Whether you run a small or medium business, meetings could be a weekly or daily activity. While you may feel that meetings help your team collaborate and give them a chance to voice their opinions, too many meetings or badly organized ones could adversely affect the productivity of your workforce. Often workers feel that meetings are a waste of time and they feel that that time could be better allocated to actually doing the work assigned to them. Here are a few ways you can ensure that your meetings proceed efficiently and are a boon rather than a burden to your workforce: 1. Ask Yourself if the Meeting is Necessary Often meetings take people away from their job tasks and it can be tough to find a convenient time that works for all the team members that you wish to meet with. Before you schedule a meeting, be sure to ask yourself if it is really necessary- can some other means or method be used or can a simple email conveying information or the collection of project reports suffice? 2. Invite Only Essential Members It has been found that the more people invited to participate in meetings, the less productive the meeting tends to be. Therefore, if you are planning a new project, setting team deadlines or catching up on the progress of work- call a meeting with only essential staff. If you are trying to ascertain the progress of a project, it may be wise to then meet only with the supervisors rather than the entire team working on all aspects of the project. 3. Keep it Short Meetings that run into hours often end up being extremely inefficient and more often than not, lose focus on the main issue under discussions. It has also been found that the longer the meeting, the more likely that people’s attention will wander and that you, as the business owner will not get the most out of the time spent on the meeting. 4. Create an Agenda Ensure that you have a set agenda before the meeting, this will help you structure the meeting and also ensure that it doesn’t take up an excessive amount of time. Set goals of what needs to be achieved and send out an email before the meeting to inform every team member of the direction of the meeting. 5. Give Employees an Opt-Out option Often employees are forced to attend meetings that have little or no relevance to their job roles. They see these meetings as cumbersome and often only attend them because they are not given any other option. As the business owner, you will need to trust your employees to handle their own time and know what is relevant to their work. You could implement an opt-out option for any meeting called. This will ensure that only essential staff are at the meeting and that it doesn’t hamper the overall productivity of your business. Follow these simple guidelines to ensure that only meetings that are absolutely necessary take place and only those of your workforce that are needed make time in their schedules to attend so that meetings alleviate rather than harm team productivity.
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