Are you tired of attending pointless meetings? Do you feel like your time could be better spent doing other things? If so, you’re not alone. Meetings can be a huge waste of time and money if they’re not done correctly. But with a little bit of organization and preparation, you can improve work meetings and make sure that they are productive and valuable. In this post, I’ll discuss some tips for making meetings work. Stay tuned!
(1) Assess current practices to determine what can be improved
To improve work meetings, start by evaluating the current meeting practices to identify areas for improvement. This will help you focus on areas that need improvement and avoid wasting time on things that are already working well.
Tips for assessing current practices
– Ask employees how they feel about the current meeting practices. Do they feel like their time is being wasted? Are they always coming away from meetings feeling frustrated?
– Take a close look at how meetings are currently being run. Are they well-organized and focused, or are they chaotic and unfocused?
– Consider whether the current meeting practices are aligned with the company’s goals. Are meetings helping to achieve business objectives, or are they getting in the way?
(2) Encourage employees to share their ideas for improvement
Once you’ve identified areas that need improvement, it’s time to gather ideas from employees on how to make meetings more effective.
Tips for gathering employee input
– Ask employees to submit their ideas anonymously, so they feel comfortable sharing honest feedback.
– Offer a reward for the best meeting improvement idea, to encourage employees to put forth their best ideas.
– Give employees a chance to test out their ideas, so they can see firsthand how they work in practice.
(3) Define the goal of the meeting
To improve work meetings, you should ensure that the purpose of the meeting is clear. What is the desired outcome? What needs to be discussed? What is the goal? What needs to be accomplished?
Tips for defining the goal of the meeting
– Keep the goal simple and to the point.
– Make sure everyone involved understands the goal.
– Be clear about what you want to accomplish.
(4) Select the best type of meeting for your needs
There are several types of meetings, each with its own purpose. Make sure you select the right type of meeting for your needs in order to make it productive.
Main types of meetings
– Brainstorming sessions: These meetings are designed to generate ideas and solve problems. All attendees should feel free to share their ideas freely in order to come up with the best possible solution.
– Informational meetings: These meetings are designed to communicate information from one person or group to another. Attendees should come prepared with questions and should be ready to listen carefully.
– Decision-making meetings: These meetings are designed to make decisions. Attendees should come prepared with all the information they need in order to make an informed decision.
– Planning meetings: These meetings are designed to create a plan of action. Attendees should come prepared with ideas and suggestions for the plan.
(5) Invite the right people
Once you have a clear understanding of the purpose, invite only the people who absolutely need to be there. There’s no need to invite everyone in the company if the meeting is only relevant to a few people.
This will save time and ensure that the meeting stays on track. Too many cooks in the kitchen can lead to confusion and chaos.
Tips for inviting the right people
– Keep the guest list short and relevant.
– Make it optional to opt out.
– Make sure everyone invited understands why they’re needed.
– Send out the agenda in advance so everyone knows what will be discussed.
(6) Identify the best time and place for your meeting
Once you’ve selected the type of meeting you need, it’s time to identify the best time and place for it. Make sure the time and place are convenient for all attendees and that there will be no distractions.
Tips for identifying the best time and place
– Choose a time when everyone can attend. Avoid scheduling meetings during lunch or other times when people are likely to be busy with other things.
– Choose a place that is comfortable and has good lighting and ventilation. The meeting room should also be big enough to accommodate all attendees comfortably.
– Make sure the meeting room is free from distractions such as noise, interruptions, and people coming in and out.
– Consider virtual / team meetings if persons are in different locations.
(7) Create an agenda and stick to it
Once the purpose is clear, it’s important to create an agenda and stick to it. This will help keep the meeting on track and focused.
Tips for creating an agenda
Keep the agenda simple and to the point.
Make sure all of the important topics are covered.
Don’t get bogged down in details.
(8) Send out an agenda in advance
This is a key step in ensuring that your meeting is productive. By sending out an agenda in advance, you give everyone a chance to prepare and be ready to discuss the topics at hand. This also allows people to raise any concerns or questions they have before the meeting starts.
Tips for sending out an agenda
– Ask for additional input from everyone involved.
– Include all of the important topics that will be discussed.
– Send out the agenda a few days in advance.
(9) Select the best mode of presentation
There are several options for presenting information in meetings, including oral presentations, PowerPoint presentations, and handouts. Choose the mode of presentation that will best communicate your information to the attendees.
Tips for selecting the best mode of presentation
– If you’re presenting complex information, use a visual aid such as PowerPoint or handouts. This will help attendees follow along and understand the information better.
– If you’re presenting sensitive or confidential information, consider using a private meeting room or sending out the information in advance so that attendees can read it before the meeting.
– If you’re presenting to a large group, use a projector or screen so that everyone can see the information clearly.
(10) Make sure everyone has a chance to contribute
Everyone in the meeting should have a chance to contribute. This will ensure that all voices are heard and that everyone feels like they’re part of the discussion.
Tips for making sure everyone has a chance to contribute
– Call on people by name to ensure that everyone is involved.
– Encourage shy or introverted people to speak up.
– Ask for input from all sides before making a decision.
(11) Minimize distractions to improve work meetings
One of the most important things you can do to make meetings more productive is to minimize distractions. If you’re able to minimize distractions, you’ll be able to get more out of the meeting.
Tips for minimizing distractions
– Turn off your phone.
– Put away your laptop.
– Avoid side conversations.
– Avoid checking emails.
– Stay focused on the discussion.
(12) End on time
It’s important to end on time. This will ensure that everyone has a chance to leave on schedule and that the meeting doesn’t drag on forever.
Tips for ending on time
– Set a time limit for each topic and stick to it.
– Make sure everyone understands the schedule.
– Keep an eye on the time and end the meeting when it’s supposed to end.
(13) Follow up after the meeting
This is key to ensuring that decisions made during the meeting are carried out. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that nothing falls through the cracks.
Tips for following up after the meeting
– Send out minutes of the meeting, as well as any action items that need to be completed.
– Follow up with people who were supposed to complete certain tasks.
– Make sure that everyone is on the same page before moving forward.
(14) Train employees on how to run productive meetings
After gathering the input from employees and decide on some changes to make, it’s time to train employees on how to run productive meetings. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and knows how to make meetings work for the company.
Tips for training employees
– Provide a training manual or online course that covers the basics of running productive meetings.
– Hold a meeting to discuss the new meeting practices and answer any questions employees may have.
– Role-play different meeting scenarios, so employees can practice using the new practices in a safe environment.
(15) Evaluate the results and make adjustments as needed
After implementing the new meeting practices, it’s important to evaluate the results and make sure that the changes are having the desired effect.
Tips for evaluating the results
– Ask employees how they feel about the new meeting practices.
– Take a close look at how meetings are currently being run.
– Consider whether the new meeting practices are aligned with the company’s goals.
Final words on tips to improve work meetings
Work meetings can be more productive by following a few simple tips. By keeping the meeting on track, providing an agenda, and setting expectations, you can help ensure that your team’s next meeting is as effective as possible. What are some other tips that have worked for you in work meetings? Comment below and let us know!
Allen, Joseph A.; Rogelberg, Steven G.; and Scott, John C., “Mind Your Meetings: Improve Your Organization’s Effectiveness One Meeting at a Time” (2008). Psychology Faculty Publications. 93.