In such a connected world, communication is key to managing a successful business. Although it seems ideal to communicate through emails, instant message, and social media - holding team meetings provides clarity and accuracy that can often be misconstrued online.
Meetings are essential in conducting business matters, yet studies show that ineffective meetings cost the U.S.economy an estimated $399 Billion in 2019. When it comes to running a productive team meeting, consider these fundamental points to make for less distraction and more efficiency.
Set an Agenda
To keep meetings clear and on-track, setting an agenda beforehand can maximize time and allow attendees to come to the meeting prepared with questions or notes. It’s easy to get distracted in a group setting, set topic points significantly decrease time for side-tracking conversation that may extend a meeting. When working through an agenda, ensure that all attendees are clear on the key-takeaways and any action items that need to be handled.
Distribute Supporting Materials Beforehand
Make sure your supporting materials are created and distributed before the meeting even starts. This includes relevant documents, videos, presentations, and statistics that are related to the set agenda. Providing employees with these materials in advance allows them to be better prepared and motivated to discuss each topic.
Consider Who is Essential
Nothing is more frustrating than attending a mandatory team meeting and leaving feeling like there was no need to be there in the first place. Making meetings mandatory for everyone to attend not only can be a waste of time for non-essential staff, it can cause frustration for those who feel that they just spent an hour or two on a topic that didn’t relate to them. If you think information is important for all staff to know, consider allotting a designated note-taker to properly document the meeting and distribute it to everyone.
Stick to the Scheduled Time
Waiting for people to meander into a meeting after it starts can be frustrating for those who have arrived on-time. Time is money, and showing up late is discouraging for everyone involved. Set aside a time-slot for each meeting and be adamant about employees arriving at the scheduled time. Just as important as starting on time, ending on time gives attendees assurance that their entire day will not be occupied and they can plan accordingly.
End with an Action Plan
At the end of the meeting, everyone should be clear and informed on the main topics discussed. Send a follow up email reviewing who is doing what and when it should be completed. This allows everyone to be held accountable for their tasks and be even more prepared before the next meeting!
As much as they can sometimes be dreaded, team meetings are an essential business strategy to ensure objectives are clarified and strategies are aligned. The fact of the matter is, meetings are not going anywhere anytime soon. More than likely, someone will always feel that a meeting is necessary when, really,an email would have sufficed. With these tips, you should be able to hold meetings that are straight to the point and maximize efficiency for all employees.