Meeting management is the process of managing all stages and components of the meeting concept and process. The actions taken before, during and after the meetings are decisive for the meeting to reach its purpose effectively and in the shortest time possible. Neglecting any part of the meeting management process can lead to inefficient meetings, loss of time and additional meetings. Considering that the managers spend almost half of their time in meetings, it becomes important to spend this time efficiently.
According to the observations I gained in the consultancy sessions I performed, the biggest share of the time losses in the workplaces belong to the inefficient meetings. Given this situation, knowing and paying attention to what needs to be done to ensure that meetings are held efficiently not only ensures that the meeting is held in accordance with the purpose, but also prevents time losses at work.
It is important to make preparations before the meeting in order to have efficient meetings. In the preparation process of the meeting, the meeting agenda is determined first, a targeted meeting agenda is created and those who will attend the meeting are informed about the agenda. The start and end times of the meeting are announced. The personal preparation of the person who will manage the meeting also supports the establishment of a successful meeting management. The time allocated for the preparation before the meeting ensures that time losses that may occur during the process are prevented.
The manager of the meeting positively affects the efficiency of the meeting by making sure that the meeting is held without a problem and by supporting the participation of all participants during the meeting. It is also the responsibility of the meeting manager to ensure that the objectives of the meeting are met, and to ensure that the topics discussed in the meeting does not go out of the frame that is set by the goals.
It is important to take the utmost care for the meetings to end at the specified time in terms of effective use of time. In order to comply with the end time, it is necessary to be careful not to extend beyond the scope of the meeting and not to extend the meeting period with issues that are outside the agenda. The meetings that are planned in detail are more successful in completing at the determined end time. However, there may be elongations at the meeting, in which case the decision regarding the elongation should be presented to the agreement. It is also important for the meeting to start at the specified start time.
Appointing a person to keep the meeting notes is crucial for clarifying, remembering and enforcing decisions. This summary which includes tnformation about which works will be followed by whom and the dates of follow-ups, will be distributed to the participants after each meeting, and supports the following of the topics covered in the meeting. At the end of an efficient meeting, the participants are informed about the individual goals they will achieve in line with the meeting goal, and they have a time and action plan in line with these goals.
Although these items seem difficult to provide at first glance, the costs and complications of inefficient meetings are much higher. Achieving maximum performance from working hours is actually possible with an efficient tracking system and efficient working principles.
My observations and the outcomes of the consultancy work I have done show me that the steps not taken and the efficient meetings cannot be carried out lead to two types of results:
1. Continuation of meetings with the same inefficiency
2. The meetings are no longer held
Successfully managed meetings are a critical success factor that strengthens team motivation, ensures job tracking, and supports achievement of goals. If the
efficiency is not achieved in the meetings, the way to be followed is not to abandon meetings, but the manager’s work on the areas of development in meeting management.