Employees of every class know that a business meeting can be one of two things: an opportunity to get on the same page with their team or a complete waste of time.
But what can managers and executives do to make the most out of their meetings? Finding the right pacing, or “cadence,” for a meeting is an essential first step.
How often a manager holds a meeting can go a long way to determining how much employees get out of the experience and how much work is accomplished.
Here are four tips to make the most of business meetings through great scheduling.
1.) Make Sure Your Agenda is Full
Take it from experience: Nothing takes the purpose out of a meeting more than employees thinking, “Why am I here again?”
A great business meeting relies on having enough agenda items to keep employees engaged but not having too many topics to cover in one sit down.
Finding the sweet spot in a business meeting can take some clever scheduling, but taking at least two weeks between meetings can help managers find enough agenda items to fill a meeting without going over the allotted time.
2.) Don’t Stuff Your Meetings with Important Items
On the flip side of giving employees a chance to breathe between meetings, managers should be cautious about waiting too long and holding jam-packed marathon sessions.
The sweet spot for employees relies on having just enough actionable items on the agenda to keep them interested and not fall into daydreaming.
Managers should be willing to rethink and rework their meeting schedule to accommodate the needs of any given week or month. The goal is workshop and cover enough information to make the meeting feasible to follow up on.
3.) Avoid Overloading Meetings
Even in the busiest season of a business’ year, bombarding employees with meetings can have the converse effect of pulling them away from their work. In addition, managers run the risk of alienating their employees and making them feel like they are being micromanaged.
When in doubt, I advise aiming for a few days longer between meetings than normal. That gives managers time to craft a solid agenda and give employees the time to research topics and bring constructive discussion to the boardroom.
Scheduling can seem difficult, but two rules of thumb are always respect employees’ time and workload and always keep them invested in meetings.
4.) Meetings Aren’t Everything
This tip might seem out of place in this blog, but consider the fact that a meeting is just one facet of your working relationship with employees.
A great meeting is an opportunity to keep employees updated and introduce opportunities for follow up and growth. For managers who feel their meetings aren’t captivating their employees, it’s important to take the focus off the meeting and keep it on relationships with employees.
Use meetings as a chance to convey necessary information and always leave the door open for constructive communication and mutual goal building.