It is commonly agreed that while meetings are essential in business they can also be a huge waste of time and unproductive.
Some people may enjoy meetings for reasons that are not for the good of the business, e.g. to have a break from their job, to show to others how much they know etc., all too often staff hate having meetings.
This is largely because the meetings are seen as unproductive and annoying. Given that meetings essential, whether to review progress, establish action plans or disseminate important information, how can they be made more effective.
Firstly, one can ask the staff how whether they want to meeting and how it should be run, but this may elicit a large number of different ideas.
We suggest that the following guidelines, or at least most of them, be implemented to improve the usefulness and productivity of meetings.
- Establish that the meeting really needs to be held. Is there another more effective way such as e-mail to all?
- Ensure only the necessary people are invited.
- Have chairman to control the meeting.
- Start and finish on time.
- Have an agenda that is strictly adhered to.
- State the objective of the meeting at the start and the outcomes desired.
- Ensure EVERYONE has an opportunity to contribute. Use the rule that Everyone one has a chance to speak before any speaks for a second time.
- Don’t allow anyone to waffle on and on.
- Draw up an action plan with responsibilities.
- Ban ALL cellphone, tablets etc. They must not be visible and ideally left outside the meeting room.
- For shorter daily meetings have a stand-up meeting. No one is allowed to sit and get comfortable and therefore reluctant to return to the workplace.
We believe if you follow these guidelines your meetings will be more productive and improve productivity generally.