Meetings are a key part of any business. They inform both employers and employees of any changes, new products or services, and additional information that will benefit the business.
About half of Americans say that now they are expected to attend longer and more frequent meetings than they were the previous year, according to research conducted by Klaxoon. But are they really getting more accomplished? Workers don't think so: The survey found that 22 percent of respondents feel most meetings are a waste of time.
Klaxoon also found that the most common things Americans are doing in meetings are daydreaming, working on other projects, checking social media, reading the news and shopping online.
"The results of this survey underscore that people learn best when they are really collaborating and interacting," said Matthieu Beucher, CEO of Klaxoon, in a statement. "When they aren't, their minds wander and meetings fail."
Based on the survey, here are a few ways to make meetings more successful.
1. Provide the agenda ahead of time with relevant topics.
Sending the agenda out to all attendees ahead of time allows them to read it over and prepare for what will be discussed. This provides a structure for the meeting to follow. It also allows attendees to prepare any information or questions they may have about the topics.
According to the survey, almost half of Americans said a meeting was successful because it had an agenda to work from, and a little over half said because the topics discussed were relevant. Topics that include everyone in the meeting allow for more participation and, in turn, provide opportunities for collaboration.
2. Make the goals of your meeting clear.
Whether the meeting is intended to inform about a new product or service, make a decision about a project, or change a policy, the goals need to be clear from the start. This helps to keep the conversation focused. The agenda should outline the goals, and the meeting should conclude with all goals accomplished.
3. Establish an engaging facilitator.
Just under half of those surveyed said they prefer a meeting where everyone has a turn to speak. Additionally, "introverts are 35 percent less likely to speak up in a meeting without being called upon." Facilitators calling on employees to weigh in allows the conversation to flow more easily and encourages more people to participate.
The facilitator will be responsible for keeping the conversation on track, ensuring all goals are met before the end of the meeting. They will also engage employees with questions, hands-on projects, visuals and group collaboration opportunities.