workplace communicationHR can play a big role in improvingorganisational communication simply by establishing a precedent for office meetings. Effective office meetings lead to improved communication in the workplace, higher levels of productivity, and increased employee morale. So how can you get the most out of meetings in your company?

Establish a Meeting Objective: The meeting organizer should have a clearly defined objective established prior to setting up the meeting. What is the purpose of your meeting? Do you want to generate new ideas? Are you communicating information or gathering status reports? Are you trying to get everyone to come to a decision? What’s the end result you want the meeting to achieve? Knowing this in advance makes the meeting worth participants’ time.

Plan and Prepare: Create your agenda prior to sending out meeting invites. Once you know the meeting objective, you can set a detailed meeting agenda that breaks the meeting down into topics to be covered and time allotted for each area. This will not only serve as a timeline to ensure your meeting runs according to schedule, it will also help participants prepare in advance.  Participants should know what they need to bring to the meeting – ideas, notes, comments, etc. For example, if the meeting objective is to solve a problem, give participants the opportunity to form possible solutions prior to the meeting.

Respect for Time: It’s critical that meetings start on time and end on time. This will encourage others to be on time and ensure that meetings go as planned. Constant interruptions from employees arriving late or leaving early will take away from your meeting time, meaning you won’t be able to accomplish your objectives.

Communication and Feedback Goes Both Ways:  Give attendees the opportunity to participate during the meeting if time allows. Feedback can be incorporated into every stage of the meeting, from planning to follow-up. Attendees may have ideas to add to the meeting that organisers had not previously considered, so it’s important to talk to participants before the meeting begins. Use feedback to keep lines of communication open after the meeting to ensure action items are completed.

End with Action: A successful meeting always ends with a result, usually an action to be taken. Be sure it’s clear who has responsibility for each action and set a deadline for follow-up.  A summary of everything accomplished during the meeting can be helpful, either as formal meeting minutes or a simple email.

These steps will ensure that; your meeting time is not wasted, employees leave meetings feeling like they have accomplished something, and communication in your company continuously improves. These guidelines can be applied to every meeting in the workplace, including departmental meetings, company-wide quarterly meetings, meetings with customers, or even one-on-one performance reviews.

Would you like to learn more? Visit our blog article on workplace communication to read about ways HR can improve the flow of communication in your workplace.

To get the most from your employee feedback, check out our white paper on the Benefits of 360 Feedback to see how you could be missing out on ways to add value to your performance management system.