Rule #1 Don’t call a meeting.

Don’t bother going through the hassle of organizing a meeting just shoot an email! It can seem surprising but meetings are not always efficient because people do not necessarily have time in their work schedule. If you are about to call a meeting, ask yourself this question: would sending an email solve this particular issue? If the answer to this question is yes then just send an email.

Rule #2 Make sure to be clear about the purpose of the meeting and who needs to attend it.

Not everyone in the department needs to be present. Only people who are needed to achieve the purpose of the meeting need to attend it. You will see that they will become more effective. Don’t worry no one will be upset they did not get invited to the meeting. Though, you need to be objective about the situation. Do not pick people regarding your feelings towards them.

Rule #3 Have an agenda and send it out in ADVANCE.

If you are already giving away an agenda, it is very good. Members of the meeting will know what they will discuss. To improve the efficiency of the meetings, send out the agenda in advance to your employees to give them time to prepare for it. Send out an email the day before or at least an hour before the meeting (if it was planned the same day).

If you do not send an agenda in advance, your employees will need time to think about each topic during the meeting and it is not easy to find an answer right at the moment. But if you send out the agenda in advance, people will have plenty of time to reflect on the topics of the meeting.

Rule #4 Send a reminder of the meeting.

It is easy to get caught up with the workflow and forget about the meeting. Send a reminder to each member to avoid any absences or lateness. You can set up an automatic email with a reminder in it. Microsoft has very useful tools for that.

Rule #5 Manage the meeting efficiently.

The main goal of a meeting is to be useful and efficient. To do so it is important to manage it properly.

  • Getting to meetings prepared (manager and employees)
  • Making sure to have someone who takes notes during the meeting
  • Maintaining the group focused
  • Checking the time
  • Managing distractions
  • Managing conflicts (careful some conflicts are useful)

Rule #6 Write a memo and send it out.

Everyone has a lot on their plate with tasks, responsibilities, deadlines, and numerous meetings. It is not possible to remember everything that was said during one particular meeting. That is why writing a memo is useful. It is easy to go back to what was said during the meeting if anyone needs to. A memo also helps to make sure everyone understood the same thing during the meeting.