How to Follow Up with People After a Meeting
04 Mar 2021
Meetings have a less-than-stellar reputation in the workplace and it’s no surprise why. So many meetings happen each and every day, yet people forget what was discussed, the meetings turn out to be a waste of time, or promised actions aren’t taken. Nobody wants to attend a meeting that is a fruitless endeavor.
After having a meeting, it’s important to send out a follow-up email so that attendees can be reminded of what was discussed. The email should contain a recap of the meeting as well as any significant action items or takeaways. A follow-up email ensures that everyone who attended the meeting is on the same page and holds them accountable to what was discussed.
Who should send a follow-up email and when should they send it?
If you’re the person who organized the meeting, sent out the agenda, and facilitated the meeting, you’re probably the person who should send the follow-up email. You might also find that someone volunteers themselves to send the follow-up email.
When sending out the follow-up email, be sure to address it to anyone who was invited to the meeting, even if they didn’t actually attend. It’s best to send out the email as soon after the meeting as possible because it helps to keep up the momentum.
What to include in a follow-up email
The overall purpose of the email is to get everyone on the same page. The exact content of the email will vary depending on the nature and purpose of the meeting, but it should serve to help attendees remember important details and be available to them to reference later on.
As you attend the meeting, take notes or designate someone else to be the note taker, so you can reference the notes in your follow-up email. Document important events and announcements happening in the meeting and make note of any tasks that are assigned to specific people.
When writing the recap, start out by thanking everyone for taking the time to attend the meeting. List what was discussed in the meeting and highlight any next steps that were decided. Attach supporting documents, if needed. At the end of the email, write the date of the next meeting, if applicable. Invite people to ask any questions they have. Once you have written the email, proofread it and add the necessary recipients.
The difference between follow-up emails and meeting minutes
Meeting minutes sum up the details discussed in a meeting or describe them verbatim. Meeting minutes are a more formal document that is typically attached to an email rather than contained within the body of an email. Meeting minutes tend to provide a lot more detail on what was discussed in the meeting. A follow-up email, on the other hand, is better suited to informal meetings and should be short and sweet. The tone of the writing should match the tone of the meeting.
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