How to Make Meetings More Efficient At a Startup


The meeting you had been scheduling for over a week did not yield the result you were expecting. The schedule is a mess and, every person involved did not get a chance to speak.

You have a unique business, and your plan for a more efficient workplace is not working. You may be a part of a startup or other young company looking to perfect your business strategy. Begin with better engagement with your employees.

What can you do for your meetings at work that can prove to enhance their productivity? How can you ensure valuable feedback to all employees?

You will need to do some detailed strategy and implementation work. Keep reading to discover how you can help your start-up get established. For example, form an effective way to hold business meetings.

Plan the future of your company.

More Efficient Meetings at Your Start-Up

Often, start-up companies are still figuring out the lay of the land when it comes to operations. Productive meetings begin with good time management techniques. Set up your day according to a schedule that you update and adjust. Planning arrangements in advance will keep your time and schedule organized.

Your organization will better serve the time you have for company meetings. Time management will prioritize items and events that need careful attention first. So you can get the job done right.

Effective time management also implies that an organization can address challenges without affecting day-to-day activities. This is critical for companies that depend on consistent production to maximize ROI. You will need a scheduled, coordinated timetable that allows for additional time for problem-solving or unanticipated circumstances.

Planning Efficient Meetings and Achievable Goals

To create a more profound sense of meeting efficiency that is motivational and effective, you’ll need to set goals with your team for the future.

Discussions with your employees about business practices can result in concrete, attainable objectives to explain how your business is intended to operate. In addition, ensuring your team understands how it should run will motivate them to make sure things are running smoothly.

Time management entails not only being constructive with your time but also being productive in terms of meeting your company’s goals.

It is equally as crucial for company owners as well as workers. Setting specific targets would enable you to assess the success of your work and monitor your progress toward that goal. As a company, you should be thinking about your quarterly and yearly objectives long before seeing the final figures of your earnings.

Meeting Efficiency is Step One

More efficient business practices start with communication between management and employees. Establishing an open line of communication and a complete sense of transparency is critical.

Learning how to communicate your goals in team meetings is very important to your long-term company goals.

According to research,

  • 65% of managers say meetings keep them from work and deep thinking
  • 30-40% of the hours we spend in meetings aren’t productive

Are there ways to improve meetings?

The HBR article “Why Your Meetings Stink – And What To Do About It.” by Steven Rogelberg goes into detail about how to make meetings better.

Some of the takeaways:

  • Apparently, only about 20% of leaders receive any training on meetings.
  • The training that’s typically done tends to be very superficial e.g. “always have an agenda to guide your meeting”.
  • There’s no feedback or accountability, and it’s not clear who owns meetings – there is no CMO (Chief Meeting Officer).
  • Sometimes there are too many people in the meeting, they run too long, or people are coming in from back to back meetings, and attendees have no clue what was decided.

How can we deal with inefficient meetings?

Experimenting with different meeting formats can be beneficial. As a leader, you have to be able to evaluate your meetings periodically and ask for feedback.

  • Have a highly compelling agenda
  • The right attendees
  • Make the meeting highly engaging, everyone has to be involved
  • Eliminate multitasking (attendees looking at their phones, or typing away at their laptops while others are speaking).
    • The President Obama Strategy refers to meetings where he didn’t allow people to multitask, and all phones had to go in a basket. While effective, this means that the meeting has to be on the shorter side or you need to build in a break.

Dominance Dynamics

Matthew Syed has a book called Rebel Ideas that touches upon other issues that can contribute to ineffective meetings, such as dominance dynamics:

How do you avoid dominance dynamics?

  • Talk about this dynamic directly with the team – everyone has to be brave enough to share ideas
  • Get the most junior team members to share ideas first
  • Don’t let assertive CEOs squash out the diversity in the room
  • Work on breaking free from echo chambers by focusing on diversity

If you run a start-up or work for one, you have a unique perspective. If you want to know more about what it means to work for a smaller company or research enriching your workplace culture, check out our blog.

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