Agile HR: What you Need to Know to Hold Smaller Meetings and Get More Done               (Part 2 of 3)

Posted by Cathy Reilly

iStock_22174229_guyonhand 300x341 copy.jpgIn Part 2 of our series on Agile HR, I’ll introduce some ideas about revising how business meetings are being done and how going smaller may be better. Our jumping off point in the last blog article on Agile HR focused on learning to think small and breaking things down to the essentials in order to remain highly responsive and innovative.This flows right though to meeting practices.

We’ve all heard the expression: “We’ve got to stop meeting like this.”  We’re taking that phrase literally here!

We’ve all been there, again and again – meetings that stray off topic, where many are talking and few are listening, and go way beyond the scheduled time limit.  

Meetings help move organizations forward and further its purpose. But, instead of being informative and energizing, too many business meetings become an added burden on the daily schedule. They eat away at one of our most valuable resources. Time. That’s why it’s critical to tighten the reins around meetings and make them worth everyone’s time.  

Move away from the “big” meeting style

While it may be great to get everyone together for a “big meeting”, is it really necessary? Probably not. One of the best ways to step up meeting productivity is trimming the attendee list. Here are a few tips to follow when it comes to meeting attendees and small group success:

  • Each meeting has a clear leader who is a decision maker and who
    will be held responsible for the meeting’s success or failure.
  • Only those that are vital to the discussion are invited.
  • Attendees are provided an agenda in advance so they are
    well prepared to bring a deliverable to the meeting. (That agenda
    should also include the next two guidelines).
  • Attendees are held accountable to speak during the meeting
    at least once (and keep track!).
  • Attendees are held accountable to bring ideas and defend them if needed.

 Less will mean more

After carefully considering “who” will meet, the next important step is “how” you will meet in order to get more out of your meetings. This responsibility lies with the meeting leader. They will be responsible for setting up the meeting protocol and sticking to it. Here are some ideas to boost meeting productivity and get more done. Again, make sure attendees are well aware of these meeting guidelines.

  • Start and end on time. Get right to the agenda. Latecomers will learn
    quickly that being late means missing important information.
  • Ask an attendee to use a stopwatch and announce the mid-point of the meeting and a 10 minute warning for the meeting’s end.
  • No cell phones allowed. No exceptions!
  • No food allowed. Serve water or beverages.
  • No sidebar conversations or cross-talk.
  • Stay focused on the agenda and limit your topics. If you try to cover too much,
    the meeting will go on too long and you will get less done.
  • Attendees are respectful to each other and are encouraged to think outside the box with their ideas.
  • End the meeting with the beginning of the next meeting in mind. Conclude with
    next steps.
  • Finish early when possible. Talk about a cherry on top!

The new practice of smaller meetings allows you to organize meetings quicker with fewer people involved and facilities more participation by attendees. It certainly contributes positively to productivity and will change the way things work for the team in achieving goals and conquering challenges.


Topics: Human Resources

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