Tuesday Tip: Keep Everyone Informed and Save Time During Effective, Regular Meetings

Tuesday Tip: Keep Everyone Informed and Save Time During Effective, Regular Meetings

By Yehudit Garmaise

Meetings at work can be valuable sources of information or big time-wasters, depending on how skillfully employers prepare for, then lead, and finally, follow up with employees after the gathering has ended.

While managers should host regular meetings with all employees present so they feel informed and clear on the latest news and ideas circulating in the company, the meetings need to be structured skillfully to save time and prevent confusion.

The following is some guidance on this topic. 

1. Set an agenda: The person who calls the meeting should create a bullet-pointed agenda to email all participants in advance. With clear agendas set days in advance, employees can consider what questions they might have before the meeting.

2. Make a schedule and stick to it. Each item on the agenda should get assigned a limited amount of time so no one topic runs too long. By setting limits on discussion times, no single issue will drag on for too long.

3. At the beginning of the meeting, the person who calls the meeting should state the larger goal of the meeting so participants scan be clear about the meeting’s goals. 

4. In private after the meeting, workers can receive feedback on how they can better fulfill their roles to help the company better achieve its goals.

5. Meeting participants should seek to create a lighthearted, positive, and professional tone. Everyone should be made to feel like valuable and appreciated as members of a team.

6. If necessary, make sure all participants in the room or on Zoom briefly introduce themselves so everyone can put names with faces. 

7. Many “real” decisions take place after meetings privately and not while everyone in an office is gathered. Try to communicate decisions transparently in public, so less “in-the-know” workers have a sense of what is actually going on in the office. 

8. Meetings’ leaders should leave a little time at the end of their presentations to allow for participants to briefly comment or ask questions. 

9. Someone at the meeting should take on the role of “secretary” and type up what is discussed at each meeting. After the meeting, the secretary should email the meeting’s minutes to all the participants so everyone has a record of what was decided.

10. The secretary should also include a follow-up mail that summarizes the meeting's takeaways, such as the following.  

What was decided?

Who is doing what following the meeting?

What are the new deadlines or timelines for the new tasks?

What are the group’s long-term goals?

When will the group meet again?

Share a positive vote of confidence in the group’s employees individually and as a team.

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