The Carlton Connection

Four Tips for Faster and More Productive Meetings

Most successful organizations are constantly aiming to be more productive and efficient for the sake of their bottom lines. It’s easy to forget that maximizing meeting productivity is one of the most effective ways to produce better organizational results and improve employees’ job satisfaction. Unfortunately, many leaders fail to recognize the importance of productive meetings and end up derailing their organization’s potential to get more done in a shorter amount of time.

Ready to bring your meetings to a new level? Check out these four tips for making meetings more productive and enjoyable for everybody!

1. Establish an agenda and stick to it.

Meetings often get sidetracked when there is no set agenda of topics or tasks established. To keep a meeting within its designated timeframe, it’s important to create a written agenda and stick to it. Typically, it’s best for the person who organizes the meeting to put together an agenda of items for the meeting. This outlines exactly what needs to be discussed and disseminate it to all meeting participants ahead of time.

To stay on track, place limits on each agenda item and leave a few minutes at the end of the meeting to cover other topics that may come up.

2. Encourage pre-meeting preparation.

Lack of preparation by meeting participants is one of the most common reasons why meetings go off track. When the agenda is distributed before a meeting, encourage participants to come prepared with their own questions and concerns. This gives participants a chance to gather their thoughts and write down notes before the meeting is underway, ultimately making the discussion more productive and meaningful for all involved.

3. Limit distractions.

While certain interruptions are unavoidable at times, it’s important to limit distractions during meetings as much as possible. Making meetings phone- or email-free and requiring on-time attendance are two important steps for keeping distractions at a minimum and ensuring the most productivity.

You’ll also want to consider what time of day you hold meetings. For example, a meeting right before lunch or at the end of the day will likely reduce meeting effectiveness, as people will feel restless and anxious to leave.

4. Assign clearly defined action items.

Without a plan of action at the end, most meetings will prove to be useless. Regardless of how big or small a meeting may be, it’s critical to assign action items to the group at the end. This will ensure actionable decisions are made and there are specific individuals assigned to execute given tasks. An action plan promotes accountability from everyone involved and provides a launchpad for getting things done after the meeting is over.

A commitment to running productive meetings can influence every aspect of your organization, from operations to employee retention. Implementing the practices above will improve the way in which you conduct meetings on a regular basis, allowing your team to better accomplish goals and contribute to your bottom line.

Carlton Staffing has remained committed to providing innovative staffing solutions to Houston, Dallas and Fort Worth companies for over 30 years. Get in touch today and learn how a staffing partnership with Carlton Staffing will help your organization reach its workforce development goals.

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