Meetings—online and in-person—are necessary, but without clear expectations and goals, your team’s time can be wasted. If there is any doubt about the effectiveness of your organization’s meetings, don’t panic; you’re not alone. In fact, employees consider half of the meetings they attend as a waste of time.
Many employees think meetings are a waste of time because they last longer than they should. Luckily, there are some easy ways you can shorten your organization’s average meeting time.
1. Set a precedent for how long each meeting should last.
Instead of leaving an open-ended amount of time for each meeting, establish a meeting length before the meeting starts. This will help meeting hosts and goers prioritize effectively and stay on topic.
2. Create an agenda and stick to it.
Organization is the key to effective meetings. Every meeting should have an agenda. Period.
Bonus: Consider setting a length of time for each topic and including it in the agenda.
3. Schedule virtual meetings instead of in-person ones.
Traveling to meetings often results in a big chunk of unproductive time. If you can accomplish something remotely, schedule a virtual meeting to cut out the travel time.
Virtual meetings can also make it easier to collaborate via shared drives or documents in real-time.
4. Only invite people that are necessary.
Don’t have too many cooks in the kitchen. Only invite people who are necessary, and follow up with others later.
Bonus: Follow Jeff Bezos’ two pizza rule. If you can’t feed the entire meeting group with two pizzas, then you have too many people involved in your meeting.
5. End every meeting with an action plan.
Have you ever had another meeting because the previous meeting didn’t have an effective action plan moving forward? Always establish next steps and responsibilities at the end of each meeting so you won’t have to schedule another one to reiterate.
6. Use collaboration tools.
Your meetings are only as good as your collaboration. Invest in quality collaboration technology so your team can focus on the topic at hand instead of troubleshooting problems.
Using these tips will help your organization cut your average meeting time. Share these tips across your organization, and set an example so you can continue on the path of meeting productivity.
Want to learn if your meetings are really effective? View our infographic, “Are Your Meetings Effective?”, to learn more now.