better meetings jay ripton

How to Make Meetings More Meaningful Without Wasting Time

According to research, 37% of employees blame unproductive meetings as a significant loss to organizations. As a result, more than 24 billion productive hours are lost. Meetings take a good chunk of time out of an employee’s routine, but they are also inevitable. 

The worst thing that can happen is that after hours of discussion and brainstorming, there is no actionable outcome. As a result, company resources and productive employee hours are wasted. 

You should have a roadmap for a meeting to increase collaboration among your teams and make effective decisions. 

Strategies to Make Your Meetings More Effective 

On average, a meeting lasts 12 to 13 minutes. In many cases, this time isn’t enough to discuss the key points. Increasing the meeting time means taking a portion of the employee’s productivity.  

You have to ensure that each minute spent in the meeting has a beneficial outcome. Managers and leaders should use the following meeting strategies to conduct effective meetings

  1. Create Goals and Objectives for Meeting

The first step before you call the meeting is creating an agenda. The best thing is to determine the reason why you need a meeting. As soon as you get valid reasons, you have a green light. 

Whether the meeting is to discuss tasks’ progress or company crises, it would be best if you have predefined goals and what you are willing to achieve from the meeting. 

Managers can also create an agenda and cover all the necessary objectives without deviating from the meeting goals. Once the meeting’s agenda is finalized, distribute it to the selected attendees. 

  1. Invite Relevant People 

 Meeting attendees can be divided into two groups. Those who directly contribute to achieving goals (managers and team leaders) and the interested or contributing parties (team members). Any other person’s presence is unnecessary.

Suppose the meeting agenda is “budgeting for future investments,” only invite the finance department’s head and team members. Any other person who is not relevant to the meeting agenda is the third wheel. 

Unnecessary attendees will waste their time. They do not have prior knowledge of the agenda.

  1. Utilizing Mind Mapping Tools 

Mind mapping is an effective method to discuss an idea and explore new possibilities related to it. Business meetings can significantly benefit from a mind map maker. Managers can use mind mapping tools for the following benefits 

  • Managers and leaders can create engaging presentations for the meeting. Audience engagement is crucial to getting a positive outcome from the meeting
  • Regular meetings with PPTs can take minutes and even hours to discuss the plan. Mind mapping allows you to cover long meetings in just minutes without missing any essential details and remaining on the meeting agenda
  • Mind maps make task assigning seamless. Team members and leaders can know their responsibilities without complex explanations
  • Meetings can discuss the agenda in order and logical structure with mind mapping
  1. Minimize Distractions/Disturbance

Distractions lead to a decrease in productivity. During meetings, many factors can cause distractions, identify the elements and take measures before the meeting. Conduct test runs and demos before the meeting to find distractions that can waste the attendee’s time.

There are chances that your internet connection, power, or other technical errors can come up in the meeting, and fixing them can require considerable time. Moreover, it can create a bad image when you have a meeting with C-level executives or higher management like CEO or CFO.

  1. Time Management 

Time management is crucial for saving attendees precious time. It also increases the productivity and efficiency of employees. Moreover, it is the manager’s and HR’s responsibility to ensure that attendees follow the meeting time as part of organizational discipline. 

Time is money, meaning wasting time is directly causing loss to the organization. Whether it is starting or ending the meeting late, it will compromise the schedule and productivity of teams. The ideal approach is to keep the meeting time at a minimum and keep it efficient using tools like mind mapping.

  1. Assign a Moderator

As a manager you already have tons of other work. There are chances that the workload can affect the meeting quality. You can find someone with good leadership skills as a meeting moderator. 

The moderator can effectively conduct the meeting on time with the necessary requirements allowing you to be more productive. However, the moderator should know how to conduct effective meetings and ensure that they follow the agenda.

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Managers can also assign a note taker that focuses on creating notes for attendees. Everyone can focus on the meeting agenda without frequently writing notes down. It will not benefit the meeting agenda after it ends and will reduce distraction. 

  1. Set Up a Q&A Session

Many of the meeting attendees will have some queries or questions. However, allowing them to ask during the meeting will create frequent interruptions, and meeting decorum will be disturbed. 

The meeting guidelines should have a specific time for a Q&A session. It usually happens after the primary points are discussed to save time and make the meeting more meaningful. 

  1. End Meetings When the Goal has been Accomplished

You should know when to end the meeting. If the desired goals are not achieved, or attendees do not have significant insights, it is a waste of time. 

Along with implementing other practices, you must complete the meeting when attendees have the necessary information and the desired meeting goals according to the agenda have been achieved. 

Conduct Less but Effective Meetings 

Conduct fewer meetings and achieve more. Your purpose is to make the organization as productive as possible; meetings take a lot of time. 

By following the above practices, you can keep the meeting relevant to the agenda while saving costs and time. 

Jay Ripton

Jay Ripton

Jay Ripton is a freelance business and technology writer out of Scottsdale. He loves to write to inform, educate and provoke minds. Follow him on Twitter @JTRipton

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