Shocking data has revealed that pointless and unproductive meetings will cost British companies £45 billion in 2019, a report from Doodle has warned. Meetings rarely start on time, they don’t stay on track, multiple discussions occur at one time and sometimes people come away more confused than they were in the first place. Making workplace meetings more productive should be high on line managers priorities as so many meetings drag on without any beneficial outcomes.
Here are a few tips to make workplace meetings more productive:
Prepare an agenda
Meetings can often go off track and if there is no purpose to the meeting then it can drag on and on. Therefore, you should create an extremely focused agenda where the items are specific and limit the amount of people who attend. In limiting the amount of people in the meeting to those who are only essential, you are minimising the risk of multiple conversations going on at the same time and less people trying to get their thoughts in.
Keep meetings short
The average attention span is 14 minutes and finance related meetings or conversations only keep our attention for 10 minutes. The study by Skipton Building Society also found concentration is a struggle for many of us – with four in 10 admitting they have a particularly short attention span. Companies should keep meeting short and concise as they will keep people focused on the agenda and their minds won’t wander.
We have all heard of death by PowerPoint. There is nothing worse than going into a meeting and having someone recite word for word a presentation from PowerPoint. That meeting will drag on and the attention span of those in the room will be minimal. Lead the meeting with confidence and keep all laptops firmly shut.
End with action items
Make sure the meeting has a clear outcome because if not you could end up having the exact same meeting a week later. It is important to make everyone aware of their responsibilities and what items they need to action following the meeting. It is also wise to send out a summary afterwards so that it is clear what the next steps are and within what time frames.
Try walking meetings
Health experts have warned that “sitting is the new smoking”, so why not get your employees a little bit more active and have walking meetings as opposed to sitting down. Not only will it improve the health of your employees but it will help get creative juices flowing. A change of scenery can trigger the new neuro-pathways in our brains which yield new ideas and solutions to problems. Walking meetings are best kept with few members of staff and an agenda will still need to be planned in advance.
Read more: How to help the wellbeing of your employees