Having a productive meeting can set your team up for success the rest of the day. We’ve all attended meetings we thought would never end, and instead of feeling motivated, we felt drained, uninspired, and ready for bed. What happens after a meeting ends can depend largely on how productive the meeting was, how diligent the follow-up process, and more.
Let’s take a look at five ways to encourage post-meeting productivity among your team. Whether you’re the meeting’s leader or just an attendee, you can play a vital role in the post-meeting productivity boost.
1. Send A Follow-Up Email
After a meeting, it’s always a good idea to send a follow-up email to your attendees to be sure they understood the goals and subject matter of the meeting. Some people don’t want to interrupt or just don’t know how to ask the right questions, which could leave some things unclear. Send a follow-up email with a synopsis of the meeting, the goals that were met, and the goals for the future.
This can also be useful for helping new employees feel like a part of the team. It’s more difficult for newer people to speak up during a meeting, so be sure to ask them specifically if there was anything they missed or needed clarified.
2. Set Goals Before The Next Meeting
During conference calls, you should also set goals before the next call or meeting. This will give everyone something to focus on during the time between the meeting and the next one. The next meeting will be a good opportunity for everyone to share what they’ve accomplished from the original set of goals.
Keeping meetings short and concise is the best way to make sure you avoid burnout. It’s also a good idea to not schedule several meetings in a week, if you can help it. Meeting burnout is a real phenomenon, and can cause attendees to grow bored and unresponsive during meetings. You want everyone to feel inspired and ready to tackle your meeting goals!
Remember that not everything needs to be a meeting. Some things are truly best left to emails and other communications. You don’t need to schedule a meeting for minor things, and even some major events or communications can still be relayed via email or your project management platform. There’s also something called a phone call you can use!
3. Schedule The Next Meeting
It’s always a good idea to schedule your follow-up meeting during the meeting for two reasons. For one thing, it ensures that everyone who attended the first meeting will be present for the scheduling of the follow-up. Why does this matter? Because it holds everyone in attendance accountable. They can’t use the “I didn’t know” or “I never got that email” excuse for when they don’t make it to the meeting.
It also allows you to schedule something that fits everyone’s schedule. It’s quite difficult to track down an entire team and work individually to ensure meetings fit personal schedules. Schedule the meeting with the team present, give them goals to complete before the next meeting, and make sure to follow-up with everyone afterward.
4. Have More Productive Meetings
If you want your team to feel more inspired, your meetings might need an upgrade. How can you possibly make your meetings more productive, though? You’ve taken every step necessary to make sure they’re not boring and exhausting—or have you?
Here are some quick tips for making meetings more productive:
- Use an agenda. Always!
- Minimize/eliminate background noise. Use that mute button!
- Ensure everyone is on time and you’re staying on the subject matter
- Keep meetings under one hour
- Spice things up with a PowerPoint or some other visual medium
- Trim your guest list
As the meeting host, it’s up to you to make sure everything is in order and the meeting is staying on track. Don’t be afraid to mute noisy attendees. After all, nobody can focus when there’s a lawnmower, barking dog, or crying child in the background.
5. Encourage Questions
You don’t want to create a work environment where people are afraid or otherwise unable to ask questions. Asking questions is how we better understand things, so encourage everyone at your meeting to stay and ask questions if there was something they didn’t understand. Saving questions for the end means that the people who did understand what was discussed don’t have to say behind and hear the same concepts again.
It also helps you figure out which of your team members might be struggling.
The Bottom Line
Essentially, post-meeting production comes down to the productivity of the meeting itself. Remember to schedule the next meeting and set goals for everyone who attended. Encourage everyone to stay behind and ask any questions at the end, and always use an agenda! Your meetings can transform your team into a powerhouse of productivity or drown them in boredom—it’s up to you.