Team meetings can be a great productivity drainer if they are not planned properly. Unproductive team meetings can not only waste your time and money, but they can also deeply impact your team motivation and overall performance.
According to a study, managers and professionals lose 30% of their time in meetings that they could have invested in other productive tasks. Ineffective meetings make professionals lose 31 hours every month, which sums up to 4 working days. Sitting in useless team meetings drains an employee of their energy, brainpower, and stamina.
We are excited to present the 10 most powerful tips to make your team meetings very effective and productive.
1. Identify team meeting owner
This person is the one who calls for the meeting. He should be in charge of the agenda and timing during the meeting. Though he is the meeting owner, other members can assist him in arranging or recording meeting minutes.
It is always a good practice to rotate the meeting owner so that others also can learn and participate actively in improving the meeting preparation and thus, outcomes.
2. Prepare team meeting agenda
Agenda is the most important but often overlooked part of a meeting. The meeting owner should spend enough time to set an agenda and go through the agenda items at the start of the meeting. This practice will help other team members to prepare and stay focused and relevant during the meeting.
3. Cut down on attendees
The adage, “too many cooks will spoil the broth” is very true for all the meetings. Lesser people will result in better coordination and better meeting outcome. Having fewer people will help the discussion stay on course will make the entire decision-making process more focused and relevant. Also, while sending a meeting invite, make it optional for certain team members.
4. Take notes
The meeting owner can assign the responsibility of taking notes to more than one participant. Even if one person misses something, it can be cross-checked with another person. It can be a collaborative exercise to avoid any confusion as two people can see the same thing and interpret it differently.
4. Respect the meeting time
Starting the meeting on time will help you discuss all the points without skipping them due to lack of time. Also, ending the meeting on time will show how much you respect others’ time apart from yours.
5. Make it interesting
The meetings should not be a boring activity. Everything should be done to break the monotonous atmosphere. Change the seating arrangements and provide interesting snacks for the participants. It should be made as lively as possible, and it should be something that participants are eagerly looking forward to. You can probably start the meeting by appreciating all the top performers. A study reveals that recognition is more important than rewards.
6. Create accountability
To get the maximum out of team meetings, it is always important to identify the owner for each action item. The same should be mentioned in the minutes of the meeting as well and shared with the team.
7. Establish the right environment for meetings
It should be decided well in advance whether the meeting will be in-person, remote or hybrid. For face-to-face meetings, participants are not required to carry laptops and phones (unless it is needed to take meeting notes).
This will help everyone in the meeting to stay more attentive, not distracting each other by browsing their emails or preparing slides for the next meeting. If the meeting is going to be remote, then all the participants should have access to access to meetings tools such as apps, headsets, internet connection etc. The meeting ids, if any, should be shared with all participants well in advance.
8. Get feedback on meetings
Once the meeting is over, take feedback from participants on duration, participants, tools used, points covered, areas of improvement etc. It will help to improve the efficiency of the meeting next time you conduct it.
9. End with action items
An action item is an action or a task that’s assigned to one or more meeting participants. The idea is that this person or these people report back when they’ve completed the task. Never end any team meetings without mentioning action items in the ‘minutes of the meeting’ that is circulated to all the participants.
10. Share meeting notes
Once the meeting is over, send an email with the minutes of the meeting with agreed action items. It will be a good reminder of the things that were discussed and the takeaways that the team agreed on.
Whether you run a team meeting once a week or month, taking the time to set an agenda, collaborate and consider how to make your meeting more interesting is an integral part of managing and leading a team. We hope the insights that we have shared above will help you to have a better team meeting and get the most out of your time.