Workplace Tips for Increasing Meeting Productivity

In theory, workplaces should be productivity powerhouses – where boxes are checked, goals are met and results are made. But too often, people in those workplaces lose sight of what’s important and become filled with meaningless routine activities: meetings held without agendas and reports developed without purpose. Left unchecked, extreme oversight can risk losing sight of company goals altogether.

Fortunately, there are tangible ways to prevent ineffective workplace culture, and it begins with functional communication in our company meetings.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

Make Your Meetings Matter
This sounds like common sense, but make your meetings matter. You would be surprised by the number of meetings held without a goal, plan or agenda. Don’t know if your meeting is unproductive?

A meeting is unnecessary if:
• Your presence is not required
• Someone who really does need to be there isn’t
• The discussion goes off track
• There’s no clear goal
• The meeting organizer isn’t prepared
• Communication systems (conference bridge, web conference, etc.) are glitchy

To prevent ineffective meetings, make sure all attendees know why they’re included. The practice fosters the understanding that meetings are for a specific goal and that attendees should come prepared.

Employees need to know their materials, anticipate questions they’ll need to answer and prepare questions to ask others. If you’re the leading team member, this point is especially for you.

Share Responsibility
If possible, consider switching up who leads team meetings. Rotating roles encourages meeting attendees to stay focused and be aware of the team’s activities and goals. For example, if a team member knows he or she is leading the meeting next week, that individual is going to be alert at this week’s meeting. This practice will also help smooth over any transitions due to vacations or sick days.

Measure Meeting Effectiveness
How do you know if your meetings are effective? How do you know if you’re meeting company goals?

The answer lies in measuring and monitoring.

At the beginning of each reporting period – financial quarters or months – set out a list of goals you want your team to achieve and write out the ways in which goals will be measured. A clear, reachable goal should be a SMART one.

A SMART goal is one that is:
• Specific
• Measurable
• Achievable
• Relevant
• Time-bound

Setting goals will keep everyone results-focused and provide transparency across team members. This will also paint a good picture of where the team stands and how they’re progressing against the overarching company goal.

As workers, we spend a lot of our time in meetings. According to The Muse, middle managers spend 35 percent of their time in meetings, and upper management spends a whopping 50 percent.

It’s about time we make good use of our time, and it all begins with how we communicate in our meetings. So, the question is: How are you
organizing your meetings?

Learn more about how you can transform and grow your business here.

Shawn Adamson is the  vice president of Comcast Business for the Mountain West Region