Professionals in the business industry have started to question the effectiveness of company meetings. Through the end of World War II, the American economy focused on manufacturing, agriculture, and farming. Thus, office jobs weren’t common until post-World World II.
As companies become larger, they need to disseminate information to more employees. Plus, they need to ensure that all staff members stay on the same page as the company’s mission.
Meetings became an effective way to release information to a large group at the same time. At some point, meetings lost their effectiveness, became too long, and a source of moral depletion among employees.
There is a place for meetings. The most effective ones are short, sweet, simple, and get to the point promptly.
The following are seven strategies for more effective business meetings.
1. Prepare Beforehand
The person putting together the meeting must prepare beforehand. Sometimes the assistants to the executive bring together the elements of the meeting. Other times the task falls on the shoulders of the human resources department.
2. Set the Agenda
Preparing for a meeting requires setting the agenda. Common meeting types include:
- Sales updates
- Team building
- Decision making
- Weekly and quarterly
Each meeting type requires a different agenda. In a problem-solving meeting, it’s wise to use the build-break-build method. Start with something positive that the team accomplished. Then move into the problem that requires solving.
End the meeting on a positive note. Use a statistic that the team can reach by becoming active participants in solving the problem at hand.
3. Invite the Right People
The sales team knows that daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly meetings take place. They know that it’s important to receive updates on new products, their numbers, and new contests. In many cases, the sales team is the most important cog in a company.
If they keep the sales pipeline moving, the company has the funding to keep its doors open.
Nonetheless, the correct personnel should attend all meetings. Otherwise, it starts to create dread among those invited. If attendees lose sight of the gathering’s importance, they try to skip them, arrive late, or not pay attention.
Ensure that the information shared at the huddle is pertinent to every member of the guest list.
4. Communicate the Purpose
When you schedule the meeting and notify the individuals on the guestlist, communicate the gathering’s purpose.
Even if it’s a weekly sales update meeting, state it on the invitation, notice, or email subject line.
Sometimes it’s important to gather company executives, department heads, and other key players in the same room to discuss more serious topics. A bad fiscal quarter, competition gaining traction, and impending legal troubles require the quorum’s full attention.
Plus, it gives each person on the guest list time to prepare. Some meetings are a one-way street where the moderator hands out information. Others are two-way streets that require reports, updates, and new insight from department heads.
5. Start On Time
Employees know that the executives who run a company are busy people. They have a lot on their plate. However, it’s not an excuse to start the meeting late.
If tardiness becomes a habit, the attitude trickles down to the employees. They will start showing up late too.
In addition to starting on time, consider changing the scene. You can never go wrong with providing food during a meeting. It’s one less meal that employees need to pay for and it lightens the corporate mood. Hotel Engine provides a couple of group business lunch meeting tips.
6. Mind the Length
People respond to limits. If they know that a meeting is scheduled to last half an hour, they plan accordingly. They also place themselves in the right mindset.
Adhering to the established length affords everyone the respect of their time. Sometimes a department head wants to share a meaningful grievance. However, it’s not relevant to the other departments. Instead of keeping the entire staff beyond the allotted time, set up a separate meeting for the department head.
7. Establish the Moderator
Some meetings become heated. For example, rebranding a company means consolidation of jobs, duties, and salary. Even though you share the information with employees, you must anticipate pushback.
To prevent meetings from descending into chaos, establish a moderator. You can pick the same person who plans the gathering as the moderator or an in-company impartial third party.
Their job is to allow those who want to speak the courtesy of speaking. In the interest of time, they keep it relevant to the topic and civil.
Business meetings are necessary. They disseminate important information to pertinent staff members. As you schedule them, consider your employee’s time and morale. To keep meetings effective, employ several strategies including providing lunch, starting on time, and inviting the right staff members.