Although business meetings may sound great on paper, they’re often dreaded by employees and can actually diminish productivity rather than increase it. In fact, research found on HubSpot’s website states that, “47 percent of people asserted that meetings were the number one time waster at the office.”
Furthermore, “90 percent of people admitted to daydreaming during meetings.” In order to ensure that your meetings are effective and promote valuable collaboration, it’s important to implement the right meeting strategies.
Create an Agenda
Every meeting should have a purpose and stay on track. If you allow things to get sidelined and go off topic, it’s going to eat up time, and you’re unlikely to accomplish your goals. While you don’t need to be tyrannical, creating an agenda with a basic outline should ensure that you don’t veer off track and wind up chasing rabbits.
Organization is key for a streamlined, efficient meeting. Go ahead and prepare things like slideshows, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, etc., so they’re ready to go once your meeting begins.
Begin and End on Time
One of the biggest reasons why meetings go awry and ultimately end up wasting time is because the group sits around and waits for one or two stragglers who show up late. This puts everyone behind, and valuable time that could be spent accomplishing something is spent on idle chit chat.
Being late is inexcusable, especially if it becomes a trend. If your meeting is scheduled to begin at 11 am, start it right on time regardless if a particular person isn’t present. You can address their tardiness later on.
The same thing goes for ending a meeting. While ending at an exact time can be trickier than starting on time, you should ensure that it falls within a five minute window.
Appoint a Moderator
Keeping things flowing often demands having a specific person who’s in charge of keeping others on task and monitoring time. If the group has spent too long on a particular subject when something else urgently needs to be discussed, the moderator can point this out politely yet firmly. Just be sure to appoint someone who feels comfortable taking on this role.
Recap Key Points
During the course of an average meeting, you may discuss five or more main points and a plethora subtopics. As a result, it isn’t always easy for staff to retain everything. To increase the retention of information, it’s smart to spend just a few minutes recapping the most important points at the end so that they’ll stick.
Turn Off Devices
If you’re finding that employees are being distracted by their smartphones or tablets and that technology is only hindering progress, it’s advised to implement a ban on devices during meetings. This is almost guaranteed to increase participation and engagement among your staff.
Following a few meeting strategies should eliminate or at least dramatically reduce wasted time. This way you can get more done with less wasted motion and ensure that your staff is actually engaged.