to successful meetings that produce results.