Making the Most of Your Team Meetings

Work meetings are an essential part of any company’s ecosystem. They can deliver relevant information keep employees updated on changes create a platform for discussion and can even spark creativity within your team. However a lot of businesses are struggling in making these types of meetings a reality. One consulting firm Get a Klu explains that professionals can lose up to 31 hours a month on unproductive meetings. That’s a lot of money to be throwing away when you aren’t getting the results you are hoping for. So what are some ways in which you can facilitate more constructive workplace meetings?

We’ve listed some suggestions to help get you started.

Be Conscious of the Time
In this day and age it’s a given that our attention span might not be what it used to be. Keeping meetings short and simple without going off track is extremely important. Many companies are adapting a 15-minute rule adjusting the time frame when needed. Some even keep a timer on hand to remind them when they should start wrapping it up. One company that does a great job of following this advice is TED. At TED they try to keep all of their talks around 18 minutes long as studies have shown that the average person’s attention span is anywhere from 10 to 18 minutes. Going over that time frame can lead to employees tuning out.

Set the Expectations
It should be known to all of those attending any meetings that they are expected to contribute. Over at Entrepreneur a magazine publication dedicated to small business the rule is that if you don’t chime in you aren’t invited back. Letting your employees know from the start that they are there to add to the topic at hand and not just fill a chair empowers them to speak up and join in on the discussion.

Stand Up
Speaking of chairs you might want to get rid of them. Statistics show that meetings have been proven to produce more creativity and give room to more collaboration between peers when they aren’t confined to their seats. It also eliminates the whole “classroom’ feel most people get when they are stationed around a table. Some companies take it even further by leaving the conference room for a more comfortable spot outside. And why wouldn’t they?
Employees sit at their desks most of the day. Giving them a little sunshine never hurt anyone.

Give Public Accountability
When Steve Jobs held meetings for Apple he would make sure that every task had what he called a D.R.I. – directly responsible individual. Doing so made sure that everything discussed at meetings had someone who was in charge. This is a great way to not only have someone be accountable for each task it lets the rest of the team know who they should report to if they have any questions or comments related to it.

Off-site Outdoor Places to Hold Meetings
San Francisco
Yerba Buena Gardens
South Park
Justin Herman Plaza

Lake Merritt
Lafayette Square Park
Frank H. Ogawa Plaza

Walnut Creek
Civic Park
Alma Park
Walden Park