Fairfield HR

For Meet’s Sake!

We all love a good meeting. And I mean a good meeting! One that benefits all attendees and has a positive outcome and motivating next steps.

We’re less in love with ineffective meetings. Or meetings that were rather pointless. I’m sure we’ve all seen a meme or 2 with the line “This meeting should’ve been an email!”.

Firstly…  Here are a couple of stats from one study on meetings in the workplace.
– 43% of UK office workers feel overwhelmingly stressed due to attending too many meetings
– On average, 9 out of 10 people daydream during meetings

So…  What makes for a good and effective meeting? Are there any tips out there to get the most from sitting in a room full of colleagues, or prospects?

Yes there are!

Step 1 – Have an actual purpose/reason to have the meeting. Is there something that needs addressing that requires collective input to problem-solve?  Or perhaps a performance review or even implementing something new that requires training.  As long as you can honestly answer the questions “why are we meeting?” and “can this be achieved over email instead?” then I’m sure you’re on track.

Step 2 – Write an agenda. This helps to highlight the above point and also prepares all attendees on what will be discussed. It also helps to keep things concise and on track.

Step 3 – (This one might sound obvious) Invite the right people. Does Steve from accounts really need to be in a sales meeting?  Or is someone important to the process you’re discussing absent? Don’t be afraid to call people in or out for various parts if necessary. As long as you’re not undertaking mass substitutions for each point on the meeting agenda of course!

Step 4 – This actually follows from Step 2. Whoever is leading the meeting, needs to announce the reason for the meeting and goals of the meeting when it starts. They can also set out some ground rules of the meeting too e.g. once a point is raised, we’ll ask each person their input, or keep it more open.  However, it’s essential to make the objective and process of the meeting clear and concise so it can be as effective as possible.

Step 5 – Shelve unexpected new agendas. Unless they’re directly relevant, discussion in the meeting can bring up something else that might need discussing or addressing. But… Is it relevant in the current meeting? Are the right people present? If “no” and/or “no”, note it down and shelve it. Then you can have another meeting including this. Or send an email of course if it doesn’t need another meeting. Like this year’s Xmas Do!

Step 6 – Type up the minutes. This is very important to avoid another meeting down the line needlessly covering the same topics. Distribute these to the attendees and if there are action points on there, note them specifically and formally allocate them to the individual/team responsible for working on each.

A long post today, but hopefully this will help you consider more effective ways to conduct effective meetings moving forward. (or sending more emails!)

If you’re hungry for more “fun” stats…  Then check these out.
– 15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings
– An average of 31 hours per month is spent in unproductive meetings
– Managers spend 35-50% of their time in meetings
– 63% of meetings are conducted without a pre-planned agenda
– The average person spends five years of their life in meetings


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