So……I’ve had several tips based on agendas and how to prepare for a meeting, but what happens after the meeting? Does everyone think “man, I’m glad that’s over”, and go about their business? Does the team wait until the next scheduled meeting to discuss why the action items haven’t been accomplished?
How do you ensure the actions of the team, after the meeting, are as productive and efficient as possible? Have tasks been assigned? Do actions have deadlines? Here are a few suggestions you can use, or share with your team, for what to do during a meeting to ensure that the meeting follow-up is as planned out as the meeting itself.
Suggestion 1: Have someone take meeting minutes: preferably, someone that is not heavily involved in the meeting. The “note taker” needs to be able to focus on capturing all the key action items and the owners of the action items. Having the meeting minutes provides a solid place to start when having the effective follow-up. All the deadlines/resolved issues/meeting follow-up action items, and/or identified issues will be organized in one document that is easy to reference. Please follow this link on how to take meeting minutes.
Suggestion 2: Every member of the team, that has an action item, should receive a copy of the meeting minutes. This guarantees there is no miscommunication between anyone on the team. Each team member is looking at the same document, and not scribbled notes they’re trying to decipher. It’s best to send the notes within 48 hours so the meeting is still fresh on everyone’s mind. If you’re not quite sure how to format a follow-up email, try making a meeting follow-up template that you can use after all future meetings.
Suggestion 3: Accountability is the best way to ensure your action items are being completed. How many times have you left a meeting ready to make changes and follow thru with your discussion topics? You must set deadlines and follow up on the deadlines. Meet, or at least email, with each member of the team that has a given action item and set up a date prior to the deadline to review progress. At this time, assess if the deadline is still achievable or it needs to be extended. Holding people accountable is the best way to see results.
So, after your next meeting you need to have a follow up gameplan to ensure all action items are being completed and deadlines are being met. What’s the purpose of a meeting if you’re meeting just to meet? Let’s make the next meeting your best meeting ever and ensure follow up and action.
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