Effective internal communication is not only necessary for a company but is also paramount to its success. There are numerous examples of companies that have failed due to poor communication, and meetings are one of the easiest ways of keeping company communication alive.

Why are meetings useful?

Meetings make for a quick and easy way of communicating information across to multiple people in one go. Sure, this can be done through e-mails or memos, but meetings allow for a pool of ideas, brainstorming sessions, and a more personal relaying of information that other methods of communicating simply don’t.

This can be done across all levels as well and doesn’t just need to be for some employees. Directors should be effectively communicating to each other, and the bits that are relevant to even the lowest levels of the organisation must be effectively communicated down.

Meetings shouldn’t be held just for the sake of it, but effectively using different types of meetings a company can work as one smooth machine rather than several different cogs.

Consider team meetings to ensure that your team is working on a project at the same pace, full-office meetings so that each of the different departments can work in unison, and board of director meetings so that they know exactly how the business is operating.

Are meetings always necessary?

In the same way that meetings shouldn’t just be held for the sake of it, also make sure that meetings aren’t just left as an afterthought. Meetings are regularly viewed as business-killers, what with the rise of tools like Skype and the way in which meetings are run.

Many meetings are organised simply because businesses feel that they should be hosting one, but they often lack structure, are poorly moderated, they often pull people away from important work when they didn’t need the meeting, and they appear to be growing stale.

A meeting should be something people look forward to, a chance to brainstorm, bounce around ideas, and genuinely push the business forward. If meetings are organised once a week simply for the sake of it, workers will begin to dread them, and the boredom will show throughout.

This in no way makes meetings a waste of time, but they need to be properly planned and thought out to ensure that they are useful and successful.

How to keep meetings useful on all levels

Structuring a successful meeting is done in a similar way across all levels. Although meetings are getting a somewhat bad reputation, the first thing to do is to meet regularly. Although it might seem like a better idea to meet less regularly, regular meetings will help bring employees closer together in an ever-increasing screen dominated environment and can help to de-stress employees through problem-solving.

When planning your meetings, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is this meeting truly necessary?
  • What needs to be achieved from this meeting?
  • Who is completely relevant to this meeting and needs to be there to help achieve this goal?
  • Is the timing for this meeting right?

Ask yourself each of these questions before you call a meeting; if any of your answers don’t seem relevant or necessary for the meeting at hand, then it probably isn’t the right time to call it.

You always need to remember that any time that an employee or director spends in a meeting is time that they aren’t working, and therefore earning revenue for the company, so meetings need to be weighed up directly against this.

You can assess the cost of a meeting using meeting calculators, with roughly $37 billion being wasted every year due to unnecessary meetings.

Keeping meetings relevant for your business

Despite the figure listed above, your business doesn’t need to follow the same trend! No matter which level of your organisation you’re planning to conduct your meeting on, follow the steps above and ask yourself those key questions about your meeting. This way, no matter if it’s with company directors or lower level employees, you can achieve exactly the outcomes that you want when holding your meeting.

Written by Anna Lemos