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Importance of Meetings in an Organization

Question:

Discuss About The Documenting Minutes At Professional Meeting?

Organizations around the world develop new ideas to win the market race in the present world. The success of any organization depends on various factors that range from management of resources to the management of time and finance. One important factor is to manage meetings (Harvard Business Review, 2017). Whether it is a group meeting, a team meeting or board meeting- meetings are a crucial part of any organization.

The following report demonstrates the several nuances of a meeting. It explains the reason for a meeting, the type, communication tool used and so on. Agenda is a crucial part of any meeting, which has also been discussed in the report.

The minutes of the meeting provides all the details discussed. The success of any meeting relies on the active participation of the members of an organization. it is the responsibility of the manager to ensure that the meeting is productive.

To proceed with the task, first it has to be understood what a meeting means and in what way it is significant for an organization. Meetings help members of the organization understand the shared aim of the team or the group and the means by which they can contribute to its success (Allen et al. 2014). It provides a platform for individuals to interact and express their views. A meeting can be either productive or useless; this depends on how it has been managed by the leader.

The launch of a new product of the company is programmed to take place next month. A meeting has been scheduled for all the employees to give inputs of the event of the launch. The meeting would allow the employees to learn about the product such as its specifications before it reaches the consumers. The company has a good reputation in the market and boasts of a great number of loyal customers.

With the launch of the new product, the company plans to increase its customer base and expand the business as well. The company also aims to widen its target consumer as it has been focusing mainly on women. The new product is likely to appeal to both the genders. The meeting is being held to discuss the details of the launch and possible program that lead up to the main event. The manager expects cent percent participation of the staff. All the employees are asked to give prior information regarding their availability (Allen and Rogelberg 2013).

Preparing for the Meeting

The time, venue and date of the meeting are communicated to the employees via email. The mail is to be sent to the official mail IDs of the employees giving details regarding the meeting. The employees are to revert to the mail with an acknowledgment that confirms are their participation. The first detail that is to be included is the time of the meeting. It has to be clearly mentioned with instructions to attend the meeting on time. The second is the venue of the meeting that is to be stated in the mail. Although the employees are aware of the meeting venue, still since the meeting is regarding the launch of a product, the meeting venue must be themed on it (Allen et al. 2012). This information has to be unmistakably conveyed to the employees.

The next detail to be added in the mail is the date of the meeting, which might be included with the time. There has to be at least a ten to fifteen days window for the employees to prepare for the meeting. Further, the mail has to have details regarding the dress code to be followed at the meeting. Then, the employees must be asked to give prior notification if they have any issues with the time or the date of the meeting. The email also must contain the virtual signature of the convener of the meeting.

Every meeting ends successfully if it is backed up by a concrete and well-defined agenda. Preparing an agenda helps the attendees and the convener have a clear idea of the issues and ideas that are to be discussed. A meeting without an agenda has o direction and results in an unproductive end to the meeting. Therefore, it is very essential for any organization or a company to set an agenda before holding a meeting.

The agenda for the product launch has to include a complete list of topics to be covered at the meeting. The agenda must begin with the details of the things that are to be covered during the meeting. The agenda for the product launch meetings lists topics of such as:

  • Members required for the meeting
  • Members whose participation is not mandatory
  • Evaluation of action items
  • Classification of fresh action items
  • Analysis of issues and
  • Evaluation of new issues

The above list has to be discussed one by one with all the participants present in the meeting. to be precise, the first thing in the agenda is to identify employees who are involved with the product launch and whose participation is of utmost importance. Next, those not involved in the product launch are also welcomed to be a part of the meeting but their participation is not mandatory. The next items that follow are elaborated to the attendees. The product specifications, targeted buyers, expected returns and so on are all discussed.

Types of Meetings

The minutes are the notes taken during the meeting that assist employees who are unable to attend the meeting and want to know what was discussed. The responsible persons for future references store minutes carefully (Gutmann 2016).

The points discussed in the meeting for the product launch included the features of the product, possible threats to the product, chronology of events of the launch and celebrities approached to launch the product. The company’s chief executive officer was invited in the meeting. The CEO gave an introductory speech to boost the employees.  The absentees’ apologies were read out to the participants in the meeting.

Thus, the conclusion drawn from the above report suggests that every company or organization considers meeting to be crucial part of management. Meetings are held not just to welcome a new employee or discuss a new product or a new idea; meetings are held to encourage group dynamics, a friendly workplace, and healthy interaction. Meetings are a way to let the employees know that the company values their views and opinions. The above report mentions the different elements that need to be kept in mind while conducting a meeting.

