IQ Polls for Work Meetings
A few years ago, many offices I went into had material on the walls and/or tables of the meeting rooms which gave some quick guidance about how to make meetings more effective. Some organisations took it a step further and restricted the length of meetings. Another business I know of enforced a rule that if there was no agenda the meeting should be aborted immediately. All of this came out of a realisation that in many organisations, employees were going to lots of meetings, and not using that time effectively. The meeting revolution over the past decade has eradicated some of the bad behaviours – being late, using devices rather than listening, talking over each other, and so on. We are now entering into a new revolution for meetings, as once again we are set to see more efficiency gains as interactive surveys are gaining popularity.
Having an agenda for a meeting is important because it keeps the group on track and focussed on what needs to be discussed/decided upon etc. There will be some meetings where to some extent the content of the agenda is up for discussion, i.e. it is not pre-defined. A good example might be a meeting to discuss how to reduce the cost base of the organisation, and there are a wide range of ideas that have already been thrown into the proverbial hat. To get people engaged and get a sense of which topics might have the most mileage, use IQ Polls to send out a list of those topics and get the participants to vote on what they want to talk about. Then pick the most popular topics to make it to the agenda. Furthermore, it is really useful after the meeting to rank the follow up topics and to get feedback on that to set the next agenda.
Some individuals in a meeting will naturally be quieter than others and it may be difficult to get their feedback on whether a meeting was productive or not. Some periodic meetings may just not be worthwhile and people are turning up thinking having the time back would be more valuable but are embarrassed to say. It is a really good idea to send a poll to participants of a regular meeting to get feedback. That could be as simple as asking if they think the meeting is still useful – yes/no/maybe. If you get lots of no’s and maybes, it is a starting point to find out more from the group. Having that conversation is fair easier if the chair of a meeting is going in with stats such as – we know that 80% of you in this room do not think this meeting is a valuable use of time – can we talk more about the reasons why?
Employees spend a lot of time in meetings, so making them the most efficient they can be is so important from an organisational perspective. IQ Polls can be used in two very simple ways to increase the productivity of meetings – to set agendas, and gain feedback.