How to make meetings more productive

Are meetings good or bad? The responses to this question have been consistently switching sides from positive to negative. What could be the reason for this? For starters, almost 47% of professionals perceive meetings as a waste of time, and they also claim to lose almost 31 hours of their work in a month due to unproductive meetings. So, it can be noted that inefficient meetings could impose substantial direct costs on an organization in terms of office-related costs and salaries.

Furthermore, meetings are also responsible for many indirect costs such as stalling the involvement of employees in other crucial tasks as well as a reduction in employee satisfaction that can subsequently lead to an increase in employee turnover. Now, what can you do to turn meetings into productive work for the organization as well as employees? Let us take a look at some tips that can help in ensuring that the meeting is as profitable as possible.

Prepare well

Preparation is the key to ensure effectiveness in a meeting from all aspects such as time and cost of resources alongside making sure that the meeting is an enjoyable experience for everyone in attendance. The only tool that can help you prepare adequately for a meeting is your meeting agenda.

Establishing a key purpose is crucial for the development of a meeting agenda that would dictate the participation of members in the meeting. Reflecting on the need for a meeting would work well in situations where the input or approval of co-workers is required, or you need to pass some information to employees in the meeting.

Maintain specifics

You need to have a clear meeting agenda that uses minimal words or sentences for informing us about the objective of the meeting. Outline the specific topics of discussion that you want in the meeting without any space for later additions. This would make sure that the meeting does not deviate from its actual objective.

Keep it to a minimum

Do not turn a meeting into a social gathering for employees in the organization. The effectiveness of a meeting is highly dependent on the involvement of the participants. So, it is essential to keep the number of attendees at the meeting to a minimum or as per requirements so that they can contribute valuable inputs to the meeting.

This way, you can be sure that the meeting stays structured and you could be able to accomplish the outcomes you desired from the meeting. Another advantage that you would get by limiting the number of attendees at the meeting is cost effectiveness by lowering the direct costs of the meeting. Furthermore, employees who are not attending a meeting could address other important tasks.

Deciding the time

The ideal period for a meeting could be easily put within 15 to 30 minutes. What if you plan a 60-minute meeting? There is no issue in particular with conducting a meeting of 60 minutes. But there would be no plausible outcome from the meeting as the attention span of a normal person is only 10 to 18 minutes. So, keep your meetings short and concise to ensure that the meeting participants can absorb the information communicated to them in the meeting alongside facilitating their active involvement in contributing inputs to the meeting.


The pointers mentioned above are considered as best practices for improving the outcomes of a meeting. If you want your meetings to be productive, then it is essential to plan properly by requirements. Finally, do not forget the action items on your meeting agenda! That is where you can translate the meeting proceedings into productive outcomes.

  • Partner links