Management Meetings: How useful are they really?

Management meetings can be long, tedious and unproductive, but sometimes an essential part of managing a team.

Management meetings allow you to get all of your managers or department leaders in one place to check-in, monitor progress and discuss plans. They can also be an excellent way to gather feedback from your managers, brainstorm ideas and troubleshoot any issues they may want to raise.

Once you have everyone together, you then have the problem that in a general meeting, some topics won’t always be relevant to everyone attending. Attentions can wain, and it is easy to drift off-topic. Sometimes employees can feel quite resentful when they have to attend meetings that they feel are a waste of time. Ineffective and unproductive meetings can have a negative impact on employee morale, so this is always something to consider.

So the answer to the question ‘Do I need Management Meetings?’ is Yes! But perhaps the more pertinent questions is how often you need them? And, how can you make sure the meetings you are having are as fruitful, positive and productive as they can be?

Do I need a Management Meeting?

If you are thinking of scheduling a meeting, the first things you want to think about are:

  • Do you really need one?
  • What do you want to achieve as a result of having a meeting?
  • Is there a better way to communicate the information?

If you decide that a meeting is still the best way to discuss what you need, then the next step is to go ahead and organise your meeting.

Planning Management Meetings

The key to a successful meeting is to have a plan. When groups of people get together with no clear agenda, purpose or desired outcome, it is unlikely that the time is going to be spent productively.

When you are planning your meeting think about:

  • Who needs to attend? – Don’t just invite people for the sake of it!
  • Your agenda – In your agenda, you want to clearly define your objectives and prioritise the most critical points of discussion.  Allow enough time for each agenda item and make it clear whether each agenda item requires a decision.
  • Time and place – Meetings nearly always overrun, so allow plenty of time for discussion, but don’t allow so much time that your meeting can go on and on as it is likely that you’ll go off track.  Find an open space with plenty of air and natural light to help your attendees feel more alert and productive.

The meeting

As the person organising the meeting, you have a specific role, and it isn’t just to talk! The purpose of a meeting leader is to:

  • Manage the session to keep it running smoothly.  If you feel like you are getting diverted to discuss topics off the agenda, ‘park them’ (make a note) and address these in a separate meeting or conversation with that person/team later.
  • Ensure everyone contributes and gets to have a say.  Some people may be more outspoken than others, and if you feel some people are monopolising the conversation thank them for their comments and allow other people to speak.
  • Ensure meeting objectives are met.  You have your agenda with your specific objectives already prepared. Ensure you address all the points on your agenda in the meeting

Closing the meeting

When it is time to draw your meeting to a close, you’ve hopefully covered all your agenda points and met the objective of the meeting. It is a good idea at this point to quickly summarise and re-cap what has been discussed and ensure action points have been noted down.  Information your attendees that information will be cascaded and action points will be communicated in a timely manner.

After the meeting

It is easy after a meeting to forget what has been said and what was decided and so it is vital that you either make notes during the meeting or record the meeting so you can refer back to this.  Better still, if you can get someone impartial to take notes this will allow you to focus on running the meeting and will ensure accurate notes were taken.

Good steps to take after Management meetings are:

  • To type up notes and share these with attendees while thanking them for attending
  • Identify action points and ensure these are assigned to the relevant people with deadlines attached.

Whether you are new to being a manager, or you were looking for some tips and tricks to improve your management meetings, we hope you’ve found this blog useful. For more information on being effective management, please do get in touch, and we’d love to discuss how Altum HR can help you.

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