Business meetings are critical to keeping a company running smoothly, especially during difficult times, such as now when a company’s strategy is constantly changing. Many teams may hold their meetings online, but they should still respect each other’s time by making these gatherings productive and meaningful. Meetings provide the best opportunity for everyone to align their goals, make critical decisions and resolve any conflicts.
However, if these meetings are not properly conducted, they can quickly turn into a waste of time. This is especially wasteful when there are a large number of people attending. The more people are in attendance, the more work hours are lost. That means more money is being wasted. In this post, office space provider Connecticut Business Centers breaks down ten meeting mistakes that affect your productivity:
1. No Proper Meeting Agenda
Meetings with no clear agenda items are a waste of time. The team leader who organizes the meeting should send a detailed agenda to all meeting participants ahead of time. Team members who are in charge of bringing reports or information to the meeting should be informed ahead of time so that everyone is prepared.
2. Over Meeting
One of the most common complaints among professionals is that there are too many meetings on the calendar and not enough time to complete important tasks. When there are too many meetings, people often disengage, making it nearly impossible to have a productive and effective team meeting. Make sure that the number and frequency of meetings are needed by reviewing your meeting schedule. Some meetings in the office space can be shortened or shifted to every other week. Furthermore, frequent communication among team members can reduce the need for numerous meetings.
3. Arriving Late and Finishing Late
When you arrive late for a meeting, you send the message to your team members that your time is more valuable than theirs. Arrive on time and be courteous to other team members. Another vexing meeting issue is when there are only two minutes left in the scheduled meeting time and there are still action items to discuss. Rather than extending the meeting and prolonging it, team leaders should document the items to be covered and schedule a follow-up call for a good meeting time that is convenient for all.
4. Using of Cell Phones
Smartphones reduce the average human’s attention span and compete for attention. The use of phones inside the office space has its advantages but it divides focus. Leave your phone in another room or turn it face down to avoid being distracted. It’s also a good idea to prohibit computer use during meetings so that everyone can stay focused and make the most of the time.
5. No Ground Rules
Every team member should have a firm grasp of the meeting’s ground rules. To avoid misunderstandings and to establish resolutions, ground rules should be established. Make a list of your ground rules. You can even make a list of them and hang it on the wall in the meeting room. Also, make sure they are included in your new hire orientation.
If a person is unable to attend a meeting in the office space, they should be aware of who they should notify and how far advance notifications are acceptable. Interruptions should also be avoided because they derail meetings, and everyone should agree on what to do if a phone call or personal issue arises during a meeting. The meeting must also begin and end on time. You should also decide whether cell phone and computer use are permitted during the meeting.
6. Lack of Participation
The meeting organizer should design it so that each team member is engaged. When one or two decision makers are the only ones speaking during a meeting, the rest of the group finds it difficult to pay attention or feel that their contribution is valued.
Try assigning an agenda item to each team member. If they see their name next to an item, they will be more prepared, participate and pay closer attention. You can also delegate the task of taking minutes or taking notes to someone who will be required to remain alert.
7. Getting Off-Topic
This is a common problem when several members of a team are communicating via phone or video conferencing while working from home or in a remote office setting. Team leaders must be at ease when it comes to redirecting the group back on track to run the most productive meetings.
8. Meetings Regularly
Many teams hold weekly meetings with no agenda, but they do so out of habit even if there is nothing to discuss. Meetings that lack a clear objective or information to share are a huge productivity drain. If you don’t need a standing meeting, remove it from the calendar for that week and give your coworkers the time they need to focus on getting their work done in their office space.
9. Lack of Follow-Ups
Ensure that each meeting participant has a key takeaway from the meeting and understands their responsibilities. Send a follow-up message with a brief recap of the meeting following the meeting. Include action items that came out of the meeting, as well as who is responsible for what and by when. Each team member must understand what they will be held responsible for.
10. Not Assigning a Meeting Facilitator
Everything about attending a meeting where everyone is talking over each other makes me want to throw up my hands in frustration. It’s even worse when certain individuals begin to stray off the beaten path. It is inevitable that the conversation will become bogged down in pointless banter, and that everyone will eventually leave the room without accomplishing anything productive if there is no structure in place.
Before the meeting begins, it is a good idea to designate one person to serve as the meeting’s facilitator. When it comes to ensuring that everyone adheres to the agenda, they will be responsible for bringing the discussion back on track whenever it deviates from the original topic. It is also their responsibility to ask people to elaborate on any important topics that they believe require further discussion.
Grow your business with Connecticut Business Centers. Our services include long-term or short-term office space, virtual office space, and conferencing. By collaborating with us, you can increase your company’s visibility and presence. Call us at (203) 359-5600 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We proudly serve clients in Connecticut, including Stamford, CT.