The 5 types of business meeting

Business meetings are a vital part of workplace life. They help everyone to keep a handle on the organisation’s activities and progress collectively towards its goals and objectives, enabling managers and employees to discuss ideas, stay updated, solve problems, collaborate, make decisions, improve team building and more.

On average, employees spend 37% of their time in meetings, with managers attending more than 60 every month. However, not all gatherings are as productive as they should be.

In fact, surveys reveal 47% of employees believe they attend too many meetings that waste their time. They leave staff feeling “exhausted” and with a higher perceived workload in general.

Of course, this is the exact opposite of the purpose of workplace gatherings.

How beneficial can a productive meeting be?

When a meeting is run well, it not only fosters better decisions, but it also leaves attendees feeling energised and motivated, helping them to carry the momentum forward into their day-to-day activities. A good meeting can nurture better decision making by creating greater clarity.

When delegates consider the gathering as effective, they are more likely to look forward to attending the next one, so encouraging employees to have a positive attitude means they will display positive behaviour while sitting around the table discussing the agenda.

When a meeting is seen as a chore, people are more likely to feel fatigued and they may not play an active part.

There are many different meeting types, that can’t be approached in the same way. One of the main reasons some experience negativity is a lack of organisation – if the meetings were exactly the same, they would be ineffective.

We’ve compiled a guide to 5 different styles/types of business meetings and how they should be approached for the greatest effect.

Team building meeting

Team building meetings are a tool to help employees get to know each other better. Managers can organise icebreaker questions or games to help everyone feel more at ease.

The main team meeting benefits include improving the development of the group: once members know each other better, trust will grow, resulting in better collaboration.

While it’s important to host these meetings on a regular basis to keep the momentum going and maintain a positive working environment, they don’t need to be done daily, or even weekly. Once a month is normally sufficient for the best results.

At prime locations across the capital: team building get togethers in our meeting rooms in London are available from as little as £10 per person, per hour. A purpose built venue makes it easier to eliminate distractions, so everyone can focus 100% on the activities.

Information sharing meeting

An information sharing meeting gives managers and supervisors the opportunity to communicate with team members and employees. The agenda can include information about everything from new clients and forthcoming events to the latest products and services.

Typically, while one person delivers the presentation, the rest of the delegates observe, and then there is usually an opportunity for the audience to ask questions at the end of the presentation.

Information sharing meetings are commonly held once a month, unless there’s a particular piece of news that needs to be discussed before the next regular gathering.

Performance review meeting

A performance review meeting takes place when a manager has a one-to-one with each employee to discuss their performance, career growth, motivation and areas for improvement.

It’s a chance for the employee to find out if they are meeting expectations, how well they’re succeeding in their role and how they can move forward more efficiently. The meetings can assist in setting future goals.

While some don’t look forward to these discussions, this type of meeting is more informal. It is aimed at helping the individual’s career path, rather than checking up on them.

A performance review is usually held every three months, or every six months. This gives the employee a chance to act upon the recommendations of the previous appraisal.

Decision-making meeting

On occasion, a manager will call a team meeting to make important decisions, normally encouraging all attendees to discuss the drawbacks or benefits of a particular decision as a group. Many managers believe they make the best decisions, for both the company as a whole and their team, when they have input from everyone.

A decision-making meeting doesn’t have to be held on a regular basis on specific dates. It is one of the few meetings that can be held as and when required – for example, if there’s a particularly important decision to make that requires team input.

Brainstorming meeting

A brainstorming meeting takes place when team members gather to put new ideas out there – everyone is invited to share their thoughts, often before a new project begins, as it benefits the company and the team members to listen to everyone’s ideas and concerns.

There are different ways of doing this, but the most effective can be to allow everyone to freely share their ideas. Alternatively, delegates can split into groups to brainstorm with a smaller number of people and then meet as a large group to carry the discussions on further.

Brainstorming meetings normally take place when a new project is planned. However, for employees in certain sectors such as the creative industry or marketing, they can be held more frequently to keep everyone’s finger on the pulse.

One factor that’s common, no matter what type of meeting, is the dissatisfaction of delegates when there’s no structured follow-up. This is judged to be one of the most discouraging situations after any business meeting.

People like to know that the ideas generated have been accomplished. Leaving employees hanging contributes to the negative feeling that the meeting was a waste of time. As a manager, evaluate and ask for feedback on how the meeting has been received. Review this regularly to ensure the sessions are achieving their purpose.

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