According to a Microsoft survey, 2 out of 3 workers claim “meeting and email bloat” leaves them with insufficient time and energy to perform their jobs. In that same survey, respondents claimed to receive important information and having a chance to provide feedback were motivating factors when attending meetings. Clearly, there’s a need to implement best practices for meetings, and here are some tips that will ensure yours do not result in burnout.
#1. Hold Only Necessary Meetings
Microsoft research reveals that, since the pandemic, people spend 3x the amount of time in meetings and calls. Some individuals spend as much as eight hours (or an entire workday) each week attending meetings. Holding this many and believing that productivity won’t suffer is impossible.
Before taking workers away from important tasks, decide whether a meeting is actually necessary or if the information could be passed down through other methods. Then carefully select attendees so that only those who actually need to be present are.
#2. Establish an Agenda
Set a clear agenda for your meeting and let everyone attending know what that is. That way, you can ensure participants are prepared with any information they might need to pass along. Along with an agenda, provide an order for each topic to be discussed during your meeting, which will help keep things moving along.
#3. Assign Roles
Having the right people in strategic roles will allow for a more productive meeting in less time. Assign someone to facilitate the meeting, another person to take notes, and yet another to keep time. You may even want someone to act as a “moderator” to reel folks back in should the discussion stray too far off topic.
#4. Know When to Allow Questions
Good questions asked at the appropriate time will encourage discussion. However, the wrong inquiries (or a constant barrage of them) can hijack a meeting and frustrate everyone. Accordingly, you’ll need to carefully balance the need for queries with the possibility of things getting off track. To avoid having someone ramble and ask endless amounts of questions, establish firm guidelines such as:
- Insisting that queries be related to the discussion and for the benefit of the whole group. Ones that are related to individual situations should be reserved for after the meeting.
- Providing a chance for everyone to ask questions, but only for a limited time. This will encourage team members to get straight to the point without going on and on.
- Posing topics back to the group whenever appropriate. For example, you could ask everyone else if the issue is in keeping with the meeting’s purpose or whether it should be discussed later.
- Assigning someone to follow up on tabled debates for a later discussion.
#5. Follow Up
After your session, email detailed notes to everyone on your invite list, including those absent. As part of these notes, ensure someone is assigned responsibility for any actionable items and that there is a clear deadline. This will make it obvious that your meetings are not just for talking but instead are designed to affect change. If possible, provide a brief synopsis of the next meeting to help attendees better prepare.
You Manage your Meetings. We’ll Take Care of Your Benefits
Establishing guidelines for productive, effective meetings is something you must do yourself. Taking care of your benefits, though, is a different story. For assistance with payroll, benefits, HR administration, or risk management, you can trust Abel HR to handle things flawlessly. To find out how, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.