Wolf of Wall Street meeting scene

If you regularly host an office meeting, you’re probably familiar with the sinking feeling you get in the pit of your stomach as you cast your eyes across a sea of expressionless, uninterested faces. Does it always have to be like this? Why should you bother?

Firstly, you should bother. A company-wide office meeting can be a fabulous way to update everyone on the latest news, achievements and, sometimes, the odd reminder about everyone doing their bit with the washing up.

All too often, though, the office meeting descends into a sermon by those chairing it and the most boring thirty minutes of the week for the attendees. You can spend a lifetime working out how to get the most from your employees, but regular, poor office meetings can ruin your hard work.

In this post, I’ve got 5 ways to make office meeting more effective. Follow them, and you may even start to look forward to the next one.

1. Make sure the meeting is necessary

Ok, so you started the year promising everyone an office meeting every Monday morning. A consistent approach to meetings is great, but if you ever find yourself scratching your head and wondering what on earth you’re going to cover, the meeting probably isn’t necessary this time around.

There’s nothing more irritating or productivity-sapping than a pointless meeting, therefore always ask yourself if this week’s really is necessary.

2. Ask for agenda contributions

Meetings work best when they are a collaborative effort on behalf of everyone present. Unless you’re Steve Jobs, it is unlikely anyone will want to hear you rattling off the latest health and safety policy for half an hour, so, prior to the meeting, ask for contributions to the agenda.

This invitation should be extended to everyone; give every employee the chance to contribute and have their say.

3. Go for the important stuff first

Apply email marketing rules to your office meetings. Spend 80% of the time on your subject line or, in this case, the key piece of information you want to cover. Just make sure it is interesting enough to warrant top billing (leave the note about the washing up until last) and start the meeting with a killer opening line.

4. Try a Q&A instead

This is a tactic used by some of the biggest corporations in the world, and, although it isn’t always much fun for management, a Q&A session instead of a traditional meeting will likely feel far more valuable for the employees in attendance.

It’s a chance for staff to ask any burning questions they may have about the company, products or industry, and as a boss, it’s your chance to hear their concerns and desires first hand, before they make their way around the water cooler.

5. Follow up. Always.

There’s nothing more frustrating than discussing key subjects in meetings, agreeing actions and then, three weeks later, discovering that none of the promises have come to fruition. If you promise something in an office meeting, make sure you act on it and show the proof of the pudding at the next meeting.


Office meetings should be snappy, engaging and inclusive affairs. Involve everyone, get to the meat of the content quickly and try your hand at sitting in the hot seat with a Q&A. No one will ever complain about an office meeting ever again.

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