If you ask a typical employee what frustrates them most about their job you are likely to find out some pretty interesting information. Many of them won’t say their coworkers or work load but rather the meetings they are required to attend. Studies have shown that meetings tend to reduce worker productivity rather than enhance it. Many employees feel that they should be spending this valuable time working on a project rather than talking about it.

Can you completely revamp your meeting style to improve productivity in your office?

Stay on Schedule

One of the most common ways for meetings to get derailed is to allow people to enter the meeting late and catch them up. This is frustrating for all the people who arrived on time and will likely make them tune out important information. Spending this extra time will only increase the length of the meeting. Instead, stay on schedule. If someone arrives late they will simply miss out on that information which will likely encourage them to be on time in the future.

Don’t Allow Sidetracking

You do need to give your team a chance to share their ideas or thoughts or answer questions. However, far too often people can get sidetracked from the essential message. If someone starts to stray from the topics they’ve been asked about don’t let it go too far before you rein them in. Tell then they can talk to you about these other subjects at another time if necessary.

Employ One-on-One Meetings

The best way to address these sidetracked topics is by employing one-on-one meetings which can cut down on the time spent in group meetings. Sometimes the information is only relevant to one or two individuals. Managers are sometimes afraid of confrontation and when there is a violation of policy they’ll have a group meeting to address it. This is very detrimental because the employees not engaged in the violation will feel as though they have been accused.

Active Listening

Finally, at any meeting be sure you can engage active listening. You can make a meeting as fun and exciting as you want to, but without good listening skills you’re not going to increase your team’s interest in participating. They want to know that you take their concerns into consideration or that you appreciate their contribution. The best thing you can do is actively listen and responded appropriately.

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