How To Make Your Business Meetings More Productive

How To Make Your Business Meetings More Productive

Our research-backed tools and strategies to make meetings more engaging

The amount of time we spend in business meetings is steadily increasing. As per a survey by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), employees revealed that they are spending 17% of their time in meetings. This puts additional pressure on leaders to host meetings that are constructive and efficient. After all, three-fourth of employees feel that “wasteful meetings” are a barrier to productivity.

Here are six ways to increase the productivity of meetings:

Have a clear agenda

Research shows that, for employees, a good meeting has a written agenda that the team executes. The agenda is a summary of what the meeting will entail. It helps employees plan and prepare in advance. In a survey titled “Meetings at Work”, one employee noted, “The lack of an agenda and goals contribute greatly to the feeling of a waste of time.” They prefer having a pre-defined goal for all meetings.

Adopt efficient models

In 2018, Jeff Bezos sent a letter to his employees banning the use of Powerpoints in meetings. Instead, he urged them to use narrative storytelling, followed by discussion, for maximum productivity. According to him, bullet points don’t have the same impact or efficiency as stories. So, look for methods – as unconventional as they may be – to make your meetings productive.

Keep it conversational

Invite employees to contribute to the meeting. This is especially important in virtual meetings where employees have the liberty to zone out and get distracted by their phones. By keeping the meeting conversational, you will retain your employees’ attention and make them feel involved.

Encourage constructive contributions

In a survey, nearly 20% of employees complained about how their team meetings focus more on problems than on solutions. So, give due attention to questions like “What should we do about it?” and “How should we achieve our goal?”

Choose the timing carefully

Organize the meeting at a time that doesn’t interfere with the employee’s primary activity. For instance, you can organize group meetings in the morning so that the employees can focus on getting the work done for the rest of the day. Avoid scheduling meetings during the mid-afternoon slump as employees are the least alert then.

End with an action plan

Mark Toro, the managing partner of North American Properties – Atlanta, a real estate operating company, uses the acronym W.W.D.W.B.W. to end meetings. It stands for “Who will do what by when?” This way, at the end of the meeting, you have a concrete idea of what each person is doing and what the meeting helped achieve. It also helps you understand if you were able to complete your agenda.

Meetings help build loyalty to the organization and align your employees to the company’s vision. It improves the speed and efficiency of communication among employees and creates room for intelligent discussions and even innovations. So, go on and use our top strategies to make your meetings more engaging and productive.

Image Courtesy: Unsplash

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