Five Steps to Making Your Meetings More Effective

The majority of workplace meetings are inefficient and less productive than they could be. Attending meetings often takes time away from actively working, meaning a poorly run meeting can be a waste of everyone’s time and result in a loss of productivity. With the rise in telecommuting and the globalization of the workplace, employees are not always physically present for meetings. Although employees generally benefit from these alternative types of work arrangements, it can make certain workplace functions, such as meetings, especially challenging. Researchers have made several recommendations about how to make meetings more engaging, these can be especially useful when not everyone is physically present.

Step 1. Set clear objectives, and have an agenda.

One of the best ways to run a more effective and engaging meeting is by setting clear objectives for the meeting and providing attendees with a detailed agenda. All too often agendas are left vague and open-ended, this does a disservice to your employees.

Step 2. Emphasize punctuality.

People showing up, or dialling in late disrupts the flow of the meeting and distracts from the discussion at hand.

Step 3. Be prepared.

Ensuring that employees are prepared for a meeting is paramount. When called on to share information with others, an unprepared employee may stumble in search for notes causing further delay. On the other hand, an employee who is prepared will have an answer ready and waiting.

Step 4. Minimize other distractions.

Smartphones and laptops are great for working on the go, however, they can be a real distraction during meetings and detract from employee focus during a meeting.

Step 5. Direct the conversation.

Encourage employees to speak up during meetings. Calling on specific employees to respond to questions or comments helps keep everyone engaged and the conversations moving. Furthermore, use a timer to avoid spending too much time on one topic. This will also help you stick to the agenda.

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Achievers. (2015, September 11). Five ways to make meetings more engaging. Retrieved from

Cohen, J. (2016, September 12). Use subtle cues to encourage better meetings. Retrieved from:

Geimer, J. L., Leach, D. J., DeSimone, J. A., Rogelberg, S. G., & Warr, P. B. (2015). Meetings at work: Perceived effectiveness and recommended improvements. Journal of Business Research68(9).

About the Author

Sharon Van Duynhoven

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Sharon brings our tests and assessments from the development stage to marketable product. She ensures quality control at every step of a project, edits technical documents and manuals, and artistically enhances reports and resources. She also manages contracts with clients across the globe and answers technical questions.