Time is a hot commodity in the world of business today. No one wants to waste valuable time by having meetings that are not only unproductive, but also disruptive to the flow of work and exchange of ideas involved in the average work day. Time is money and most managers want to get the greatest possible return on investment for both their time and their money.

Here are five steps you can follow that will help you get maximum productivity from your team meetings.

1)    Have a specific purpose for the meeting. A meeting without a purpose is destined to become a colossal train wreck when it comes to productivity. Not only does a meeting need purpose; that purpose needs to be clearly defined and everyone needs to know it beforehand, so they are prepared to contribute as needed. You should also consider whether a meeting is the best method of addressing your intended purpose, if it’s a point that could just as easily be made in an email.
2)    Only invite people who need to attend. There are times when some of your staff will have nothing to contribute to or gain from the meeting. It becomes an exercise in frustration for them – and a loss of productivity for the company. Team members who aren’t needed for the vast majority of the meeting would be better served working through the meeting and getting the CliffsNotes version later.
3)    Be prepared for the meeting before it begins. Have all the notes, handouts, PowerPoint materials, etc. ready to go when the meeting begins. Make sure you have a written plan, or agenda, for the meeting so that you don’t stray off course, and then you’ll actually follow the plan to stay on target.
4)    Keep the meeting moving. Your time is valuable to the company, and so is that of the rest of the team members in the meeting. If you keep things moving along at a fair pace you’ll find that everyone appreciates meetings more and will gain greater benefit from them as well. More importantly, minds are less likely to stray during the meeting when team members in attendance need to stay focused in order to keep up.
5)    Follow up on the various tasks that were assigned during the meeting. It doesn’t matter how many points you made during a meeting if the results do not come together afterwards. In order for the meeting to be a success from a productivity point of view, you must follow up to make sure that all tasks are on time and on target

Keeping team meetings productive or improving their productivity needs to be a priority in every business. These are simple methods most business owners can employ to get greater productivity from each and every team meeting.

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