Nowadays, companies must strive to enhance their ability to create productive meetings, so that they can be more successful in what they do. For most organisations, meetings indeed take up a lot of time but the question that remains in everyone’s mind – how much do meetings truly accomplish? According to reports, meetings in most companies fail to accomplish what they decide to aim for. Moreover, almost two-thirds of employees complain that spending excessive time in phone conversations & meetings prevents them from having a productive working day.
Thus, having productive meetings should be the key, instead of having random meetings throughout the day. But, how can a company achieve such an objective? Let’s find out.
Suggestions To Make Team Meetings More Productive
1. Know Whether A Meeting Is Necessary
Meetings should only be performed when it’s a necessity. If the message can be conveyed via a phone call or email, then there’s no need to opt for a face-to-face discussion and waste time. In that way, team members will have fewer distractions at work and more time to perform their tasks at hand.
2. Create An Agenda Beforehand
Having an agenda before a meeting kick starts is a no-brainer. However, reports suggest that 60 per cent of all meetings don’t have a prepared agenda in advance, which leads to an unproductive meeting. But, if you can have a meeting agenda in place before you start the conversation, you can cut down on the unproductive time by almost 80 per cent.
For instance, if you’re planning to have a meeting to discuss issues about product shipping, then the agenda should be made as to reasons why the issues are arising and the relevant solutions for the same. It’s like planning a poker sequence so that you can play your hand perfectly when the time comes.
3. Invite Team Players Only
Contrary to popular beliefs, having fewer people in your meeting can make your meeting more productive. So, only invite those people who can contribute to your company’s success and allow them to convey the message to others after the meeting.
4. Let The Objectives Be Known
Everyone who will be attending the meeting should know what the meeting is all about. In that way, the people who are invited to the meeting can prepare themselves for the meeting, so that they can put forward their thoughts or suggestions. Since the contribution is key in a productive team meeting, you have to let your team members know about the meeting’s purpose.
5. Be On Time
Punctuality is extremely crucial if you want a productive team meeting. You don’t want your important meeting to go in vain just because one member decided to come late for the meeting. Instead, make a rule that if the designated members don’t join the meeting on time, then the meeting will start anyway and they will miss out on their contributions.
6. Staying Focused Is The Key
Productivity – whether it’s playing poker online or handling meetings – is all about time management. Hence, you need to determine your time limits for each topic that is to be discussed in the meeting and proceed to stick to that timeline. If any topic is discussed that’s outside the meeting agenda, then you need to reschedule the discussion for the same at a later time.
Furthermore, you also need to prioritise your meeting topics, so that you don’t miss out on the important ones and allow the topics having the lowest priority to have the least amount of conversation.
7. Assign Responsibility
At the end of the meeting, you have to summarise your meeting topics and delegate every task to your team members, so that the tasks could be performed as per the expectations.
8. Eliminate Distractions
When a productive meeting is taking place, you want your team members to be fully focused and committed to the same. But, you can’t expect focus & commitment if you don’t eliminate distractions. Hence, you must ask your meeting members to put aside their smartphones, smartwatches, tablets and laptops aside for the duration of the meeting.
In case the meeting is done remotely via video-conferencing, then make sure that the members are doing the meeting from a quiet place in their home with zero distractions. Not having everyone’s attention can be disastrous not only for the person leading the meeting but also for others who are listening.
9. Take Notes
Every meeting should be documented via notes. The notes can be put on a whiteboard. And as you progress through each meeting topic one by one, prepare to make a 1-3 sentence summary for the same, so that the meeting members can share it with the rest of the team.
Not all meetings have to be pointless. The aim here is to properly utilise the time that we spend during meetings so that we only discuss the things that need discussing and not anything else. Always stay prepared ahead of time and never hesitate to properly direct the meeting conversation.