The purpose of a meeting in its purest form is for colleagues to collaborate together as part of a team, so that everyone can contribute towards a discussion and work towards the same goal. It’s a results-based process. However, in modern day business ‘another meeting’ can be seen as a huge source of frustration for individuals. In our opinion, this is mainly down to a failure in preparation and a lack of clarity regarding the outcome.
A majority of employees consider meetings as a time-consuming endeavour, but when carried out properly they are essential for the performance of an organization. Benefits include:
- • Smooth project work
- • Encouraging brainstorming
- • Improving understanding of complex problems
- • Reaching decisions quickly
- • Facilitating increased cohesion between colleagues.
‘But how can I plan better meetings?’ I hear you cry! Fortunately, Team Zeus’s ingenious calendar interface was built to simplify the organisation of team meetings – and our real time messaging interface for business cuts down the need for casual meetings.
We recommend that you keep the following principles in mind, to plan effective meetings:
Common mistakes when planning meetings
Meetings take time (on average 4 hours a week), but they are invaluable in terms of keeping the entire workforce on the same page. However, their success is often jeopardised as the same mistakes are regularly made because of a lack of organisation.
a) Ensure that your meeting has a clear agenda, which is circulated beforehand.
Most office workers complain that a meeting was unproductive because the agenda was poorly defined – or even non-existent!
What should the agenda contain?
A meeting agenda is designed like a roadmap that will give a sense of direction to the participants. The agenda should illuminate the main points of discussion, thereby preventing team members from going off track. Each single subject that will be covered needs to be listed on the agenda and timed, as a meeting shouldn’t exceed 2 hours. Once the agenda is ready, it should be distributed to all the participants, so that everybody is notified and can prepare for the event accordingly.
b) Ensure that the location for the meeting is available, booked, and then communicated clearly to all participants.
When organising a meeting, a common pitfall can be a failure to plan resources effectively. Companies used to rely on both an office secretary – who would take care of the scheduling of meetings – and on paper-based processes, which could not be amended easily (for example when an update to the planned schedule was required, or when a meeting was cancelled). Nowadays, with new technologies facilitating office life, office workers have to be more autonomous and rely on themselves to arrange meetings. But it’s easier said than done! A report suggests that 40% of workers waste up to 30 minutes a day searching for space to collaborate. Just imagine how challenging it may be to find an available meeting room in a large company at the last minute.
Team Zeus – the solution for methodical meeting planning
Team Zeus’s meeting & resource planner overview
The Team Zeus platform integrates a shared calendar interface that enables you to programme meetings with work colleagues – and manage the resources available for the event – with ease. Meeting rooms and other facilities are booked to ensure their availability on the day and to enable you to prepare any material that will be displayed on a whiteboard, which will require the use of company equipment (if you were intending to project a Powerpoint presentation onto the wall during the gathering, for instance).
- Calendar filters – Our calendar application not only allows you to check and manage your diary, but also to view the calendar of your co-workers and verify the availability of company material. To learn more about the schedule of a colleague, a team, or a resource, simply apply one of the colour-coded filters which are made accessible to any user in the left hand panel of the calendar. When you have found the information you are looking for, you can de-activate or activate the filters as necessary.
- Booking resources on the calendar – During the event creation process, you can reserve meeting rooms and facilities as necessary. Admin users can add as many resources (meeting rooms, audio visual equipment, etc) as they wish to the planner – and all information can be shared with team members. With Team Zeus, planning meetings and booking resources really is that simple.
- Agenda – When you add an event to the calendar, you are able to enter the programme of the meeting within the description box. This means that when your guests receive their invitation by email, they can begin to prepare immediately.
- File management – Some meetings require that reports or relevant documentation are circulated in advance, allowing participants to arrive in a state of preparation for further discussion. To facilitate easy distribution of a document to all attendees, Team Zeus allows you to attach a document to an event when created within the calendar. The document(s) will be sent ‘automagically’ to all participants in just one click!
- Create a thread for your meeting – When you save an event within Team Zeus’s calendar, you can generate a thread that will automatically send invitations to your guests and add them to thread. The thread will enable teammates to discuss the event before it takes place, in case there are questions that need to be raised.
The recording of minutes is essential if you want the meeting to deliver the expected results, otherwise it may just be a waste of time and effort. Any decisions that are made in the meeting should be recorded, so that required action points are clear and resultant processes are conducted effectively. Moreover, should any of your preferred attendees be absent from the meeting, they can quickly review what conclusions have been reached and remain up to date.
The “event thread” will be a safe place to publish and archive the minutes, sharing them with all guests. It can even be used to follow up on the action points that have been noted. Once all tasks in relation to the event have been completed, the event creator can mark his/her last message as a decision.
The main reasons for liking Team Zeus’s calendar
The benefits of using Team Zeus’s calendar as a meeting and resource planner in a company are manifold. Here are a few of our favourites:
See the availability of your colleagues & resources to find the right slot!
Send invites in just a click and book resources!
Effective collaboration thanks to good planning!
Say goodbye to tedious planning and admin when you organise a team meeting: thanks to Team Zeus, every single meeting will be a successful venture!