Work meetings are a necessary evil. Despite how crucial they are to an organisation seeking to achieve its goals, they can be exhausting and disruptive.
Nonetheless, a work meeting can gradually shed its undesirable aspects in line with the times to yield a more rewarding experience for team members.
A proper work meeting structure makes it easier for team members to develop valuable contributions ahead of time. Seamless transitions also factor in an ideal meeting structure, such that there are as few loose ends as possible.
Is the Meeting Absolutely Necessary?
Relevance underscores a team lead’s efforts to improve the quality of work meetings. Rather than serve a purely procedural purpose, a work meeting must be grounded in substance. It must have stakes—short- and long-term alike. It must affect all participants in some way.
Do Team Members Receive Agendas Promptly?
Time is of the essence. Not only should a work meeting have an agenda, it must also be detailed and communicated as early as possible by the team lead.
With enough time at their disposal, team members can begin to prepare their contributions. This is as opposed to long waits for contributions in meetings where the agendas arrive too close to the meeting.
Are There Defined Time Limits?
Each agenda item must be time-bound. Allowance must also exist for spillovers, which a team lead can scarcely eliminate.
Ideally, there should be minimal formalities. The introductory and concluding parts of meetings should also feature the shortest time slots, to further prioritise the substantive aspects.
Are There Follow-Up Mechanisms Between Meetings?
It is not enough for a team lead to assign tasks after each meeting. There must be a system in place for the team lead to track the progress of each team member. This could be on a separate work channel. A sustained follow-up mechanism has the effect of yielding shorter meetings over time.