Standard agenda of the meeting

In order to call a meeting, it is necessary for the person who has been assigned the task to develop the meeting procedure, to fix the agenda first (Williams, 2015). Since the organizational structure has changed from the last annual meeting, he or she has to study the previous meeting’s minutes. The agenda for the case organization incorporates along with the standard pattern:

Officers Present- Names of directors and managers in order of their posts

 Names of those who attended the meeting

Guests- Members invited by the organization

Members and envoys- Enlists the members of the organizations and their substitutes present in the meeting.

The officer who chairs the meeting welcomes the delegates and members and extends his gratitude to the attendees of the AGM (Banko et al. 2013).

The chairperson then orders for the commencement of the meeting after substantiating the required number of members present.

The notice of the meeting, then the speech, the auditor’s report, follows these steps and finally the items of agendas of the meeting are taken up for contemplation.

Answer 2: Preparation for the meeting

The chief purpose of the meeting is to introduce the new members of the organization and explain the new structure. In addition to that, new posts are to be assigned to the senior members of the organization. The decision of the board of directors for the opening of a new department is to be announced in the annual meeting as well.

Procedures for Conducting a Successful Meeting

The minutes taken from the previous year AGM has to be read out by the treasurer and distributed to the members at the time of the meeting. All the details regarding the financial status of the organization also to be informed by the treasurer.

The meeting is to be held at the conference room of the organization. There is a separate section reserved for the media at the meeting venue. In addition, the conference hall has space to chair 500 delegates. Separate accommodation has been allotted to the shareholders and foreign delegates.

Answer 3: Type of Meeting

The meeting is going to be a formal general meeting that takes place after the end of every financial year. The setting is the conference hall of the organization where the boards of directors take seat in an elevated platform facing the other members and delegates. A separate provision for web conferencing has been set up for the members who are unable to attend the meeting in physical.

Answer 4: Procedures to be taken

An annual formal meeting cannot be successful without following certain procedures (Braley and Sarah 2014). To make a meeting happen, one should make sure that the following points have been checked and met with:

First is the budget- Conducting a meeting asks for expenses. The one responsible for arranging the meeting has to makes sure that the guests and attendees as well as the media persons are given all facilities, from accommodation to lunch and everything (Rogelberg, Shanock and Scott 2012).

The second part is the transportation- The manager has to ensure that everyone attends the meeting and for that, he or she has to look after the transportation facilities. Anyone missing the meeting due to transportation problem sends out a negative message about the organization and its management.

The next crucial part is to have pre-meeting documentation- Every member attending the meeting has to be given prior documents regarding the meeting. This allows the participants to prepare for the meeting and make considerations if any.

Other important parts of the procedures may include the opting of a date, the venue of meeting, equipments required and so on.


Answer 5: Dispatching meeting papers 

The efficiency of a formal meeting depends on the fact as to how well the participants are informed. In order to do that, the manager must allow the participants enough time to learn about the upcoming meeting. It can be done by dispatching the meeting papers beforehand. Now, the perfect time of dispatch has to be decided very carefully, as it cannot be sent too early or too late. One should make sure that the papers are dispatched at a time that enables the attendees to read, consider and respond back (Baran et al. 2012).

Dispatching Meeting Papers

The documents may be dispatched either by email or through letters. Email is an easier and time saving option. Papers sent through emails also allow participants to revert with an acknowledgment instantly. This method also benefits the organization economically as it saves the extra expense.

Answer 6: Chairing Meetings

It is a big responsibility to chair meetings, as the chair has to take care of the minutest things.  Chairing meetings thus is not an easy task to do (Peni 2014). To ensure that the meeting is productive the chair must guarantee the given points:

  • Supervising the meeting and ensure that is runs smoothly
  • Check if the meeting starts and ends within the allotted time
  • Check if all the members are present
  • Check if all the items of the agenda are covered
  • time to listen to expert views if any
  • Make sure that the results are comprehended and appreciated
  • End the meeting with an appreciation and gratitude note for all participants.

The chair also documents recommendations made by the participants during the meeting (Hilb 2012). He or she then allots particular tasks to his or her team member to carry out certain responsibilities.

Answer 7: Designing Agenda

Designing an agenda is the most important part of a meeting. it becomes easier to manage meetings if there is a set agenda available. It ensures that the meeting is productive and ends on a positive note. Agendas may be preset by the organization and some rules might have to be followed while designing it but commonly a typical format is followed by organizations to conduct meetings. A customary agenda includes items such as:

  • Association
  • Date, time and place of the meeting
  • Date of subsequent meeting
  • Common business
  • Chief agenda items
  • Issues or business occurring from the minute
  • Reports
  • Declaration of the meeting’s intention
  • Welcome note and so on.
  • Answer 8: Participation of the meeting

The anticipated accomplishment of a meeting decides what number of members should participate in a meeting. Excessive participation might slow and baffle the decision-making and less participation might result in insufficient representation.

