Meetings are a crucial part of a formal arrangement, though it is also the third major time waster thing in the workplace. Around 50% of the total working time is spent in a meeting; it is either group meetings or one-on-one meetings. This means almost 25% of the total working time is lost in meetings of one kind or another.
However, meetings are always unnecessary, and we can make it productive and active in many ways. Meetings are useful because the employees get to share and exchange information, solve problems, and review progress. Some of the ways to make meetings more effective include:
Importance of Meetings
A majority of the meetings are an unnecessary thing. Sometimes, there are other ways which achieve the same goal. If some information needs to be shared, one can circulate a memo or conduct a conference call. They can also postpone the meeting to another time altogether. It is necessary to avoid unnecessary meetings. Evaluate the value of the meeting and work out to increase productivity time.
Having an Agenda
Before sitting for a meeting, it is essential to let the members know about the agenda of the meeting, so the purpose is established. Instead of wasting time, in the beginning, giving information about the use of the meeting allows the employees to share the agenda hours before the meeting. An efficient time management tactic is to write a one-paragraph statement of purpose for the meeting and share it with the members. The plan should include everything that needs to be covered in the session. Next to each item, put the name of the person who is expected to address that issue. The meeting members should know the objective of the meeting and what they should look forward to discussing.
Fix a Proper Schedule
Fix a schedule for the beginning and the end of the meeting. The worst types of meetings are those that don’t have a schedule; they never come out productive. Also, one should start at the meeting at the designated time. If one is late, they can follow up later. It is unfair to punish the people who are on time for the meeting by making them wait for the one who arrives late.
Cover Important Items First
Essential items should be covered initially; the agenda of the meeting should be applied on an 80/20 rule. The schedule should be created in such a way that the top 20% in it are the first items to be discussed in the meeting.
A meeting should have a summary to come at a closure. Discuss each item of the list in detail, and on completion of one, move to the next.
If there are responsibilities to be assigned, do it in the meeting. Assign duties for the particular actions to the designated member and set deadlines. A meeting without an assignment of responsibility and a deadline is just a conversation. Always be evident in the meeting about which member is doing what and when.
Meetings are productive when the members keep accurate notes, and the moderator circulates the minutes of the meeting to each member soon. Minute of meeting ensures that every attendee is clear about the assigned responsibilities and deadlines.