If you must have a meeting and it only needs to be about ten minutes, don’t get everyone together — utilize video conferencing rather than meeting in person or voice alone. In this way, your on-site employees and the remote team can quickly get the information needed in a timely manner.
More than half of on-site employees aspire to work remotely in the future, so you may as well practice this way of meeting now. Video conferencing reduces meeting time, enhances productivity, and fosters employee relationships. It’s a well-known fact that on-site or off-site — unproductive meetings tend to lead to disengaged personnel.
To prevent a slash to your team’s productivity — utilize this checklist to assess the necessity of any meeting (maybe a quick email will work just fine). Here are a few guidelines.
Checklist for Meetings
- Is the issue urgent?
- Are you searching for dialogue or deliverables?
- Who is the designated accountable person for my task?
- How many ideas do I need assistance brainstorming?
- Are we meeting to discuss a new concept or project?
- What is my optimal outcome?
How frequently do we require status updates if this is a reoccurring meeting?
- Is there time to prepare?
- Is everyone I’m inviting required?
- What is each person’s function in this meeting?
- Can we meet through video call?
- How long should we meet?
- Is the plan clear?
- Is the conference room AV ready?
- Do we need this meeting now, or can it wait?
If you’re unsure, check this list before sending out calendar invitations.
1. Is the issue urgent?
This is the first question to ask yourself. If you need to communicate, quickly consider Slack or Microsoft Teams. You can brief critical decision-makers and leaders and determine if you need to meet at all, or whether other team members should be consulted first.
In short, if you have an urgent problem that demands feedback from other team members, you’ll need to meet. But make sure you alert others quickly.
2. Do I want a dialogue or deliverables?
Before sending out calendar invites, think about the sort of meeting you want to have. As hybrid work becomes the norm, more distant employees may wish to meet in person. Meetings lower remote employees’ productivity by 1.8 times more than on-site workers, so be mindful of other schedules. Also, be aware of your remote employees’ time so they can attend on-site if needed. Last-minute meetings tend to leave your remote employees out or unprepared.
If you want your core team to share ideas, you’ll need to convene a meeting.
A meeting may not be necessary if you only need to collaborate on a project or examine other team members’ work. Remind the team of deadlines and ask for comments or contributions to shared team papers instead. Google Drive and Dropbox Paper are valuable platforms for receiving team input and modifications. Instead of scheduling a meeting, use emails or instant messages to remind people.
If tasks can be completed offline — do it. You may then meet in person or over a video to discuss the project’s progress at a later date with new ideas.
3. Who is the designated accountable person for my task?
Before arranging the meeting, ask yourself this question. If you’re in charge of a project, prepare a list of requirements before meeting with your team. Once you’ve finished your list, book your meeting.
You shouldn’t be planning the meeting unless you are the accountable person. Instead, contact the project manager to assist with any deliverables.
4. How many ideas do I need assistance brainstorming?
Having other minds in the room is always more enticing when brainstorming for a project. A meeting isn’t always required merely because you want assistance creating fresh ideas.
Save brainstorming sessions for when you need a lot of feedback from others before starting a project. Hold a virtual brainstorm for tiny ideas like blog post names or social media themes. Create a shared document and invite team members to contribute.
It’s worth holding a meeting or conference to discuss large-scale campaigns or initiatives.
5. Are we meeting to discuss a new concept or project?
Project kickoff conferences are vital to the collaborative process. It’s critical to set aside time to discuss roles, objectives, and timelines required by the group to launch a program.
Try alternating check-ins with meetings and virtual cooperation if the project has already begun.
Instead of a weekly status report meeting, try bi-monthly status reports with virtual stand-ups through Slack or email.
6. How frequently do we require progress updates if this is a recurrent meeting?
If you’re planning a recurrent meeting, consider adding virtual aspects. For example, host a weekly status update over Slack to save time if you require a weekly status update.
7. Is there enough time to prepare?
A productive meeting requires preparation. Preparation for specific endeavors, like brainstorming, is minimal. Recurring sessions generally need additional planning.
Once you know the conference type, you may assess your team’s availability and choose a date. Just because you’re ready doesn’t guarantee your colleagues are prepared with their work at the same time. Everyone should have their tasks complete by the slated dates — and your weekly update should that progress. You will want to announce larger tasks a day ahead of time so that everyone can prepare.
Check team members’ calendars to see whether they’re available. Finally, ask your team how they can prevent missing events. Once they affirm, you’re ready to go on.
8. Do I need to invite everyone?
Jeff Bezos and most business executives believe that the most productive sessions include eight people and the two pizza rule. Your invitees may invite additional team members but limit the core group to avoid unnecessary conversation.
9. What is each person’s function in this meeting?
Once you’ve decided who to invite, it’s essential to know what each individual can contribute to the table. If the meeting needs specific data or insights, appoint a suitable participant to bring it. Again, you’ll save time by concentrating on the current debate and not waiting for others to find information.
Assign jobs like facilitator or note-taker ahead of time. You’ll learn to manage your time better and see ahead.
10. Can the meeting be done through video call?
In many circumstances, the answer is “yes.” Video conferences allow distant participants to join in on the discussion and record for those who couldn’t attend. In addition, video conference sessions are quicker than audio-only meetings, making them more productive and inclusive.
11. When shall we meet again?
When scheduling conferences, consider others’ time. Most meetings shouldn’t last longer than about 30 minutes. If you’re planning a lengthy schedule, consider booking an hour-long meeting. First, however, you should review your plan to see how long these talks will take.
Set the session timer for 30 minutes and only 45 or 60 minutes if the agenda items are closely connected. Longer meetings can cover a wide range of duties, which may confuse attendees. Better to have one topic or a better checklist for longer meetings.
It’s preferable to schedule two shorter meetings than one big one. Remember to use our checklist before arranging the second meeting.
12. Is the plan clear?
Nothing is worse than an unprepared leader. Agendas provided in advance help attendees prepare constructive contributions. Making a plan also helps you clarify your ideas regarding the project.
13. Is the conference room A/V ready?
Last but not least, ensure the conference place is ready to go. Use our AV checklist to ensure the room you’re using is ready for video conference immediately. Fifty-nine percent of remote employees say IT difficulties hinder meetings. Yet, remote employees depend on these technologies to properly join the team.
More efficient sessions save time and money. Meetings in the last year cost U.S. businesses $37 billion. You don’t want your business to add extra dollars to this tally for your annual conference expenses. Find out more about meeting costs and the most OK video conferencing camera for your conference location. So clear your calendar.
Image Credit: Christina Morillo; Pexels; Thank you!
Meeting Checklist Helps You Decide if a Session is Needed was originally published on Calendar by Hunter Meine.