Although entirely necessary in the workplace, meetings have become an office nightmare for productive employees. They always seem to either take too long, are not long enough, or end with no solutions—making them unsustainable for both the company and the staff. The key is going in with a master plan. Here are a few ways to make that happen:
Tablets are not only a great way to manage your expectations for a meeting, but they’re also an efficient way of sharing data, ideas, and next steps. A variety of apps are available that allow your team to collaborate in real-time, whether in a meeting or on-the-go. Take notes as the meeting is in progress or create digital meetings that allow input from anywhere. Meetings are most effective when everyone is involved and can take information from others efficiently.
Have an agenda
Whether you’re brainstorming a solution to a problem or having a roundtable discussion, your meeting needs an agenda. Prepare what needs to be discussed, plan for goals that need to be met, and create expectations that must be met within a certain time frame. Apps like MyMeetingPro (MMP) can help you keep time while the meeting is in progress, take notes with whiteboard technology and record audio for up to two hours, so nothing gets lost along the way.
Keep your time and stay on track
As mentioned above, there are apps that specifically help you keep things on track. But if you want to simplify the process and you have multiple projects or issues to discuss, set a timer on your smartphone to equally divide your meeting into sections, each dedicated to one subject. Never try to wing it. Make sure there’s never a question of what the topic and goals are. Keeping people on task is always hard, so make it easier on yourself by planning ahead.
Use apps to collaborate in real-time
Don’t have time for a two-hour meeting about where to throw the next office holiday party? No worries, there are plenty of apps that make it easy for you to multitask with real-time collaboration on the go. Apps like Flow allow your team to communicate in one organized place. Categorized chat rooms and task management queues clearly display what’s been discussed and who’s in charge of what. Having responsibilities laid out beforehand is critical to making sure things get done.
Ensure your staff has concrete goals and next steps
The most important way to make meetings more effective is to always create a solution or goal. One way to guarantee you do this is to assign each participant a task in order to move the project forward. Whether it’s something as simple as following up with the client or more complicated like beginning work on a presentation, remember to set deadlines and follow through with them. These steps are what make projects continuous and forward-thinking.