Meetings, especially as summertime is coming to a close and your employees want to maximize their working hours, are not fun for anyone. Meetings are often bloated and overlong and only serve to make everyone frustrated. But there are ways to run meetings that will be more engaging and efficient for the whole team. Here are a few ways you can cut out the fat and have shorter and more productive meetings.

Have an Agenda

To better prepare for each meeting, create an agenda. This isn’t just for you. Send the agenda to everyone participating in the meeting. It will create guidelines and let everyone know exactly what will be discussed. Most importantly, stick to the agenda. Once the meeting is derailed, it can be hard to get back on track. If someone brings up something not on the agenda, ask them to schedule a private meeting with you to discuss it.

Start on Time

Most corporate meetings will give people a few minutes to arrive and get settled after the published start time. But this only provides permission to be late. Instead, start the meeting on time every time. And, more importantly, don’t spend any time recapping what someone missed if they arrived late. This puts the onus on them to be on time or risk missing important information. Once it’s their responsibility, they’ll learn to arrive on time.

End on Time

Then, there is the question of the meeting running long. Most of the time when meetings go late it is because someone has sidetracked the conversation. Instead, follow the agenda and keep questions short. Provide structure to the entire meeting so people know they can get back to their work by a certain time. Let people know if they have more questions to ask you privately or send an email.

Keep It short

Of course, having a start time and an end time is only a part of what makes a meeting more productive. If you have too much time in between, you’re not going to stay on message and have an effective meeting. Two hours is definitely too long, and an hour may even be pushing it. Make the meeting as short as you need to communicate your message and not a minute longer. You want your team to go back to their desk refreshed, not frustrated.

Do you want to improve your meeting process to engage your employees? Contact Harvard Resource Solutions to learn more today. We can help you find the talent you need to keep your workplace running smoothly all year.