Companies conduct meetings so that the new and fresh ideas of the young generation are combined with the experience and practical approach of the matured generation. But however, these meetings are mostly a wastage of time and unproductive as there have been always a clash of thoughts and thus no results. Here, are certain things which need to be kept in mind to make meetings successful and productive.
How To Run Meetings Like The World’s Top Companies?
1. Only those required should be called:
A meeting place is not a park or a party hall where all the members of the office need to be called. Only those required should be called at the time of the meeting. The boss should take care that only those employees who are a part of the project are present at the meeting place. The boss should not hesitate to ask them to leave the meeting place when not required. According to many experts, there should be only 10-11 people at the time of the meeting. If there are more number of people who are not required, then the purpose of the meeting will not be saved and will result in wastage of time and money.
2. Meetings should be short and to the point:
All the members who are a part of the meeting shall try to make it a point that the meeting shall be short and to the point. The head of the meeting shall always make it a point that meeting are not prolonged for too long because then all the members present loose their interest in the meeting and always wait to get it over. Many experts have suggested that the employees lose their interest after 15-20 minutes, so after a point they will not be able to contribute any productive input to the meeting.
3. A decision maker shall be appointed:
In all the meetings a decision maker shall be appointed whose decision would be final. At the meetings all the members present their views as a result of which there is a clash of vies and generally there is a difficulty in decision making. So, it is always better to appoint a head whose decision will be taken as the final word and there will be no question raised in his decision.
4. Give free time to the employees after the meeting:
Every meeting, whether it is for a short time or a long time has its purpose and agenda. Every employee after the meeting feels stressed out and needs to relax. All the big companies after the meeting give some free time to their employees so that they can relax and new and fresh ideas flow in their mind. The time that is given to the employees is paid one so that they don t have any burden of loosing on their income. Google, provides 20% free time to their employees the result of which is Gmail and google earth. For an employee to generate new ideas needs to feel relaxed and feel free.
5. Location of the meeting is very important:
It is not always important that a meeting shall be conducted in the boardroom or any other official area. For employees to have an interest in the meeting the location is also an important factor. If the meeting is called in a park or in a café the employees will feel free, relaxed and they will try to give more innovative input in the meeting. However, if the boss wants to create meeting in the official area only then the kitchen is also an interesting idea.
6. Employees should be made to stand on their feet:
In the office, employees and the employers are always sitting. According to many expert studies, a person while sitting for an hour lose around twenty two minutes of their lives. So, all the companies shall try to conduct atleast 10-15 minutes of the meeting while standing. Like at Facebook where there is 15 minute one on one meeting where all the employees are made to stand up and then the meeting is conducted. Another important point to be noticed is that when the employees are made to stand their participation in the meeting is much higher than while sitting.
7. Input from all the people is important:
In all the meetings it is important that all the members present should give their valuable input. All the members when gives their input, keep on thinking about the new ideas that are very much with the flow of the meeting. These employees try to give new and innovative ideas as it will enhance their goodwill in the company. The employees also feel involved and wanted in the meeting. This will increase their contribution in the meeting.
8. Keep an agenda for the meeting:
Having an agenda for the meeting is the most important thing. If there is no agenda then the meeting will have no direction. The employees will have no interest in the discussions that are done at the meeting because they know that their discussion will lead no where. The head of the meeting should always keep a notebook with him where all the points to be discussed shall be listed. As the meeting proceeds the points that have been discussed shall be tick marked, so that no point is left without discussion.
9. All the employees shall know the purpose of the meeting:
All the employees who are present in the meeting shall know the purpose of the meeting. The employer shall before the meeting clearly mention the purpose of the meeting and what is expected of them. If the meeting is called for finding the solution to the problem, then the employees shall know the nature of the problem and what kind of solution they are supposed to give. The problem shall be explained in maximum five to seven words so that the employees shall not get confused.
