Meetings. They are one of the most divisive topics in the workplace. And even today, when a lot of meetings are conducted in virtual space, employees have very strong feelings about them. The most important thing you can learn as a manager is how to streamline a meeting to ensure the right info is shared and people don’t feel frustrated by the experience. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Use an Agenda
A formal agenda will help keep everyone on track. Send it to your team ahead of the meeting so everyone is on the same page. It will provide general guidelines and give them an idea of when they can bring up their questions or concerns. Let people know if they need to add something specific to the meeting, they need to let you know in advance. Otherwise, don’t stray from the agenda or the meeting can quickly get derailed.
Start on Time
So many companies will delay the meeting’s actual start time by five or ten minutes to give people a chance to arrive, but this is problematic for many reasons. It feels like a punishment for the people who did arrive on time who feel like they have better things to do. It also permits people to arrive late. Instead, start on time every time and don’t catch people up if they arrive late. That will be their responsibility and will show how starting on time is important.
End on Time
When a meeting goes late, it’s often because someone has sidetracked the conversation. This is when the majority of your team will become frustrated and anxious about getting back to work. You have to follow the agenda and keep questions short. If you provide this structure, you can let people know when they can get back to work. If there are additional questions, your team can know to bring them up to you directly or even send an email.
Keep it Short
Start times and end times are only the beginning of a more productive and efficient meeting. The important stuff needs to happen in the time between. Long meetings are, university, a bad idea. They don’t improve productivity and keep your team away from the work they need to be doing. Make sure your meeting is only long enough to cover the necessary information briefly so your team can feel like their time isn’t being wasted.