The chair of the meeting has to remain focused and attend to every participant. His or her role is to listen to the recommendations made, the idea proposed and issues raised by the members. Certain powers are also vested upon the chair while a meeting is conducted. The chair can also give personal views on any matter raised during the meeting (Kauffeld and Lehmann-Willenbroc 2012). Along with these powers, the chair must also possess the quality to encourage members to participate in the meeting.

Answer 9: Conventions to be followed by minute taker

In every meeting, a minute taker records the proceedings of the meeting and stores them for future purpose. The minute taker has to be active and a good listener. Various functions are performed by the minute taker that include- agenda preparation, noting minutes while meeting takes place, clarifying confusions with the chair, getting approval for the minutes and dispatching them to participants. The minute taker has to follow certain conventions while noting down the minutes (Smith 2013). He has to have knowledge of the previous minutes and subsequently format them as per the requirements of the meeting.


Answer 10: Transcribing the meeting

A meeting should be transcribed through reliable resources that ensures future availability when need arises. However, the organization has to have a personal record of the meeting (Svennevig 2012). The basic thing to do is to install an audio device that would record proceedings in a clear and accurate manner.

Although the organization incorporates various ways to transcript a meeting, it is always recommended that an expert transcription service be hired.

Answer 11: Distribution and storing of minutes

The chairperson approves the minutes after thoroughly going through the details at the end of the meeting. After the minutes are approved, they have to be distributed and stored properly.

It is mandatory that the minutes be to be disseminated inside a week of the meeting. These minutes have to be distributed to all the attendees of the meeting, to the ones who have sent explanation for absenting the meeting and to other acknowledged stakeholders.

The minutes then have to be stored safely for the next annual meeting of the organization. The minutes must be stored in both hard and soft copies and each member must have a copy of it.

Answer 12: Reports of the meeting

The report must contain a gist of the meeting. Reports are generally a precise overview of the minutes recorded during the meeting (Nyqvist 2015). This may include the decisions taken, the changes made, the motions moved in favor and against if any, recommendations and such. Other than that, the report may also contain, among other things, the next meeting date and venue, the possible invitees, the number of participants and likewise. The report can also include the names of new members introduced, new posts assigned and other changes that occurred in the organization at the meeting.

References:

 Allen, J., Beck, T., W. Scott, C. and G. Rogelberg, S., 2014. Understanding workplace meetings: A qualitative taxonomy of meeting purposes. Management Research Review, 37(9), pp.791-814.

Allen, J.A. and Rogelberg, S.G., 2013. Manager-led group meetings: A context for promoting employee engagement. Group & Organization Management, 38(5), pp.543-569.

Allen, J.A., Sands, S.J., Mueller, S.L., Frear, K.A., Mudd, M. and Rogelberg, S.G., 2012. Employees' feelings about more meetings: An overt analysis and recommendations for improving meetings. Management Research Review, 35(5), pp.405-418.

Banko, J. et al., 2013. Earnings Management and Annual General Meetings: The Role of Managerial Entrenchment. The Financial Review, 48(2), pp.259–282.

Baran, B.E., Shanock, L.R., Rogelberg, S.G. and Scott, C.W., 2012. Leading group meetings: Supervisors’ actions, employee behaviors, and upward perceptions. Small Group Research, 43(3), pp.330-355.

Braley, Sarah J.F., 2014. Meetings Mean Business, a national campaign to showcase the value derived from all types of business meetings, has been relaunched. Meetings & Conventions, 49(2), p.19.

Gutmann, J., 2016. Taking minutes of meetings. Kogan Page Publishers.

Harvard Business Review. (2017). How To Run a Meeting. [online] Available at: https://hbr.org/1976/03/how-to-run-a-meeting [Accessed 5 Oct. 2017].

Hilb, M., 2012. New corporate governance: Successful board management tools. Springer Science & Business Media.

Kauffeld, S. and Lehmann-Willenbrock, N., 2012. Meetings matter: Effects of team meetings on team and organizational success. Small Group Research, 43(2), pp.130-158.

Nyqvist, A., 2015. The corporation performed: minutes from the rituals of annual general meetings. Journal of Organizational Ethnography, 4(3), pp.341–355.

Peni, E., 2014. CEO and Chairperson characteristics and firm performance. Journal of Management & Governance, 18(1), pp.185-205.

Rogelberg, S.G., Shanock, L.R. and Scott, C.W., 2012. Wasted time and money in meetings: Increasing return on investment. Small Group Research, 43(2), pp.236-245.

Smith, L.S., 2013. Documenting the minutes at professional meetings. Nursing management, 44(3), pp.48-51.

Svennevig, J., 2012. Interaction in workplace meetings. Discourse studies, 14(1), pp.3-10.

Williams, D. (2015). In the Chair: How to Guide Groups and Manage Meetings. BJPsych Bulletin, 40(3), pp.167-167.

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[Accessed 23 February 2024].

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