Regular team meetings have grown to become a standard part of many companies’ weekly schedule; and even more so when it comes to startups. Most of us have all been there: sitting around a meeting room table, discussing new objectives for the upcoming week, delegating tasks and making decisions (hopefully) together.

Well, at least that’s what meetings ideally should be like. In reality, however, according to Estonian employee progress report connoisseur Weekdone, there’s a good chance your meetings aren’t that well organized after all.

“On average, people waste 3.8 hours per week on poorly planned meetings, but with just minutes of proper preparations you can save hours of doing. So, it’s about time we start planning,” said Weekdone CEO & Co-founder Jüri Kaljundi. “That’s where we got the idea to help team leaders plan for productive team meetings and truly committing to them by reminding themselves and others of the rules.”

What Weekdone came up with has been baptised as the teammeetingchecklist, which fairly straightforwardly tells us a lot about how it actually works: Meeting organizers will go through a set of three steps that will cover the basic info of the meeting (date; location; objective; list of participants), a checklist of stuff to prepare before,during and after the meeting itself; and finally the actual invitation to team members.

Weekdone says the tool should act as a meeting reminder for the participants and social pressure tool to honor the effective meeting criteria for the leader, all while providing a base for giving feedback and reflecting on the progress of projects.

To be honest, a tool to set meeting dates and invitations isn’t all that mindblowing, but the real secret ingredient of the meeting manager lies in the checklist, or the list of 25 criteria, which, according to Weekdone, takes no more than 5 minutes to go through (while potentially saving several working hours that would’ve otherwise been lost due to crappy meeting orchestration). It is worth mentioning however that Weekdone’s  “thoroughly researched” checklist system didn’t include any obvious sources of research, and neither did their “30 proven criterias of an effective meeting” blog post, so it may be best to take those claims at face value.

From the list you’ll find stuff like “clearly defined objective is set” and “agenda is prepared” under the before meeting section, while during the meeting participants should make sure that “discussions will be relevant” and “responsibilities and deadlines will be documented”, to name a few examples

How effective the new meeting manager actually is will be up to you. It is completely free to use, so there’s no harm in at least giving it a try, even more so if you already know your company meetings sort of suck.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock // Team Meeting

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