Studies have shown that employees on a 40-hour work week spend 40% of their time in meetings. Think about how much productivity is being lost if those meetings aren’t producing results.
When done right, meetings don’t have to be one or two hours long. In fact, a 5-minute daily meeting may be more productive! In planning the New Year ahead, make good use of both your tiand your employee’s time.
Let me share a few tips to make sure your time spent in meetings is productive and produces results.
Have ground rules
- Make sure to send the agenda ahead of the meeting.
- Start and finish on time.
- No cell phones.
- Don’t get interrupted by employees arriving late (they will catch up).
Prepare for the meeting
Be clear about what you want to accomplish. Trace a road map in your mind of what topics to discuss and account for enough time to cover it all. In other words, make sure the items on the agenda can be resolved during the meeting.
Be respectful of time
Not all your meetings must be one or two hours long. Think about having a 5 minute “huddle meeting” during a busy time of the year. It’s better to have them than to cease communicating important stuff.
If you’re thinking about items that can’t be covered in 5 minutes, yet you cannot afford meeting for any longer, gather information from your employees in advance via email. This will save you time and will make your huddle productive.
Don’t let your employees take control
It could be tricky sometimes when discussing controversial items. In fact, your meeting can easily get out of hand. Don’t allow this to happen. Stick to your agenda. Table unresolved items for the next meeting.
Make sure all attendees participate (this will foster their engagement). Don’t forget about those employees attending remotely. They hear too!
Make sure you summarize the discussions at the end of the meeting and send an email with items to follow-up. Be specific and avoid interpretations of what was said or accomplished. Be factual.
Get your employees’ feedback on your meetings. Ask their opinion in regards to the content, length, results, frequency. There’s always room to make them better, more productive and less draining.
By leading your meeting differently, focusing on what you want to accomplish and making sure the time spent produces results, you’ll increase your productivity and boost your bottom line.