Team meetings are a fact of professional life and can be useful, but they aren’t always as effective as they should be. If meetings are not planned efficiently, they can be a massive waste of time and financial resources. In fact, according to a 2019 report, poorly organized meetings will cost U.S. organizations a whopping $399 billion this year.
A productive meeting should increase collaboration, answer questions, and meet a designated objective. If this is routinely achieved for planned gatherings, a business will see better workplace productivity, higher profits, and a boost in organizational morale.
So, how do you ensure more productive team meetings? We have five tips.
1. Set a specific timeframe
It’s not uncommon for team meetings to take over an hour. With several gatherings occurring a week, not including impromptu meetings, this time can quickly add up to increased levels of lost productivity if the meetings prove to be unfruitful.
To create the parameters for a productive team meeting, set a specific timeframe and keep to a firm end time. Ideally, you want to limit the meeting to 60 minutes or less. Also, always end the meeting on time so people can continue to go about their workday and not fall behind with their schedules or tasks.
2. Create an agenda to share
An agenda will go a long way towards holding better team meetings. Outline what will be covered and estimate how much time will be allotted to each topic. Once you’ve created your agenda and ensured that it’s clear, concise, and sets a defined purpose for the meeting, share it with your invited attendees. That way, they can be prepared and in the right frame of mind.
Additionally, remember to list your contact information and invite attendees to address any questions or concerns they have ahead of time. This best practice allows you to put complete focus on the meeting’s objectives and avoid getting derailed with off-topic discussions.
3. Be prepared
Enhancing your team meeting with visuals, such as videos and slides, can help to better illustrate your meeting topic and make it easier for people to follow along and digest the information being discussed. The more engaged you can keep your attendees, the more productive your meeting will be.
Also, prior to your scheduled meeting, be sure to have any materials and handouts prepped and ready to go so you aren’t scrambling to put together what you need at the last minute.
4. Have technology in place
If do decide to use electronic displays, make sure you have the right equipment in place. We also suggest getting to your meeting room a few minutes early to perform a dry run an ensure everything is in working order.
You’ll also want to plan for any technical support needed for video teleconferences or conference calls if you plan to invite people off-site. After all, there is nothing more frustrating than experiencing excessive delays for meetings because of faulty equipment. Prepping and testing everything ahead of time is key.
5. Start the team meeting on time
People who show up to a team meeting on time are being respectful of the organizer and other attendees. Always be sure to show the same consideration and start the meeting as promptly as possible. If any attendees are late, don’t back up and rehash points to catch them up. Instead, let them figure it out later or offer to send them follow-up notes.
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