‘Can’t wait to sit through the meeting at work tomorrow!’ said no one ever. Generally, employees are not excited by the prospect of an upcoming business meeting. How many times have you gone to a meeting only to question the value you were adding or the objective you were trying to achieve? Well, most people think likewise. However, that should not be the case. Companies spend valuable resources and time to hold those meetings and organizations cannot keep it together without meeting on a regular basis. This is a critical channel of communication. Well, you know what? There are ways you can turn it around. A cup of coffee for everyone is a great idea to get everyone started. Let’s see what other ways we have to help you get the most out of your meetings.
Analyze and Communicate the Importance of Meeting
This is absolutely essential. Not every decision is worth a meeting. If it can be communicated through alternative methods, whenever possible. Meetings are expensive – they cost money, sometimes, and most importantly, your employees’ valuable time. They would respect meetings that are focused on relevant and significant issues. Additionally, it is highly desirable that you apprise the participants of the meeting’s objective beforehand itself, so that precious time is saved by directly getting to the point. This will help them understand its importance and they will not feel lost between random slides flipping on the screen during the meeting.
Foster the spirit of participation
As you already know, a meeting will add a to-do to your team’s list and also eat into the time they might have allotted to other tasks. Plan well and try to minimize the participants to only those who would understand the objective of the meeting, appreciate its importance and actively contribute to the discussion. You may also make the meeting optional for certain people. Optional participation would further add to the meeting being productive as only the people who really want to participate would be present. This is also a huge morale-booster for those attending it. The positive vibe is contagious and it would spread to the rest of the team too.
Preparation is the Key
You should know the inside-out of the issue being discussed so that you are able to address all the facets. You should also encourage the participants to prepare for the meeting. This would help you to save time as you do not have to start completely from scratch. This would also induce higher involvement and generate better results than when the team is an unprepared bunch. Take suggestions. This would also give the employees the reason for being in the meeting – they made a difference and that is big.
Provide incentives/ breaks
Long meetings can be tiring for even the most enthusiastic group of people. People love coffee. A fresh cup of their favorite coffee will fire up those neurons in their brain and get them energized for another round of the meeting. So plan a coffee break in between to get them re-energized. Better yet, the most productive companies are those who manage to add a slight informality and freedom to the work culture. A coffee machine will surely make the meeting room less daunting and more pleasant for people. For meetings with more participants, food can also act as an incentive to participate.
Follow up on the tasks finalized during the meetings
Every meeting should leave every participant with some objective to achieve, both in short-term and long-term. They should be action-inducing. Not only this, make it a point to cover this in the follow-up meetings so that the participants know that things are moving and it is all a part of a bigger plan.