Meetings are a part of everyday life for many office workers, but they can often end up losing their value and result in a decreased level of productivity.
It’s easy to get sidetracked by other topics while you’re running a meeting, and sometimes, you and your colleagues can end up feeling as though time has been wasted since issues weren’t resolved, causing workers to feel demotivated. But with a few simple steps, you can transform your meetings into more successful, productive sessions...
1. Make the goal clear
Firstly, come up with a clear goal that you want to have achieved by the end of the meeting and communicate it to all attendees. Ensuring everyone is aware of the meeting objective allows everyone to arrive well-prepared.
2. Think about attendees
Think about who absolutely needs to be there. Inviting people who aren’t necessarily required takes them away from other work. If someone is needed for a small section of the meeting, we suggest you invite them for that specific part, whether that means they arrive late or leave early.
3. Stick to an agenda
Create a rough schedule and stick to it. List all of the points you need to make, the questions you need to ask and any other topics or issues that need addressing. Allocate rough timings on each point and send out to attendees along with the invite to give them an idea of what will be discussed. Once in the meeting, pin the schedule up, enabling you to refer back to it if necessary.
4. Record minutes
Assign an attendee to record minutes throughout the meeting, this will record what was previously discussed and what conclusions were made. Using these minutes, draft the schedule for the following the meeting. Remember, share the minutes with everyone who attended - it’ll act as a reminder for those who were assigned tasks during the meeting.
5. Agree on next steps
Never finish a meeting without agreeing on the next actions. What are the next steps? When should they be accomplished by? How will these next steps contribute to the project? Once agreed, ask if there are any questions, this ensures anyone unsure of their tasks etc., have the chance to flag it before the meeting ends.