It isn’t uncommon that you’ll hit certain milestones in business including celebrating wins, sharing exciting company news, or even the usual ad-hoc board meeting. Just when you think you’ve managed your entire day, anyone who has worked in an office environment before will know that any of the above meetings can pop out from nowhere, and its your job to make sure it’s executed well.
Most of the time you will be stressed trying to make last minute calls to ensure catering is organised, meeting rooms are booked out and making sure all attendees arrive on time. But when you’re well organised, not only will it be well worth your team’s time, but it also helps celebrating milestones an enjoyable part of anyone’s day. As your company evolves and scales over time, these following guidelines will help ensure you are always on top of any meetings you need to organise.
Step 1 — Start with the goal in mind
Whatever meeting you are planning, it is very important to understand the overall outcome and intended goal of the meeting; whether it is to help your boss win a new client, promote collaboration between staff or to ensure everyone is brought up to speed and on the same page. If you understand the goal of the meeting, then it will make planning a whole lot easier, and don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t know.
For example, the boss wants you to organise an all-hands meeting including all staff at 11am the next day, and the goal is to celebrate a new business milestone. By understanding the goal, it will now help you triage what you need to organise to create an engaging celebration (eg. Booking a large room, organising catering, purchase decorations such as balloons, setup and test audio/visual components). The last thing you want is to turn it into a boring lecture that nobody wants to attend.
Step 2 — Create a checklist of action items
Once you have triaged what needs to be organised for the meeting, creating a checklist of all the action items are important as this will allow you to identify anything that might fall through the gaps (ie. jugs of water for each table, pens/paper & post-it notes, arranging tables & seating appropriately). The great thing about creating a checklist is that you can tick each item off as you go.
Step 3 — Delegate your tasks
So you’ve found out the goal of the meeting, and you’ve managed to triage all of the action items. Now that you have a good idea of each action item that needs to be organised, its best to try and delegate some these tasks to your colleagues, especially if you have a team that works with you. If you don’t, then why not get some of the other staff to help you? You will find that most people will be more than happy to give you a helping hand, although it might be handy to delegate tasks to staff that you know you can trust with the job. Not only does this hold them accountable to get the job done, but it will also free up your time to handle the bigger tasks; as well as keeping your project management skills on check!
Step 4 — Observation
It’s the day of the big meeting, and you’re probably feeling nervous. Its best to take a few minutes out of your day to observe the meeting, regardless of whether you are going to be part of the meeting or will be sitting from the sidelines. The reason why this is important is that you can analyse how people are reacting to everything you’ve organised for the meeting. This is a great opportunity for you to be critical with yourself, and will potentially help you identify what you need to improve next time around.
Step 5 — Follow up & ask for feedback
You now should be consistently asking your boss & your employees for feedback to ensure that everyone’s goals are met. Directly after each meeting send a quick survey to rate the meeting on a scale of 1–5, with any quick comments. ‘Slack’ is a great platform to use as it enables users to create quick, easy, and anonymous polls. If you don’t use ‘Slack’, you can create a shared team folder or internal website where you consistently place all your feedback sheets so your boss, as well as team members know where to look for more information.
- Office Culture
- Effective Meetings