Conducting Effective Business Meetings [Complete Guide]

All organizations strive to become more productive and accomplish more to be the best or to be among the best in their industry. However, with running a business, there can be a lot of challenges.

With doing business operations and handling organizational issues, having good communication is paramount. One way companies ensure good communication is to hold effective business meetings. There are different types of business meetings

The trouble is, most business meetings end up becoming unproductive. According to The Muse, executives considered over 67% of meetings as failures. Here are more results from their survey:

  • 15% of an organization’s time is spent in meetings collectively.
  • Unproductive meetings cost over $37 billion per year.
  • Employees can spend up to 4hrs a week just to prepare for a simple status update meeting.
  • 92% of workers multitask in meetings.
  • 69% of workers check their email during meetings.
  • 4% of multitasking are during video calls and 57% are during phone calls.

While business meetings are essential, there can be negative impacts if more than half or even most of the meetings are unproductive. Instead of moving forward in a much faster pace, growth of the company can instead become stunted.

Conductive effective business meetings can be done through following these steps:

Be Prepared

Conducting effective business meetings start with preparation. Having incomplete or no preparation at all is much like going into a battlefield ill-prepared. Before you even call for a meeting, know everything that needs to be discussed.

Organize all the details so the meeting will be smooth. With insufficient preparation, a meeting can still end up with gaps and unaddressed issues. Moreover, having incomplete preparation can have everyone just dabbling into the issue. 

This means that the meeting won’t have a structure nor a concrete conclusion. According to Inc., these are 7 ways on how you can become better prepared for meetings:

  1. Research the attendees.
  2. Determine clear objectives.
  3. Plan a suggested agenda.
  4. Consider any obstacles.
  5. Remove any roadblocks.
  6. Decide on desirable outcomes.
  7. Think about follow-up activities.

People are handling jobs and are busy at their work. Time is the most valuable resource and having an unprepared meeting is just wasting that resource. To have a more concise, hard-hitting discussion, always plan and prepare. 

A lot of meetings go bad because people are unprepared. It takes good preparation to elevate the quality of your meetings.

Invite People Relevant to the Agenda

Remember that along with preparation is coming up with the agenda. According to highfive, no more than 37% of meetings in the United States use agendas. Moreover, they also mentioned how having and following the agenda can reduce meeting times by up to 80%. 

Once you have an agenda, just invite people who are relevant to the agenda. There’s no need to invite people who don’t have the knowledge or skill set to take action. What matters are people who can contribute. 

Moreover, stick to the agenda. Going off topic can derail the meeting and can cause lost time. If there are other issues that need to be addressed that are not involved in the agenda in a direct manner, address them after the main issue and if there’s still time for it. 

Start and End on Time

A good way to show and practice discipline and forming the habit of conducting effective business meetings is to start and end on time. Everyone has their own personal work schedule and going beyond the supposed end of a meeting doesn’t just display inability to follow a schedule but it also disrupts work productivity of attendees.

Instead of having more time to work, workers spend their time on the prolonged meeting. Having an extended meeting time can be disrespectful as it can mean that the personal schedule of workers isn’t being taken into consideration. 

Allot a time for each item on the agenda and also for attendees to share their thoughts about the issues. This way, everyone can become more time-conscious and become more focused on resolving issues within the allocated time. 

Give Action Items

Unless the meeting is just to disseminate information, apoint action items to the right people. A meeting can end with a call to action but without specific instructions given to anyone, it can lead to poor results. 

To conduct a productive business meeting, have someone take down the meeting minutes. Get feedback, summarize everything that has been discussed including the assignments and know the necessary platform for updates if another meeting should be conducted or if the updates can be given through other means. 

Regardless if the meeting is to come up with new products or services or to come up with better strategies to empower employees or improve employee retention, you can follow this guide to ensure ideal results. 

Now that you have excellent methods in conducting effective business meetings, begin to use them and experience a difference in company productivity, performance and profitability.