Company meetings, both in-person and remote, can be chaotic and time-consuming for both managers and their employees. Meetings are essential for any workplace, but it’s important to ensure they are resulting in more productivity and success. In a recent study, over half of the employees surveyed complained that most meetings are not productive and that it causes them to fall behind on their current projects. However, in this same study, when asked 64% of employees agreed that they are more eager to attend well-planned meetings. Planning these meetings ahead of time is key to time management, engagement, and results.

Before the meeting even begins, send out an email of pre-work which includes any information that needs to be shared with the team, and request those attending to research and prepare for any action list items on the agenda. Meetings shouldn’t be how information is shared and an agenda shouldn’t be vague. Management should be specific and create time limits for each action item in the meeting.

Given the nature of meetings, it can be easy to get off-topic. If employees have questions or concerns, create a “Parking Lot” where they can write their questions or send them via email for later review. If assigning specific members to speak about a specific item on the agenda, remember to give them a time limit as well.

Even the most organized and well-planned meetings can be what workers would consider dull or boring. Leaders can overcome this obstacle by treating it like a performance and making it fun. A little charisma can go a long way in engaging employees. This can be done by creating humorous slides amidst the rest of the meetings’ content, providing lunch or snacks, or playing a quick game of jeopardy.

Lastly, leaders should send a follow-up email with important details from the meeting and follow up with employees individually. Everyone has a different learning style, and while it may not always be possible for management to cater to each style in meetings, they can connect on a one-on-one basis as needed. These final additional steps ensure that the content of the meeting doesn’t get lost in the hustle and bustle as employees continue about their work.