With over 11 million meetings taking place in the U.S. each day, the average office employee spends over five hours each week in meetings and over four hours preparing for them, while the average manager is estimated to spend up to twelve hours in meetings. That’s a significant amount of time, opportunity cost, and energy, with unnecessary and poorly run meetings costing U.S. businesses approximately $37 billion each year. Even with the rise of remote meetings, the value of face-to-face collaboration and relationship building should never be underestimated. In today’s technology-driven world, our meetings have the tools and power to be more effective, and it’s important to consider new methods that can bring greater value to today’s workforce.
Here are four of our top tips to get the most out of your meetings:
Take the Time to Prepare a Clear Agenda
Though it seems obvious, having a set agenda is one of the most important tools to ensure a successful meeting. Not only does it outline the desired outcomes for the meeting, but it also sets the tone for your employees and lets participants understand and properly prepare for discussions. An agenda ensures that meetings are conducted in an orderly fashion, keeps discussions on track, and ensures that no key points are forgotten. It also communicates to attendees that there is a clear and legitimate reason for them to be onsite and engaged.
Have a Change of Scenery
The most effective meetings are the ones that spur creative conversations and collaborative engagement, and sometimes an off-site session is an effective way to revitalize creative energies and gain new perspectives. Even if it’s just a fun way to boost office morale, getting the team out of the office can breathe new life into employees. Forum makes taking meetings offsite easy by transforming your laptop into a presentation server so that you can share your screen to every meeting attendees’ smartphone, tablet or laptop without the need for cables or WiFi. No monitors or projectors are needed, giving you greater flexibility on the team’s choice for the meeting location.
Keep Attendees Engaged
If an employee has been invited to attend your meeting and is employed by your business, it’s a fairly safe assumption that their contribution is a worthy one. And even more important, there’s a major opportunity cost for your employee’s time. Therefore, it’s key that every attendee isn’t just talked at, but has the opportunity to provide insights and ask questions in order to maximize your meeting’s outcome. While the workplace always has both extroverts, who strive on speaking up, and introverts, who hate speaking in front of a crowd, gathering feedback from every attendee is an essential task for every manager. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 74% of people fear public speaking, and having to ask questions increases this anxiety. Forum creates a safe space for people to express themselves with a variety of collaboration features, such as audience polling and a discreet Q&A feature, that make meetings more engaging and ensures that even the shyest introvert in the room has a voice.
Don’t Forget the Follow Up
No great idea is effective if it’s not put into place, and that’s why a summary with measurable action items is one of the most imperative tasks to keep your meetings cost efficient and effective. Make any presentations immediately available with Forum’s file sharing feature and avoid any misinterpretations with an email highlighting items discussed, outcomes, and tasks delegated.
To learn more, book a free virtual demo of Forum today.