We’ve all been to work meetings that felt like they would never end or that went round and round without actually accomplishing anything. Instead of wasting your employees’ time, take charge of your small company staff meetings so they become productive and efficient.
Have a Point
What is the purpose of the meeting? Do you actually need to meet or could the information be dispersed effectively in an email or document? All meetings should have a specific purpose. Even if you have weekly staff meetings, each time you meet you should have a very specific purpose and takeaway so you don’t waste time. Don’t meet just for the sake of meeting.
Once you know why you’re holding the meeting, let everyone else know. A surprise meeting with a hidden agenda won’t get much accomplished. Send out a copy of the agenda or at least some talking points for the meeting. This allows all of your employees to show up prepared with the necessary materials and ideas for discussion.
It’s easy to get off task when you start discussing issues, but keep the meeting focused on its purpose. If another issue comes up, note it and follow up directly with the people involved. You may need to send out documents or set up another meeting, but for now finish what you started.
Get rid of distractions in the meeting. Unless an employee needs to be constantly available for some reason, ask that cell phones stay off or at least put away for the meeting. Choose a quiet place away from other action that could interrupt the meeting.
End With Action
Each meeting should end with an action plan. Each person should know what his or her responsibilities are based on the meeting. You should also follow up on the action to make sure each team member has the tools necessary to complete the work.