We spend a lot of time in meetings; definitely more than we care for, so it’s only right that we make the most of this time so as for it not to be a waste.
Meetings are a simple concept, but can be difficult to organize and ensure they are as productive as possible.
We will look into 4 sure-fire ways you can improve the quality of your meetings:
1 – Ensure all meetings have an agenda
It is important to always have an agenda before going into a meeting, simply because it helps it the meeting run more efficiently and produce more results that can be acted upon.
Agendas are the topics for discussion, and having this prevents the meeting attendees from forgetting to introduce these important topics. Decisions can then be made with enough consideration as a group, rather than hurriedly outside of the meeting.
A key benefit of having an agenda is the organisation it brings to the meeting, which can also be transferred throughout the whole company. Important activities are prioritised, productivity is increased and meeting participants are made to focus more.
2 – Keep notes and meeting minutes
In order to maximise the usefulness of meetings, ensure that accurate notes are kept and that the meeting minutes are distributed, when possible, within twenty-four hours.
Well-written meeting minutes can create a plan of action for the leaders and the employees. It is noted how, when, where and who made the decisions, and these plan of actions help get the work actually done. For those unable to attend the meetings, the minutes can contain essential information so they are kept in the loop.
Taking meeting minutes may sound simple, but in fact for them to be done properly and be of more use, someone skilled should ideally take them. Discussions can be confusing and go back and forth between people and points. Some debates may be inarticulate so it takes a skilled person to follow these and be able to accurately summarise what has been discussed.
3 – Follow up
While the major concern when it comes meetings may be getting everyone into one place at the same time, what happens after the meeting is equally important. Turning up to the next meeting having not put into action what was agreed on in the last meeting is frustrating and unacceptable in a professional environment, and individuals should be held accountable for this.
4 – Use technology to your advantage
Still using pen and paper to organize your meetings? It’s time to modernize! Use meeting management software to book meeting rooms, invite attendees and analyse resources. Technology has made meetings infinitely more efficient and productive, as video calls during meetings are now the norm, making it almost inexcusable to not be able to participate.