Conducting productive office meetings sounds difficult but it doesn’t have to be. We promise. In this post we’re going to give you the downside to meetings and tell you how to kick it back into high gear, and turn them into time-worthy and beneficial sources of workplace efficiency.
Meetings are important because they are where a team can develop a sense of community within a company. They are important because, done right, they will empower a team with pride and motivation. When continuing to conduct bad meetings, you’re setting the tone for the rest of the day’s, week’s, month’s and perhaps even a year’s worth of work.
Bad meeting scenario #1: Meetings are rarely taken seriously. Attendees will usually arrive late and leave early. Meetings end up being more of a dignified break than a useful tactic to increase productivity.
Solution: According to an article by fastcompany.org, the company Intel is a great model for success in the meeting department, wherein everyone attending must ask themselves four questions: “Do you know the purpose of this meeting? Do you have an agenda? Do you know your role? Do you follow the rules for good minutes?”
The article goes on to say that, “Indeed, every new employee, from the most junior production worker to the highest ranking executive, is required to take the company's home-grown course on effective meetings. For years, the course was taught by CEO Andy Grove himself, who believed that good meetings were such an important part of Intel's culture that it was worth his time to train the troops.”
It is important that when conducting a meeting, to come into it with a clear and precise agenda. In this agenda, list the desired goals to attain by the end of the meeting and instruction on how to do so. It also wouldn’t hurt to send this agenda to the team so they come in to the meeting prepared with their roles for a desired outcome.
Bad meeting scenario #2: A meeting that lasts too long.
Solution: Keep in mind the cost of holding a meeting that lasts too long. Fastcompany.org says that “James B. Rieley, director of the Center for Continuous Quality Improvement at the Milwaukee Area Technical College, recently decided to change all that. He did a survey of the college's 130-person management council to find out how much time its members spent in meetings. When he multiplied their time by their salaries, he determined that the college was spending $3 million per year on management-council meetings alone.”
A great way to help reduce meeting time and create a sense of urgency when a meeting is being held, is by reaching out to a source such as Update Captain. This divine tool allows multiple users to communicate within the platform on various subjects of any given project. The subjects are listed out and can be added to or edited. When it comes to meeting time, everyone will already be updated with all necessary information. This great resource may even reduce the need for meetings.
Bad meeting scenario #3: Wandering off topic. There’s a lot of discussion going on in the conference room, but none of it has anything to do with the topic at hand.
Solution: Here’s where we go back to the advice of creating and sticking to an agenda. When a meeting’s topics are listed out into specific time blocks, it is very important to stick with these time blocks to produce effective results that help to build better working relationships within the company, in turn, creating a better working company. Sending the meeting agenda to everyone attending will give them the chance to review and prepare before walking into the conference room. Team members should be asked to come ready with discussion points or appropriate solutions to reach the goal, or goals, of the meeting.