Virtually all businesses consisting of more than one person require meetings, and some businesses require a lot of meetings. This means it’s important to make them as productive and efficient as possible. It’s very easy for meetings to become dry, dull and tedious affairs, with barely engaged employees offering little to move the meeting – and the business – forward.
But a successful, engaging and positive meeting can have a colossal impact e overall productivity of a business’s workforce. Here are seven easy ways of helping you achieve this.
Make sure the meeting is necessary
It sounds obvious, but a lot of unnecessary business meetings occur, in which little to nothing is decided and nothing particularly substantive is talked about. Nothing irks busy employees more than a meeting that wastes their time, so before you call one, make sure there is a real purpose to it.
Set an agenda
Following on from the last point, if you have a reason and a purpose for calling a meeting, it’s important to turn that reason or reasons into an agenda. Otherwise the meeting becomes a free-for-all with employees batting issues back and forth and nobody really getting anywhere. But if you set a list of topics to be covered, and try to stick to an allotted time for each one, you’ll find that your meeting runs much more smoothly and you’ll get more done.
Stand up when addressing your audience
If individual staff members have points to raise at your meeting, try to encourage that they stand when addressing the group. This can seem artificial at a more informal meeting, but it has been proven to cut down meeting time substantially. Therefore, if you are looking to make your meetings more efficient and address all issues within the allotted time, you might want to consider this method.
The reason it cuts down meeting time is that if a staff member is seated, they are naturally more comfortable and may sport a tendency to amble around the point before getting to it. If that staff member stands up, they are more likely to get to the point quicker so they can sit down again. Neal Taparia of Imagine Easy Solutions has said that he has cut his company’s meeting times by 25% by having stand-up meetings.
Have a timekeeper
If you have allotted times for the particular topics in your agenda, the best way of keeping to those times and making sure everything is covered is to appoint a time keeper. Having an agenda with set times and a staff member making sure those times are adhered to are very good ways of making meetings more efficient.
Don’t be late starting
Another source of annoyance for colleagues and staff is the meeting that never starts on time. This irritates busy staff who would rather get back to their work, delays getting to the matters that need to be discussed, and can mean that some items just do not get covered. It also leads to large amounts of wasted time if habitual lateness sets in.
Let’s think about the maths. Starting a meeting with 10 employees 5 minutes late means than 50 combined minutes of employee work time has been wasted. If 10 meetings over the course of the month are 5 minutes late starting, that is more than 8 hours of work time lost.
Have a note taker
It’s better to have one staff member taking notes and creating meeting minutes than asking all the staff to take notes, as this can hamper and slow down productive discussion and problem solving. One person taking notes and distributing them also means that all the staff are on the same page, with regard to what was discussed and what follow up tasks are required.
Pick the right environment for your meeting
Making sure you have your meeting in a large, airy space with enough seats, enough natural light and sufficient amenities and facilities is also very important. It’s also conducive to creative thinking and a positive atmosphere for discussion. Send Business Centre has a variety of well-equipped meeting rooms, available for businesses to use at competitive rates. Call 01483 225617 for more information.