Managers and staff generally can make poor decisions and fail to achieve goals, by not understanding how to create effective meetings in the workplace. How do you know if you are creating and holding effective meetings? Read our case study below the 8 tips to ask yourself about your meetings.
The case study below considers a typical workplace scenario — improving OHS by improving employee feedback.
Case study: Using meetings effectively
A global energy company was dealing with an ineffective employee feedback system. The system was intended to be a way for employees to report unsafe practices or conditions, so that measures could be taken to fix things. It had become clear that the current system was flawed and was not being used to its full potential.
How to deal with this scenario
Effective meetings are an excellent opportunity for a group to ensure its members work together to reach and execute the best possible solution about a difficult issue.
The primary strategy here is to get the right people together and to ask them for their experiences of the system, to identify the problems and to suggest solutions — as soon as the primary problem has been identified.
The right people?
They should include everyone who has important knowledge or experience relevant to the issue, and/or who have the authority to choose and execute the action plan. The right people have the relevant knowledge, experience or authority. Without them, having an effective meeting is not possible nor will it come to the best resolution.
One person cannot solve this problem. You need to meet. The issue is important, and there’s no way to avoid it. And you can’t afford a bad meeting about this issue.
Creative Effective Meetings
Are you having effective meetings? Ask yourself:
- Did I do everything I could have — or should have done — to ensure the success of the meeting?
- Did I and other participants feel that the time and effort we devoted to the meeting was worthwhile?
- Did the meeting’s results justify its expense?
- During the meeting — did I make sure that all participants got the chance to share their knowledge and experience with others?
- Did I make sure that all participants got the chance to share the knowledge and experience of others?
- Did we reach consensus about the various problems underlying the issue and which of those problems should be dealt with first?
- Did I encourage the free flow of ideas about potential solutions?
- Did we record the actions we are to take as a result of meeting — identify the Who … Does What … By When, and who is monitoring?
How effective are your meetings? Effective meetings optimize the time of everyone involved. Effective meetings are able to answer the above questions and provide an action plan or follow up activity to ensure that everyone involved is on the same page with regards to the problem being solved and the direction that is being taken to solve the problem.