Meetings are a necessary part of business. When not managed well, they can waste a lot of your employees' time, and consequently, your company’s resources. According to a study by the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, time spent in meetings is not used as effectively as it should be, causing companies to fail to get a return on their investment without even realizing it.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. You can shape your company’s meetings and maximize their productivity by sending them to formal training to help everyone make better choices in meetings. Also, here are some easy tips to follow to start the training right now!
Check the facilities
Before a meeting starts, the IT department should check all the tools and equipment to be used are in working order. Projectors, telephones, laptops, microphones, and internet connection should be working properly and backups should be in place, especially when some attendees are joining the meeting remotely. The meeting organizer should take on this responsibility for every meeting they manage.
Be on time
Punctuality a sign of respect of other people’s time, but tardiness sends the opposite message. It won’t be good for your punctual employees’ morale to see their colleagues habitually show up at meetings late – and even less so when they get away with it without so much as a reprimand.
Thus, instill in your employees that tardiness is not tolerated in any way. You can either give latecomers strict penalties or award incentives to the early birds to let everyone know that punctuality is not just appreciated, but required.
No matter how busy your employees are, they should be able to allot a bit of their time to prepare for a meeting before it starts. You can help them do this by ensuring meeting packs containing the agenda and other must-read files are sent out days or maybe even weeks before a scheduled meeting. If everyone is already familiar with the topics that are to be covered, no time is wasted on explaining what’s going on to clueless attendees.
Regulate use of mobile devices
Before business apps became popular, many companies banned the use of smartphones and tablets in meetings. But things have changed in recent years. Many business apps can now help with productivity; in fact, some of these apps are designed specifically for meeting use.
So if you’re going to allow mobile devices in meetings, use meeting apps that allow device screens to be synchronized and locked to the same page. This guarantees all attendees are following the meeting’s progress in real time.
Follow the agenda
By following the agenda, a meeting has better chances to accomplish its purpose. Whenever the discussions get derailed or presentations exceed their allotted time, the meeting chair can simply refer to the agenda to determine what to do next.
They can bring discussions back to topic and cut presentations short, respectively. Although there should always be room for flexibility in meetings, structure should still take precedence if you don’t want your employees to waste time.
Going over the schedule
The longer a meeting goes, the less productive attendees become. They may start feeling drained from brainstorming, or worried about their unfinished tasks, or maybe even just hungry. So as tempting as it is to close all open action items, encourage your employees to end meetings on time and carry the open action items to the next meeting. The time in between the two meetings can give them a fresh perspective on how to address outstanding issues.
Skip the meeting altogether
Not every situation warrants a meeting. If you need to make announcements, send an email. If you want project status updates, ask your employees to send you an email. If you want input on a project, make a shared document or spreadsheet and invite staff to list down their ideas.
If you want to connect with a few employees who seem to be struggling, strike up a casual conversation. Meetings shouldn’t be your company’s go-to solution. Try other time-efficient ways to communicate before calling a meeting.
Do Your Employees Need to Run more Productive Meetings?
Meetings are tools for collaboration, and like any other tool, they can be good or bad depending on how they are used. But if your employees adopt the tips in this list, they will learn how to use meetings productively and efficiently.
Knowing how to navigate meetings is just one of the many skills business leaders have. To prepare your employees for future leadership roles with your company, consider enrolling them to Infotec IT & Leadership Training programs.
As a nationally recognized leader empowering customers with excellent information technology training and certification, we now offer Dale Carnegie Training, which focuses on sharpening skills, improving performance, and connecting people with people. Contact us now to learn more about our services.
For more information about Infotec or any of our programs click here: http://www.infotectraining.com/ or https://ops.infotecpro.com/course_schedule/course_schedule.cfm.