Meetings are a necessary byproduct of any solid business plan. However, it is not unusual for these meetings to turn into a waste of valuable time and productivity. Here are three tips that you can employ to ensure more productive team meetings for your place of business.
Time Is Everything
The phrase “Time is money” holds especially true to business owners, even more so considering over half of business professionals spend about 43% of the day in team meetings. It does not take a mathematician to realize that a time commitment of this magnitude can be a significant drain on workday productivity. One of the best ways that you can encourage more productive meetings is to set a strict ending time in advance of the gathering. If the attendees know that the meeting is going to end at a designated time, they will be less likely to get off track by letting conversations wander. Enforcing an end time will create a sense of urgency so that the meeting stays productive and on task.
Designate a Purpose
Unless the meeting is designed to simply touch base, you need to set clear expectations about what will be discussed. Taking the time to create an agenda prior to your meeting will save you more time down the road. A formal agenda will serve as a guide as you work through the discussion points. It will also help to keep all of the attendees focused on the purpose of your meeting so every pertinent action item is touched upon. In addition, the attendees will appreciate knowing everything that needs to be discussed prior to the start of the meeting so that they can show up prepared and ready to get down to business.
Limit the Size
Limiting the size of your meetings will help prevent having too many competing ideas presented at once, while keeping the number of distracting side conversations to a minimum. As a general rule of thumb, only invite attendees to your meeting who will play an active role in what your discussion is about – you can always designate someone to take notes to distribute to non-essential employees later on. Because meetings tend to take up a great deal of the workday, try not to hold meetings for items that can easily be discussed as a group via email.
Productivity is important when aiming for success within your business. Although team meetings can be an extremely useful component of your business process, savvy leaders also understand how to keep them on track. Being intentional about your meeting planning and execution will encourage productivity and improve your bottom line.