5 tips for more effective meetings
While everything in the modern world of work is geared toward efficiency, there is a time-eater that robs many employees of valuable hours during their working day: meetings. There’s no question that negotiating with colleagues or potential clients during meetings is important and necessary. Often, employees come out of a meeting feeling that it was unnecessary or took too long. It doesn’t have to be this way if you just make a few changes. Here are our tips for a more productive meeting culture! HelloFreshGO shows you how to organise more effective meetings which save you time.
1. Defining meaning and purpose
Meetings usually have the primary purpose of coordinating employees or teams and planning the team’s course of action. This is the first sticking point: if the primary purpose is only to share information, a meeting isn’t always required. Often an e-mail, message or online presentation would suffice. An efficient meeting has a clear objective, which the organiser determines in advance. The leader of the meeting also has the task of moderating, so that the group remains on topic and prevents the meeting from being side-tracked.
2. Prepare for effective meetings
When all participants are prepared it is easier to get straight to the point. The organiser should send a short briefing about the purpose of the meeting and, if necessary, distribute material that will be discussed. This way, the team can use the meeting time solely for discussion and planning.
3. Establish an effective meeting etiquette
The best intentions of the organiser are of no use if they are disregarded by the participants through unhelpful behaviour. It is not always due to malicious intent – it may be that an employee has a very urgent task that they must complete during the meeting on their laptop. As a result, they are not completely present in the meeting and it also distracts others. To prevent this, it’s best to set a code of conduct for the entire company. Here are a few examples of meeting rules that have been proven in practice:
- Start promptly to fully use the allotted time. Waiting for one participant wastes everyone’s time.
- Ensure the meeting ends at the agreed time. Before then, the topics must be clarified and the desired results reached.
- No distractions: laptops and mobile phones remain out of sight during the meeting or outside of the room.
- If you cannot contribute to the topic, you can withdraw from or cancel the meeting.
- Keep meeting rooms in a clean condition, leaving no bottles, glasses and cups behind.
4. Choose the right time
If possible, avoid arranging a meeting around lunchtime, as it’s harder to concentrate when hungry. Conversely, deadlocks often occur straight after lunch when people are feeling sluggish. Likewise, meetings are rather unfavourable shortly before the end of the workday, as many employees have reduced concentration at this time. Good times for meetings are the morning when most people are in great shape, or in the afternoon with the energy boost from lunch.
5. Follow up on meetings
A participant, usually the organiser, records the results in writing and sends all participants an e-mail with the important results: Who is responsible for which task? What are the next steps? This ensures everyone is on the same page and the meeting has a presentable result.