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Meetings are frequently cited as being a time-waster in workplaces. More often than not, a meeting is held when the matter could have easily been resolved with a phone call, email, status report, or simple conversation between two people.
Approximately 11 million business meetings take place each day in the United States alone. Meetings that are conducted effectively lead to better performance, greater productivity, and increased employee morale. However, many meetings fail to provide a return on investment and hurt productivity levels. Irrelevant and ineffective meetings can be costly and wasteful.
That’s why it’s important to question the necessity and value of every meeting you plan to have. If you decide to schedule a meeting, make sure that you only invite people who absolutely need to be there. Prepare thoroughly for the meeting and establish a clear objective.
The overarching purpose of a meeting is to tap into the collective wisdom of a group and create a pool of shared knowledge. By having a meeting, you can do all of the following:
1. Work together on tasks that would be challenging to work on individually
2. Create a plan or come up with a solution to a problem
3. Achieve a shared vision of a topic
4. Make a joint decision
5. Build trust and strengthen relationships between team members
If you simply plan to make an announcement, don’t hold a meeting. Scheduling a meeting to provide an update is a waste of time because you can do the same with a status report or email. The point of a meeting is to have a conversation and discuss a topic.
If there is no information that needs to be discussed or no decision to be made, then it’s not necessary to have a meeting. Furthermore, if a project leader needs to get an update from an individual, he or she should speak directly with that individual rather than involve others.
The effectiveness and success of a meeting will depend largely on how much you prepare for it. Think about the outcome you want to achieve and determine if there’s an alternative way to reach that outcome. If the meeting is essential, evaluate who needs to attend the meeting, what information you need to get from the attendees, and what the attendees need to know in advance of the meeting to be able to contribute meaningfully. Additionally, consider how much time you’ll need to accomplish the meeting’s purpose and schedule a meeting of an appropriate duration. End your meeting with action items, so each attendee knows what their next steps will be after the meeting.
Meaningful meetings generate a significant return on investment and allow you to give time back to your employees so that they can do the work they’ve been hired to do and help grow the company’s bottom line. Make your meetings count by turning them into a valuable resource rather than a time waster.
Resource Central is meeting schedule software for Microsoft Outlook® and Exchange that allows you to quickly review available meeting rooms, book an appropriate space, and invite attendees. You can attach a meeting agenda to your invite, so attendees know what the exact purpose of the meeting is and can prepare. For more information about Resource Central, please sign up for a free trial or free online demo!