10. Laptops shall be avoided in the meetings:
Laptops shall be avoided in the meetings because they surely create distractions to the employees. It is well advised by many experts that employees who take handwritten notes are tending to pay more attention to the purpose for which the meeting has been called. Also, the employees who don’t use laptops are able to give better productive input in the meeting. But, the employer shall ensure that the employees are given 10-15 minute break to check their emails in case the meeting is expected to run for a long time.
11. Mobile phones are big no in the meeting:
All the employees who are going to attend the meeting shall be asked in advance that their mobile phones are not allowed in the meeting. There are very few things that are very important that need the employee to attend the phone call. The employee who leads the meeting shall announce well before the meeting start that employees are not supposed to answer the calls while in the meeting as the flow of the meeting breaks and all the other employees are also distracted.
12. Make employees accountable:
Like, at Apple there is DRI, which means that all the employees are made responsible and directly accountable. All the senior employees shall be made directly accountable for the action of the company. The senior employees shall set an example for the younger employees that they are directly responsible to the public and it is nothing toe embarrassed about.
13. Use of Power Point shall be avoided:
Use of power point by the employees make the task simpler for the ones who are presenting their projects at the meeting, but it becomes boring for those who have to understand it. At Amazon, the use of power point is a strict no else they are supposed to use bullet points. This makes things not only interesting but also easy to understand.
14. Data should be used in the meetings:
Employees who are presenting their projects at the meetings shall make use of data to support their opinions. If there are no data used, then the meeting will become the place of debate as all the employees will present their opinion but there will be no data to support. The data that is used should be supportive both in terms of quality and quantity. Like, at Yahoo quantitative data is used in the meetings to support the opinions.
15. A note taker shall be at all the meetings:
A note taker shall always be appointed at all the meetings because there are two to three power point presentations at the meeting. If there will be a note taker then all the important points could be easily listed down. Also, if there is an employee who has meeting can get a copy of the same and coverup that is missing out.
16. A review note of the meeting shall be circulated:
A copy of what has been decided in the meeting shall be circulated in the office. This will make the employees remember all the important decisions that have been taken at the meeting. This will help the employees to work in the direction in which the goals of the company will be achieved.
17. Set time limit for the meeting:
At Google there are huge timers set at the meeting place so that there is a time limit set for the meetings. If there are timers at the meeting place, then the presenter at the meeting will make sure everything is going as per schedule.
18. Schedule meetings at regular intervals:
All the companies shall make it a point that they organize meetings at regular intervals. By doing this they will be able to discuss the matters that are coming up in the near future and those that require decision making of any sort. Also, the employer can keep a check at the various aspects of the companies and employees can be kept under check.
19. All those present shall be ready to be challenged and get challenged:
Steve Jobs once the CEO of Apple had the ability to make the employees cry if cross questioned by him. In all the companies, the employees when attending the meeting shall be able to question the senior when confused about some point and also be ready with the answers when questions are asked by the employer.
20. Stay positive about the meetings:
All those who are present at the meeting place shall be positive about the ideas that are being presented at the meeting. No idea shall be discarded at once. The pros and cons of all the ideas presented shall be calculated before discarding it.
21. New ideas shall always be welcomed:
New ideas shall always be welcomed by the employers. Generally at the meetings an employee who is presenting the new idea is criticized by other employees. The head of the meeting shall not only encourage new ideas, but also try to incorporate them in their work process.
22. Homework should be done by the employees:
All those who are attending the meeting shall come prepared with homework being done. This helps the employees to recapture of what has been done in the previous meetings so that they can proceed further. Also, the employees will cover up those points that have been missed earlier.
23. Respect other people’s time:
All the employees shall respect other peoples time. They know well in advance about the meeting so they should plan their other activities accordingly. People who don’t respect other people’s time shall not expect the same from the others as well.
Both Google and Apple are famous for not only technological innovations, but also for the ways they conduct their meetings. The meetings that are conducted at this place are not only more productive, but also are in the benefit of the employees. So, all the companies shall try to follow these simple steps and get the most out of their employees.