Monday 4th March 2019

Meetings are a non-negotiable part of our working lives. Some people might have had a little internal groan upon reading that sentence, because let’s face it, today’s workplace meetings aren’t exactly known for their efficiency, are they?

It’s a global problem for a wide variety of workplaces – meetings are being mismanaged, time is being wasted, and employees are wholly unsatisfied with the situation. So, how exactly can we better manage our meetings, especially when there are cultural working contrasts from country to country, industry to industry, and everyone has their own particular focus or outcome that they’re chasing. Here are some general tips to better manage any meeting, gathered from across the globe.

1. Set a clear agenda

Forty-nine percent of Singapore’s business leaders, 44% of UK business leaders and 40% of German business leaders surveyed by Condeco all felt that the key to a successful meeting is to set a clear agenda or purpose for every single meeting. This makes a lot of sense; too often, meetings are thrown off the rails and become rambling or overlong, so having a set agenda to refer to (and help limit off-topic discussion) is wise. Learn how our friends in Singapore create great quality meetings.

Tip: don’t forget to distribute the meeting agenda with plenty of time for amendments, before the meeting!

2. Improve your time management

Condeco’s survey found that 49% of Singaporean businesses, 40% of USA businesses and 31% of Australian businesses consider time management to be the most important ingredient for a successful meeting. Time management for meetings is a double-sided issue: obviously, individuals must keep their schedules on time as much as possible, but meetings in general must not start late or overrun, which can often cause disastrous results for meeting room management and bookings in general.

Tip: consider using a meeting room management system that has easy access to quickly extend or cancel a booking, either via an app, or via meeting room screens.

3. Make sure your attendees show up

It may sound simple, but France’s preference for a successful meeting ensuring participants attend shouldn’t be overlooked. Condeco found that 32% of French business leaders see a full house of invited participants as the most important step to a successful meeting. Indeed, a meeting is often rendered pointless if key decision makers or knowledge holders are not in attendance. You might like to read Workplace Flexibility in France.

Tip: when organising your meeting, make it clear to potential attendees what they will gain from the meeting agenda – think about creating a win/win situation for their presence.

Ultimately, if your meetings are getting out of control and not managing to achieve anything, then it may be wise to start again from scratch. As these global meeting focuses show, nailing the basics is the key to a really great meeting.

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