The average manager spends 35 percent of their work hours in corporate meetings. Higher-up managers spend about 50 percent of their time in meetings. Stats like these are why it’s important for your company’s meetings to be as productive as possible.
In this article, we address six major meeting room issues along with tips for keeping your meetings on-track, efficient, progressive, and effective.
Do those pre-scheduled or recurring meetings in your calendars really help?
Too often, that recurring meeting comes around with no new developments. Yes, these meetings are a great reminder to touch base with the team. However, to avoid wasted hours and unnecessarily booked meeting rooms, don’t forget to assess the importance of each recurring meeting and cancel the ones you don’t need.
The same goes for pre-scheduled meetings. Look ahead in your calendar at your pre-scheduled team meetings. Will the team be ready for the meeting? Were there any road bumps and holdups? Should the meeting be postponed?
Prioritizing your meeting minutes is a great way to stay on topic and make sure all issues are addressed. Don’t just create a list of everything your team needs to cover, but prioritize it.
The human attention span is 20 minutes. Maximum. Therefore, make sure to bring up the most important, time-sensitive topics at the beginning of your meeting.
Set your goals for each meeting agenda before the meeting begins. If you haven’t figured out the goals, make your meeting goal “figuring out the project goals.” Enter each meeting thinking, “We’re going to decide…”
Also, plan for time to have a healthy debate. Many of the best ideas are reached when many heads are put together. Therefore leave time for your teammates to hash out a plan.
If the team reaches a decision-making stalemate, be prepared to walk away and give your teammates time to reflect. Some decisions are best left for another day.
Dominant and silent participants
Sometimes the best ideas come from the quietest teammates. Therefore, it’s important that every meeting gives the more reserved teammates a chance to be heard.
More dominant personalities need to learn to be quiet and listen from time to time. Very often, the dominant personalities press their ideas on the rest of the team, leaving little to no room for other, possibly better, ideas.
More reserved teammates can change a good idea to a great one when given the chance. But they rarely speak if they might not be heard. Therefore, plan for quiet moments where these teammates are given a chance to speak up.
Finishing on time
I’m sure we’ve all been there: standing outside of the meeting room wondering who among you is brave enough to kick someone else’s team out of the meeting room you booked.
Every company has issues with meetings going on too long. Staying past your booked time slot, hoping or assuming no one booked the room after you, is disrespectful to the next team. Valuable time is wasted as employees wait around until the room is free, doing their best to give the overreaching team time to wrap up.
Having clear signage outside of each meeting room can help teams stay on track and know if the room has back-to-back bookings. For example, Joan’s meeting room displays clearly show each meeting room’s schedule, reminding teams to clear out the rooms on time.
According to Joan’s data, 31 percent of meeting room bookings result in no-shows. That’s a huge amount of wasted real estate.
Implementing a meeting room booking system with a check-in option is a great solution. With Joan 6, teams use the touch display to check in when they arrive at the meeting room. If the team doesn’t check in within the set timeframe, the meeting room status changes from booked to available.
Plan. The best advice for organizing a corporate meeting is to plan. That’s not to say spend hours organizing your meeting minutes because sticking to a strict schedule can quell your teammates’ thoughts, opinions, and freedom to speak up. Instead, simply have a regular checklist for each meeting:
- What’s the meeting’s purpose?
- Is our team ready to meet?
- What are your priorities?
- What decisions does our team need to make?
- Did everyone have a chance to speak?
- Is the room booked after our meeting?
Lastly, be a team player and un-book your meeting room if you’re not going to show up. The earlier you cancel your meeting, the better chance that another team in need can claim it. And if you won’t cancel it, at least have Joan 6 ready to cancel the meeting for you.