Scheduling a meeting for employees or managers cuts into your organization's time and resources directly, so you want to make sure you achieve maximum productivity during each and every meeting. Although the orchestration of the meeting itself is important, timing meetings correctly is essential to ensure that your attendants are both alert and enthusiastic.
One of the most important elements of timing meetings is choosing an appropriate day of the week. According to business growth, efficiency and marketing consultant Andrew Jensen, Monday and Friday are the worst meeting days as many employees are still in "weekend mode," so generating interest and productivity in your attendees takes a lot more effort. Additionally, these are some of the most common days for employees to take as vacation days, so fewer people are likely to attend. Therefore, the best days for meetings are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday.
When timing meetings, you also want to consider the time of day during which the meeting is scheduled. Early morning is generally not the best time because workers are still sleepy, and any time near the end of the work day is a poor choice because employees are more focused on going home than having productive meetings. Timing meetings for the middle of the work day is common practice, and around 3 p.m. is one of the most effective meeting times according to Andrew Jensen.
Be aware of mealtimes when timing meetings as workers are generally drowsy immediately after lunch, and they have a difficult time focusing if they are hungry during a pre-lunch meeting. If you must plan a meeting before or during a meal, consider offering refreshments such as hot coffee and donuts. If your company has the resources, offer a meal during the meeting to satisfy employees and encourage them to attend.
A good turnout translates to a more productive session because more individuals have the chance to receive timely information, contribute to the discussion and provide valuable input. Inc. Magazine suggests scheduling a meeting for a very specific time such as 10:12 a.m. to convey a sense of punctuality, making it more likely that the meeting starts on time. It also suggests giving each topic of discussion a very narrow time slot to keep things moving at a fast pace and ensure that the meeting ends on time.
Although these general tips for timing meetings have proven effective, be sure to examine your own company's needs before scheduling an important meeting. For instance, if you are timing meetings for collaborators who work in different locations, late evening meetings may be the only time during which most individuals can attend. Listen to the needs of your employees, and plan accordingly to enjoy productive meetings.
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