Without a doubt, meetings remain an essential part of running your business. They ensure your teams stay on the same page with the information they need to get things done; they connect you with your customers; they help build stronger relationships. Unfortunately, meetings can also waste time and resources—ultimately costing your business.
Here are 4 Ways How to Make Meetings More Effective
1. Define the need
The first step for how to make meetings more efficient comes down to defining the need. If you’re approaching meetings without a clear agenda they will often be unproductive. In order to improve workplace meetings, ask yourself these 6 questions to determine whether a meeting is necessary.
- What is the action item of the meeting: decisive or informing?
- What is the size of the meeting?
- Is the meeting simply to inform a handful of people, can a memo or email share the information?
- Will the meeting solve a problem?
- Is there a better alternative, such as using a tool with real-time chat or team announcement features?
- Will canceling a meeting negatively impact your employees’ abilities to complete their work?
Once you’ve determined the answers to the six questions above, you’ll be one step closer to better meetings.
2. Simplify Meetings for Success
A positive meeting experience produces positive results for you and your organization.
- Follow a clearly planned agenda to minimize distraction from your primary purpose and keep your meeting on track
- Make your expectations crystal clear, and this includes expectations for meeting participation
- Keep meetings short to improve how employees do their jobs and help steer tangential discussions back on track
- Ensure all members understand their role to create accountability and produce better meetings
3. Meet like a pro
Lessons learned help improve success, particularly with growing use of inclusive and modern meeting technologies for collaboration. Below we describe approaches to planning meetings for more effectiveness.
- Provide a clear agenda
- Keep time in mind: start and end on time
- Ease the burden of not-taking by recording or capturing a transcription of the meeting
- Provide visuals to help members follow along
- Send a post meeting recap: Reiterate key discussions and decisions; thank members for participating
- Define clear action items and outcomes
Another strategy that you can use to meet like a pro is educating employees on what the 4 P’s of effective meetings are. Purpose, Product, People, and Process are the four Ps required to run an effective meeting. These serve as an excellent model for making meetings more effective and successful.
4. Manage online meetings
Online meetings are here to stay, and are a key way to improve work from home if you have any remote workers. If managed well with a proper approach, online meetings create new possibilities for involving team members and sharing information through digital collaboration.
- Ensure everyone has the right technology, invites, and call-in info. Make sure attendees will be able to see, hear, and speak clearly
- Keep attendance focused on those that need to be there, avoiding unnecessarily large meetings
- Welcome members and outline how you plan to manage interactions, who speaks when, and use of the chat window
- Use the mute features to minimize distractions
- Keep your meeting secure using passwords and other features
- Reduce uncertainty by recording the meeting or keeping a transcript for future reference
Conclusion on How to Make Meetings More Effective
Meeting attendees will follow your lead, so make sure it’s a strong one. By continuously honing your meeting strategies and skills, monitoring what does and doesn’t work, and actively pushing to convert decisions into action, your meetings will become more effective over time.
For more on the topic, check out The Ultimate Meeting Guide. To review your meeting tools, conference room setups, and methods, schedule an introductory call and connect with our team of Cloud Advisors.