Meetings can be a huge drain on the time and energy of your staff. Too many internal meetings can reduce the time deathcare staff has to attend to clientele needs or spend on sales and marketing efforts to get new clientele.
But meetings are also an effective tool for communication, and most organizations can’t get rid of them altogether. Use this simple tip to make the meetings you must have as efficient as possible: Create an agenda for every meeting and stick to it.
Following an agenda cuts down on tangents that might be better suited for another meeting or a different audience altogether. It also helps ensure the team manages meeting time appropriately. Taking this approach can reduce the time you spend in meetings by up to 80%—potentially saving hours every week that can be used for other work.
Follow the following steps to best integrate agendas into your meeting practices:
- Decide the purpose and goal. If you can’t articulate the reason for a meeting and the desired outcome in a simple sentence or two, you may be dealing with an issue that requires more than a meeting. Or, you may have an issue that doesn’t require a meeting at all. Starting with this step helps you decide if a meeting is necessary.
- Brainstorm the list of topics. Decide what topics you need to cover in the meeting. You might do this on your own or in email or chat with staff members.
- Create a written agenda, with time elements, if possible. Order the topics in a logical way and put them into a written agenda. If possible, assign the number of minutes you’ll spend on each item.
- Share the agenda with everyone. Forward the agenda to meeting participants beforehand so they have time to review and can prepare to speak to the topics on it. Best practice is to include the agenda when you send out invites, but you can append it later as well.
- Stick to the agenda during the meeting. Stick to the agenda. Assign someone as a timekeeper to notify meeting participants when you’ve spent a certain amount of time on each topic. If you can’t resolve a topic within the allotted time, consider tabling it for a future meeting.
You can also use agendas for meetings with clientele or potential clientele. Obviously, you can’t be as stringent on time and topic management in such meetings; you wouldn’t likely remind a grieving widow that you only intended to spend five minutes on a particular topic and need to move on. However, providing clientele with a list of topics you plan to go over and going through them in order can provide a structure that helps ensure all information is covered.