Meetings can be extremely productive forums for exchanging ideas and making decisions, or they can be tedious wastes of time: it all depends how well organized they are, and how much follow-up is made. To make sure your corporate meetings add value to your business, consider following these steps.
- Know what issues you need to discuss. Meetings can be informational or motivational, for brain-storming, decision-making, task-setting, crisis-management and assessment purposes. Knowing the aim of the meeting will help you keep it on track, and produce more meaningful results.
- Decide who should attend. Depending on the issue at hand, you may not need to invite every employee or board member. Try to keep the attendee list small, including only the most necessary parties. Send a Notice of Meeting to each invitee.
- Schedule a time and place for the meeting, making it clear to the persons attending what the meeting will be about, and how long it will take. Meetings shouldn't run longer than 30 minutes (you may need to meet more regularly if you think your issues will run overtime). Make sure you have the technology available to allow those who can't be physically present to participate. While face-to-face meetings are the most effective, your meeting may be more easily conducted over phone or video conferencing, with comparable efficacy.
- Create a schedule for your agenda within the meeting. You should have an idea of how long should it take to address each issue. Put the less important issues near the top of the agenda so you don't forget about them, but put any urgent issues first.
- Distribute this agenda so that the attendees can come prepared, and can add any modifications if needed.
- Decide who the meeting leader should be. It'll be their job to keep the meeting on schedule, facilitate discussion, and summarize all the points that are made. A facilitator shouldn't also be a presenter.
- Encourage, but don't force consensus. Remember that you can schedule another meeting to make more decisions.
- At the end of the meeting, make sure everyone is aware of what was discussed, what was decided, and what the next steps/takeaway ideas are. Send out the meeting summary to all the attendees for their records, and publish the Meeting Minutes and any plan of action by the next day.
- Before the next meeting, follow up with team leaders on where they are in terms of reaching goals by the deadlines set in the previous meeting.
By taking these steps before, during, and after your corporate meetings, you can enhance your company's productivity.
This article contains general legal information and does not contain legal advice. Rocket Lawyer is not a law firm or a substitute for an attorney or law firm. The law is complex and changes often. For legal advice, please ask a lawyer.