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Meetings are a regular part of the workday for many upper-level business executives. Unfortunately, though, they often consume valuable time and resources that could be better used elsewhere. According to joint survey conducted by CareerBuilder and Harris Poll, 23 percent of employers say meetings are the leading cause of lost productivity in the workplace. So, what steps can executives take to make their meetings more productive?


#1) Keep Meetings Short

Scheduling short meetings can protect against lost productivity by allowing workers to get back to their job more quickly. When spearheading Yahoo!, for example, former CEO Marissa Mayer would often schedule micro-meetings lasting for just 10 minutes. Longer, more drawn-out meetings often consume valuable time without offering any tangible benefits to the business’s operations.


#2) Prepare an Agenda

Executives should prepare an agenda before hosting a meeting. The Harvard Business Review (HBR) explains that an agenda should reveal the goals and objectives of the meeting as well as the topics that will be covered. This otherwise simple document keeps the meeting flowing efficiently so that time isn’t wasted.


#3) Notify Attendees in Advance

When key attendees are late for a meeting, it disrupts the process by forcing everyone to wait. To prevent this from happening, executives should notify attendees of upcoming meetings in advance. Rather than telling them in person, however, it’s recommended that executives send at least two emails to every worker who’s expected to attend. Even if an attendee forgets about the meeting after reading the first email, the second email will serve as an important reminder.


#4) Send Recap Reports

After conducting a meeting, executives should send a recap report to everyone who attended. It’s not uncommon for attendees to take notes in meetings. While this may seem harmless enough, it distracts attendees from focusing on the core topics being discussed. By sending a recap report, attendees don’t need to take notes; everything discussed in the meeting is provided in the report.


#5) Use Meetings to Recognize Workers

Meetings offer the perfect opportunity for executives and employers to recognize workers. Calling out workers who’ve excelled in their respective position, for instance, motivates the entire workforce to strive for excellence.


Meetings don’t have to be a waste of time. By following these five tips, executives can host shorter, more productive meetings that benefit their business.