Meetings, in essence, are meant to boost productivity and efficiency. When everyone is on the same page and aware of what should be done, even the most challenging tasks can be completed.

In reality, we find ourselves stuck at unproductive meetings, week after week. Meetings are essential to a smooth-running company; unfortunately, many leaders don’t know how to use them effectively. In this post, we will provide some tips on how to – hopefully – remedy that.

• Minimize and optimise time spent by staff in meetings saves money. There’s good reason most employees and leaders celebrate meeting-free afternoons. Too frequently, meetings lack adequate preparation, which results in a bad use of valuable time. As you develop expertise and rise in seniority, people will seek your input more often, leading to more meetings on your diary and less time to get work done. Focusing without distraction on a cognitively demanding task is referred to as deep work. It’s essential for creativity and efficiency. Wasting time in meetings hinders a person’s ability to concentrate on their own tasks.

• Hold regular all-staff or team meetings to boost team spirit. A positive employee staff meeting can boost morale, help lower staff stress and frustration, and encourage new and innovative ideas. Though it may be difficult at first to get into the habit of conducting regular staff meetings, ensuring that they occur regularly and on a consistent basis will lead to better-informed and more productive employees.

• Assign meeting roles to build your employees skill sets. Most jobs run the risk of becoming repetitive, which can lead to employees becoming tired and uninspired. Meetings can be a good antidote to the workday doldrums. Any meeting brings with it the chance to assign a few roles, such as moderator, or chairperson, the person whose job is to make sure everyone sticks to the agenda and doesn’t go off topic.

• Forget office politics and bring out people’s different strengths. Every successful company strives to have well-functioning, self-reliant teams. But before this can happen the team members must learn the appropriate skills. And this is another benefit of meetings: they provide a useful opportunity to temporarily change the power dynamic in order to enhance skill sets.

• Use meetings to growth and sustain a strong network. By bringing together leadership and team members, meetings are the best way to make sure everyone is on the same page in regard to their goals and how well they’re moving toward them. One-on-one meetings every week, between a team leader and a relevant member of their staff are important for creating a support network that ensures evryone is on the right track, that problems aren’t being sat on and that lower-level employees know that management values their efforts.

• Organise retreats for the leadership team to develop your overall strategy. Your strategic planning retreat should be an inspiring event where your team members work together to achieve great things for your organisation. This requires a mix of creativity, collaboration and fun.

• Use technology and be aware of adjustments necessary for virtual meetings. There’s no avoiding the fact that things change, and that goes for meetings as well. Virtual meetings are becoming increasingly popular for co-workers to stay connected. So even of you’re away from the office, you can use the power of technology, along with the power of a good meeting, to keep your team connected and motivated.

Final thoughts…
There are good meetings and there are bad meetings. Bad meetings drone on forever, you never seem to get to the point, and you leave wondering why you were even present. Effective ones leave you energized and feeling that you’ve really accomplished something. The key to leading a productive meeting rather than a timewaster? Organisation.

By learning how to run effective meetings, leaders can reduce wasted time, increase accountability and collaboration, and provide opportunities for personal development. Above all, effective meetings enable individuals to connect with one another and clearly understand how their actions impact the team and organisation.