By Muthoni Ndegwa
Measuring efficiency and productivity at the workplace can be achieved through several means. One common method is through regular meetings to discuss how much each employee has performed, the achievements experienced during the period, and the action points moving forward.
However, company meetings have become unpopular in most workplaces. Employees and managers alike agree that most meetings add no value to the company.
I met with Jeff, who is the general manager at a manufacturing company in Kisumu. He meets with different departments of the company once a week. Unfortunately, the meetings, as he puts it, ‘do not yield anything.’
Are you a leader in a department or company, but you struggle with having effective meetings?
How do you move from unproductive meetings to effective ones?
Jeff told me that over the last three months, the various departments have stopped meeting as there is no change noted whether the departments meet or not.
This, however, does not have to be the case.
Here is how you can have effective meetings with your employees.
At Corporate Staffing Services, we’ve adopted a strategy to ensure meetings achieve their objectives –to grow both the company and the employees.
Below is a breakdown of the strategy we use to ensure our meetings are effective.
1. Be mindful of everyone
Before you can schedule a meeting, you first need to evaluate and consider every attendant. Have you given the employees enough notice?
For example, the time you schedule should be appropriate for the employees and other attendants.
There are instances when one member is unavailable, in such a case, you can proceed as you can’t stop the meeting for the convenience of one employee.
When determining the meeting details, be mindful of the employees needs.
2. Be prepared
What is the purpose of the meeting?
After you’ve set the meeting date and venue, you should create an agenda for the meeting. Essentially, this is the main reason for calling the meeting.
After you have the agenda, circulate it to the employees in good time.
Informing everyone about the agenda will help them get in the right mindset and have the necessary requirements ahead of time.
For example, if you’re meeting to discuss the performance of your employees, each employee needs to produce a report of what they’ve done for a given period of time.
Having the agenda will help with time efficiency, accuracy, and accountability.
3. Have a schedule
A common reason most leaders dislike meetings is that they are time-consuming. If you want an effective meeting, create a schedule, and adhere to it.
In the schedule, note down each agenda, what you hope to accomplish, and how long it should take.
To save on time and efficiency, start the meeting on time, and end it on time.
4. Stay on topic
During the meeting, try and stick to the schedule and agenda previously set. In most meetings, you’ll notice one or two employees who may derail the discussion or add other items on the agenda.
To have an effective meeting, stick to the main purpose of meeting.
Additionally, this will help you focus on what each participant should do, instead of focusing on the distractions.
However, this is not to say you should lock out anyone who has a point to raise. Instead, choose whether you should tackle the issue, or push it to a different meeting.
5. Only hold meetings when necessary
There are organizations that meet twice a week, others still, meet daily.
In most instances, it may not be applicable to follow up on action points from the previous meeting before they are executed. Instead of having regular but ineffective meetings, you can meet once a month or after two weeks.
The important issue is to allow your employees to execute what was agreed upon in the previous meeting and for the results to be clearly seen and measured.
6. Have clear action points
Towards the end of the meeting, briefly recap what has been discussed and what each team member is to do.
Ensure the action points are recorded for future reference and accountability.
In summary, meetings are important to any department and organization. They help you see what you’ve done over a period of time, and what can be done to improve on performance. When following the guidelines above, you will be able to have effective meetings with your employees.
Muthoni Ndegwa is the Chief Operations Officer at Corporate Staffing Services.