Business meetings have a bad rap. They’re often the time-wasting punchline of jokes and sitcoms. The biggest cause behind this perception is unproductive meetings. As a manager, it’s up to you to make sure your meetings are efficient, interesting, and productive for all involved. Here are a few tips to get the most out of the time spent in the meeting room:
This tip is especially important if the meeting takes place during employee’s working hours. The time they spend here is time that could be spent accomplishing their duties on the job. Take everyone’s schedule into consideration and choose a good hour and date for the meeting. Often, the beginning of the week works best. That way, everyone has a clear idea of close-term goals. Meanwhile, the details of meetings held on Friday afternoons will probably not linger in their minds over the weekends.
Plan the Meeting’s Length
When scheduling a meeting, you need to figure out how much time to reserve. A regular weekly status update can often be finished in 15 minutes or less. If it drag on much longer, employees’ attention may wander.
However, sometimes you’ll need to have a longer meeting. For example, what if your company’s planning a new project or advertising initiative? In this case, you want to make sure everyone understand immediate goals, the big picture, and where they fit into it. For long meetings, consider scheduling a few coffee breaks to keep everyone’s mind fresh.
Keep the Meeting Focused
Conversations that go off on tangents are big time-wasters. One of the biggest pet peeves of people in meetings is a lack of productivity. They’re looking to management to keep the conversation on point and moving along.
Start every meeting off by stating the purpose. Sometimes this could be discussing the details of the new project. It also might be seeing how everyone is proceeding with their assigned tasks. Finally, make sure that the meeting starts on time and, importantly, ends when it’s supposed to.
Use Technology Carefully
Depending on what field your business is in, it may be vital for employees to bring laptops, phones, and other devices along. For other industries, these items may prove to be a distraction. In this case, writing notes by hand is believed to be more effective than taking notes on the computer. Consider providing company-branded notepads and pens for everyone to use.
Presentations also falls under the ‘technology’ umbrella. When crafting PowerPoints, keep in mind that not every employee learns in the same way. Include text, graphs, and pictures to help workers with different learning styles stay on top of the information.
Give Praise Where Its Due
Although you want to use meeting times efficiently, it’s also valuable to add a personal touch. Meetings are a great time to acknowledge employees’ contributions. Remember that performance feedback is not just about pointing out areas that need improvement. Feedback should also point out what they do right, so that employees will know to repeat that performance.
Meet Your New Job Candidates
Are your meetings looking a little empty? Do you think your Monday pow-wow would be more effective if all those waiting positions were filled? Ad-VANCE Talent Solutions can help you here. While you’re busy taking your company to the next level, our team of recruiters will be out connecting you to the best talent in the Gulf Coast. Stop by our recruiting website to find out more.