Whenever employees are called by top management to attend a business meeting, the first thought comes to the poor mind is – ‘It is going to be a total waste of time’. Many people squander a lot of valuable time in conducting business meetings. However, not every meeting is abysmal.
Meetings are convened to solve management related issues, and to review the progress of the project and the employees. It is indeed imperative for exchanging various useful information via meetings. Here, you will find some ways that can be effectively used to conduct a business meeting that is productive enough for the success of any organization.
#1. Meetings Must Be Convened at the Right Time
Meetings happening at odd hours make employees thoroughly peeved. It is the story of every organization that the employees are called for the meeting around lunch time. Management must understand that to make the meeting really productive, they must organize the symposium at the correct time.
It is advisable to convene it in the morning time that ensures an active participation of every attendee. In the morning, every employee feels fresh and energetic that helps them to generate creative and beneficial ideas and suggestions that are required to be shared in the meetings.
#2. Organize a Business Meeting Only When Required
Meetings should be organized when they are genuinely required. Ofttimes the productivity of the employees gets hampered because they are called to attend the meeting without any central agenda. The purpose of keeping a meeting should be extremely clear. If a meeting is not necessary, avoid holding it whenever possible. If the business meeting is necessary, then make sure the attendees are informed beforehand.
#3. Prepare an Agenda
Meetings should begin with a strong meeting agenda. Make sure it includes all the essential topics that are needed to be discussed to produce the desired result. Do not procrastinate in mailing the agenda in advance to all the attendees, along with the significant subject matters to be discussed. This will help let meeting participants prepare ideas and materials they think will be pertinent and relevant. Mention the important talking points and issues at the top of the agenda to bring the utmost attention of every participant.
#4. Prepare a Meeting Schedule
Always set a meeting schedule and distribute individual timings to talk about each subject matter. Try to stick to the fixed schedule to avoid meetings delays. Remember to begin and stop on time. The worst case is when the meeting starts at the decided time but does not end at the specified time.
Do not wait for the latecomers as it is certainly unfair to punish those who arrive on time for the meetings. Latecomers must not be allowed to enter inside if arriving late. This strictness is a must to discipline such employees.
#5. Keep Meetings Brief
The purpose of the meeting must be clearly defined to avoid haywire situations. As a manager, it’s up to you to ensure that people feel comfortable enough to contribute and speak up. However, there are many out there who are loquacious and love to keep on talking about futile matters. It is equally important not to allow anyone to drag the meeting by uttering trivial points.
#6. Topics Discussed Must Be Concluded Well
When you discuss each topic of your meeting agenda, summarize the discussion and get a nice closure. Make sure you complete the discussion of each topic before you go on to the next one.
#7. Add a Chunk of Humor
It is highly advisable to add some humor while conducting the meetings. Many employees feel encouraged to attend it when they are made to laugh. Humour increases your stature as an effective manager. You must make efforts to warm up the board room and make people smile. In this way, you gain the respect of your subordinates who looks forward to a manager who invariably maintain a stern look in the face.
#8. Assign Particular Responsibility
Never forget to assign responsibility to the employees for the individual actions agreed upon and set deadlines. Be clear about who is going to do what and when. Responsibilities must be given on the basis of the performance and efficiency of the employees.
#9. Encouraging Climax for Five-Star Rating
A productive meeting needs to end on a happy note to encourage the attendees to deliver even better results. Always remember not to criticize any employee in the meeting as it is very disheartening to receive negative remarks in front of other team members. The climax of the meeting must be inspiring so that the participants get the zeal to put extra effort towards the success of the organization.
#10. Thank Members for Their Efforts to Attend the Meeting
Be courteous to your employees and never forget to thank them for attending the meeting and giving the solutions and suggestions for the betterment of the organization. An effective meeting leader must enforce a code of conduct to maintain a peaceful and healthy working environment for discussing future ideas.
#11. Circulate Meeting Minutes
To gain maximum effectiveness from meetings, it is imperative to jot down accurate notes and to circulate meeting minutes without further ado. The well-written MOM must be sent to every attendee and also to the ones who were absent. Make sure that everyone is clear about his/her agreed-upon responsibilities and deadlines.
#12. Evaluate the Outcomes
After the culmination of the meeting, it is important to review the achieved results. If a meeting didn’t achieve everything you desired, figure out where things went off track to make the next session more productive. Consider having more and succinct meetings with fewer participants. Break down cryptic topics into small ones that can be handled by small groups, which are more efficient than large panels.
It is an undeniable fact that most of us loathe meetings as a lot of time is being wasted on them. Many of us do not enjoy participating in it. This situation arises because the organized meetings are invariably mundane. To make them more interesting, you must introduce some motivational videos to charge the oozing energy of the employees. By sticking to the ways mentioned above you will surely bring the best results out of the organized meetings.
Images: ”Silhouettes of business people in a conference room. /Shutterstock.com“
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