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Tips for Conducting Effective Meetings

effective meetings

A global survey conducted by Microsoft found that employees spend an average of 5.6 hours each week (12.4% of their time at work) in meetings. Around 70% of survey respondents felt meetings weren’t productive. In Australia, 82% of people surveyed said that meetings were a waste of time and money because they lacked structure and defined objectives. Nevertheless, meetings still have an important role to play in many workplaces.

Meetings still play an important role in many workplaces

Even if you have a small business with few staff members, there will be times when you need to conduct effective meetings. Implementing the following ideas will ensure that your meetings are effective, rather than a waste of time.

The first step is to determine whether a meeting is necessary. If its purpose is simply to convey information, written communication might be more effective. If you decide that a meeting is the best way to accomplish your objectives, determine who needs to participate, prepare an agenda and select an appropriate time and place.

Give attendees agenda information beforehand for effective meetings

When you invite participants, make sure your agenda clearly details the:

  • Meeting’s purpose
  • Time limit for each discussion item
  • Expected updates or reports ─ so staff can prepare beforehand
  • Start and finish times.

During the meeting, assign a scribe to record action items and agreements reached. Also, choose a timekeeper so that the meeting doesn’t run over time and agenda items are completed within time limits. Items not completed within the times allocated should be addressed at end of the agenda.

At the end of the agenda, examine items that haven’t been completed. Estimate how long each will take to discuss and whether the item can be addressed or needs further action before a decision can be made. Any incomplete items should be placed first on the agenda at the next meeting.

Send a summary to all participants soon after the meeting ─ it should outline decisions reached, action items and timelines.   

By implementing these ideas, your organisation can hold effective meetings that keep staff engage and create positive results.


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