Discover The Secrets to Having a Successful Business Meeting
Meetings dominate the way businesses are run today. Although most people complain about meetings, it is something that will continue to dominate the workplace. Most people tend to miss meetings or miss part of meetings, daydream and sometimes bring other work with them to meetings. Unproductive meetings results in the need for more meetings to accomplish business objectives, employees having less time to get work done due to precious time wasted in ineffective meetings, frustration among staff, less efficient employees and cost businesses extra expenses. Even though there is a general consensus in the workplace today about meetings that could be productive, only a few seem to make a change and improve them. The lack of commitment from employees could be because most of them have never really experienced the influence of a great and effective meeting and do not identify the importance of having better meetings or it could be the fact that it may be more convenient to continue current meeting practices regardless of its inefficiency. Most businesses don’t have access to the required information to improve meetings and employees tend to feel that they don’t have time to commit to improve meetings due to the workload. With businesses moving at a very fast pace meetings are a vital way to keep everyone informed hence the frequency for meetings is on the rise. A survey conducted by the Meetings Professionals International (MPI) reveals that the meeting industry contributes over £58.4 billion to the UK economy every year. MPI also included that, ‘the industry contributes £21.1bn in taxes and is the UK's 16th biggest employer with 515,423 people.’ Best practices for a successful business meeting include:
UNDERSTANDING, LEARNING AND COMMUNICATING THE BASICSGetting the basics right is the first step for a productive meeting which is providing proper training to all employees about effective meetings. As meetings are an integral part of a business, everyone within an organisation should understand the fundamentals of an effective meeting and the need to achieve the goals and objective of the organisation every time they meet. According to Maxine Attong, Author of the ‘Lead Your Team to Win’, ‘Intel Corporation is an example of an organisation that takes its meetings very seriously. Walk into any conference room at any Intel factory or office anywhere in the world and you will see a poster on the wall with a series of simple questions about the meetings that take place there: Do you know the purpose of this meeting? Do you have an agenda? Do you know your role? Every new employee, from the most junior production workers to the highest ranking executive, are required to take the company's course on effective meetings. For years, the course was taught by CEO Andy Grove, who believed that good meetings were such an important part of Intel’s culture that it was worth his time to train all employees.’ Michael Fors, Corporate training manager at Intel University explains that, ‘In our training program, we talk a lot about meeting discipline. It isn't complicated. Its doing the basics well, structured agendas, clear goals, paths that you're going to follow. These things make a huge difference.’
APPLICATION OF EFFECTIVE MEETING TECHNIQUESEffective meeting techniques include incentives for the employees to motivate them to apply what they have learned. Creation of a support team to assist management with the implementation and commitment of the new meeting methods.
USE OF TECHNOLOGYThe importance of team work has given rise to the need for implementing collaborative technology in the meeting room. The use of technology allows participants to access computer-based information, share data and automatically save information generated during their meetings leading to enhanced group relationship.
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