Common reasons for poorly run meetings and how to avoid them

Common reasons for poorly run meetings and how to avoid them

Common reasons for unproductive meetings

For any successful organisation, how they run their meetings plays a huge role in their growth, decision making and how they reach their organisational goals. When meetings are conducted poorly, not only does it waste your employees valuable time, there is also a significant financial impact in poorly running a meeting. 

Here are some common issues that organisations usually face when running a meeting and how to avoid them. 

Common issue one: Meetings are directionless, lack structure & go on too long.

Meetings can often go off track, take up more time than necessarily needed and you can often leave the room wondering what the point of the get together was? 

Allowing a certain agenda item to turn into a lengthy discussion results in meetings running for a longer time and turning into boring talk-fests that lack results. This wastes all the participants time! 

How to avoid this problem? Always set an agenda.

Set a well-designed agenda that includes the discussion points that need to be reviewed in the meeting, it is also very helpful to allocate a specific amount of time for each action item. It is always a good idea to distribute the agenda prior to the meeting, this ensures that everyone knows the purpose of the meeting and it allows everyone to prepare fully for the various discussion points. Having an agenda indicates what will be discussed, makes sure that a meeting stays on track and that everyone knows what is going to happen next. Without an agenda in place, meetings can easily go off track and in some cases, can become chaotic. Meeting management software with administrative tools can help you easily create and distribute the meeting agenda among your participants while saving your time and effort.

Common issue two: No follow up

The follow up on action points & decisions made, is just as important as the meeting itself. This is one of the most common mistakes in organisations, and it is very easy to overcome. No matter how productive the meeting went, without a follow up, it can all be forgotten. Insufficient follow-up results in inactivity and lack of progress.

How to avoid this problem? Always record meeting minutes.

Not only should you record the minutes, participants should be given a summary of the meeting's achievements and any agreed action points along with deadlines. After a suitable interval, progress updates may be obtained at a further meeting or through individual submissions from action holders. Meeting management software can streamline and accelerate the process in creating and distributing meeting minutes among your team members. Meetings are an essential part of the running and growth of all businesses but they must be properly prepared, conducted and followed-up in order for them to be of maximum benefit. Unfortunately, the follow up is often neglected by team leaders. 

Common issue three: Participants arriving late for the meeting

You can waste considerable time and money when your meetings do not start on time. A meeting scheduled for 11:00 am is likely to start at 11:15 am or even later. If your meetings start late it’s because participants are not prepared or they do not care. 

How to avoid this problem? Try micro meetings

When it comes to an efficient meeting, less is more. Keep your meetings short, precise & to the point, so people know if they are late, they might miss a big discussion. Experiment with "micro meetings" and invite attendees at odd times, such as 09:10 to 09:23. Notice that people show up on time, as they'll miss most of  the meeting if they're just 5 minutes late.

This article was published by stay tuned for many more articles in the coming weeks on various different aspects of meeting management. If you would like to know more, please do not hesitate to contact us at or sign up at to find out how we can help you and your organisation improve the efficiency of your meetings. 

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