By: Laura Scuderi
In the United States alone, around 55 million meetings are held each week. Yet, employees surveyed said they felt that half the meetings they attend each month are a waste of time. Here is a list of 5 helpful tips to ensure your next meeting is engaging and effective.
- Create an Agenda
Creating an agenda and distributing it ahead of time can greatly improve the productivity of your meeting. An agenda sets clear expectations for attendees on the topics that need to be discussed, the objectives of the meeting, who is presenting what information, and a schedule to follow to make sure time is not wasted. Make sure to prioritize the most important points.
- Time Management
When there is a lot of information to cover, it’s very easy to run out of time in your meeting before all topics can be addressed. Plan in advance how much time can be spent on each agenda item, and stick to it! You can assign an attendee the task of keeping time to make sure you stay on schedule. It’s also important to prioritize the most important agenda items to be discussed first, and with an appropriate amount of time allotted for them.
- Encourage Participation
Having a meeting facilitator or leader is fantastic, but remember that doesn’t mean that the entire meeting needs to be conducted by one person. In fact, having different employees present is a great way to keep everyone engaged and focused. Ensure you have extra time budgeted to allow discussion and collaboration among employees, and be sure to ask open-ended questions to get those conversations going.
- Send Recap
The conversation doesn’t end once the meeting has ended. Often times, there are action items or deadlines that were established. That’s why it’s critical to have a designated note-taker. This person can have the task of sending out a recap via email that highlights the important information that was discussed. This helps remind all the employees in attendance (as well as those who were invited but could not attend) a summary of the most important takeaways, any next steps that were discussed and any critical deadlines have been assigned.
- Ask for Input
Finally, one of the best ways to determine if your meeting was effective is to ask the participants for feedback. This can be done via email, in person, or even anonymously through a survey. The following are just a few questions you can ask to measure meeting effectiveness:
- Was this meeting helpful?
- Did you feel engaged during this meeting?
- Do you feel this meeting was a good use of your time?
- What would you do differently?
Effective meetings in the workplace can improve employee engagement, keep employees informed on important issues and promote company alignment. The tips discussed above are just a few ways to increase the productivity and success of your next meeting.