Making the Best of Every Meeting

Patrick Lencioni, author of the New York Times Best-Seller, “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team,” asserted, “Meetings are usually terrible, but they shouldn’t be.” Do your managers grumble when the infamous calendar invite for a company meeting invades their email inboxes? Do you find meetings monopolizing your calendar and preventing productivity? On average, office workers spend twenty-one percent (21%) of their work day in meetings, of which twenty-five percent (25%) is deemed as “wasted” in their opinion.

Here are seven (7) tips to improve your meetings and make the most of your employees’ time:

  • Prepare. Clearly communicate the meeting’s purpose and the desired outcome.
  • Limit the number of participants. The most productive meetings have fewer than eight (8) people. Large groups may lose focus and leave individuals feeling as though their time has been wasted.
  • Send the agenda and materials in advance. Provide the team an opportunity to review the material, think about the problem or proposal, and bring solutions and/or ideas to the meeting.
  • Start and end on time. Be respectful of the meeting participants’ schedules.
  • Ensure all attendees participate. Encourage the team atmosphere by calling on individuals to share their thoughts. Cultivate a meeting culture that prevents dominance by one party.
  • Keep a written record. Written notes ensure that faulty memories or differing interpretations don’t lead future decisions down the wrong path. Include specific, but reasonable, deadlines for follow up and ample details to make informed decisions.
  • Follow up. Assess your meeting’s effectiveness by evaluating the percentage of action items completed by its deadline.

For more tips on how to address company meetings, please contact HR Partners at 785-233-7860. In addition, we would be pleased to assist you with any other HR matters your business may need guidance with.

Source:  Meinert, Dori. “7 Steps to Running Better Meetings.” SHRM, SHRM, 24 Jan. 2019, www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/hr-magazine/1118/pages/7-steps-to-running-better-meetings.aspx.

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