Effective team meetings create opportunities for staff to exchange ideas, solve problems together, and get results. The productivity boost from effective meetings can mean more efficiency, higher productivity, and a focus contributing to your profitability and business success.
How To Structure An Effective Team Meeting Online Or In-Person
Research by global HR consultants Mercer shows top employees are three times more likely to work for a company with a strong sense of purpose. Structuring an effective team meeting helps provide focus and a sense of purpose.
As a team leader, it’s critical to ask the most vital question – is this meeting necessary? If so, your job is to create the structure for a productive team meeting in-person or online.
Here are four effective meeting strategies to make team meetings more effective:
- Use agendas: A practical meeting agenda provides focus, sets expectations, and shows your team why a meeting matters. Effective team leaders circulate agendas in advance, ask for feedback, and use it to keep the discussion on track.
- Start and finish on time: Effective time management shows you’re in charge and recognizes that your team members’ time is essential. Starting and ending on time reinforces that project timelines matter.
- Clarify: Always identify “next steps” for each meeting agenda item. Identify who’s responsible for the task and timing. That provides a sense of purpose and ownership for results.
- Establish To Dos'/Action Items: It's important that each member of the meeting has a clear understanding of what is expected of them and what is needed to be accomplished by a certain date. Make sure someone is an Action Item or To Do list is generated during that meeting and they are assigned with due dates to the certain team member. This will help accomplish your goals and keep your projects on track.
The structure will help the team focus and get better, more measurable results for your business.
Tips for Running a Productive Team Meeting
Did you know 37% of work time is spent in meetings, and nearly half considered their time wasted. Every minute wasted in a meeting means one less minute for efficient, productive project work outside of meetings. Here are a few tips I use to run more effective team meetings.
Circulating materials such as reports, fact sheets, data, or slide presentations in advance with the agenda save time. Rather than go through the information in the meeting, set expectations that info is reviewed in advance. You’ll get higher quality conversations, problem-solving, and ideas as a result. Also, giving your team access to data ahead of time, such as a quick snapshot of your business in a 'scorecard' will allow them to bring any necessary issues for discussion. This way you can quickly go through your numbers during the meeting, and then save time to discuss any outlining issues during an 'issue' section of the meeting.
Don’t break up your manager and employee workdays. Schedule meetings earlier in the day or experiment with lunchtime or end-of-day to see what works best. That leaves larger blocks of productive time for employees to focus and get results.
When working with online meeting tools like Skype and Zoom or G Chat, smart managers get the technology ready 10 minutes ahead of time to ensure the meeting starts on-time without any technical difficulties.
How to Communicate Effectively in Meetings
Effective communication in meetings is all about listening, collaboration, and focus. As a leader, your job is to be well prepared in advance, communicate effectively, and ensure communication is clear, consistent, and on track before and after the meeting.
Summarizing conversations and clarifying important points gets everyone focused and sets them on the road to responsibility for the tasks and the timelines. With effective meeting management, your business will achieve better results on the road to profitability.
How do you manage your team meeting in your business? Share with me on
About the Author, James Webster
James Webster, founder and CEO of ROK Financial has almost two decades of experience within the financial services industry. His passion for helping small business owners and his innovative way of thinking, has allowed him to run multiple successful businesses including National Business Capital & Services. Under the National name, the team was able to help secure over $1 Billion in financing for small businesses nationwide.