(Article originally authored by HR/Advantage Advisory, Powered by Clark Hill)

What words come to mind when you think of workplace meetings?

Efficiently run meetings help facilitate communication, collaboration, productivity and learning.

Especially when employees work remotely and are meeting via Zoom, it’s important to bring employees together and reinforce teamwork.

It’s no surprise that inefficiently run meetings are one of the most common annoyances in the workplace.

We’re sure you can recall meetings that could have been conducted more effectively, or better yet – could have been eliminated and handled via email or phone call.

Start maximizing your organization’s resources and time by implementing the following ten tips.

  1. Define Your Objective. Determine what you are trying to accomplish before you decide to schedule a meeting.
  2. Meet Only When Necessary. Ask yourself the following questions: Is it possible to achieve your objective(s) via email? Or phone call?
  3. Prepare and Distribute Materials. If you want your attendees to review documents or materials prior to a meeting, provide them at least 72 hours in advance.
  4. Know Who’s Going to Lead the Meeting. This may seem like an obvious step, but it is frequently missed. If the idea to meet was yours, chances are, you should lead.
  5. Have a Clear Agenda. Prior to the meeting, the leader should have a clear agenda prepared. Always communicate the purpose and then the agenda.
  6. Start and End on Time. It’s always important to respect others’ time.
  7. Be Mindful of the Invitation List. Only invite those whose input is necessary. When in doubt, ask colleagues if they would like to attend.
  8. Keep the Discussion on Track. If the conversation veers off-topic, the meeting leader must jump in and re-direct. Make sure to involve individuals who don’t normally participate (junior level or introverted employees, for example, who may need to be called on directly).
  9. Close the Meeting with Action Items. Determine action items, who will own each action item and the time frame for deliverables.
  10. Follow-up to Ensure Results. Monitor the status of action items and reach out to participants to offer assistance, as necessary. Be sure to thank participants as deliverables are completed.

You’ll be able to get the most out of your meetings by keeping these best practices in mind.