he purpose of meetings is to get things done. Follow up, post-meetings ensure that things get done. Follow up is not just another process, but the key to progress and higher performance.
Incorporating post-meeting follow-ups into your process ensures that you are doing the needful to review points from the meeting, take actionable steps and collect any information that was missed out.
Make sure everyone knows what is assigned to them. It indicates that everyone should know who has to address the action items that were discussed in the meeting.
Why is follow-up necessary?
A remote meeting should be planned and executed with best practices. Have a clear objective, and be sure to circulate an agenda. A meeting might have the right presentation length, ice-breaking activities, a facilitator, timekeeper and real-time feedback, but with no follow-up, it can never achieve its potential.
Follow up is required to track the following key attributes:
- The deliverables and next stages
- Assigning and checking the responsibility of each task
- Track the project against the planned timeline
- Plan and proposal for the next meeting
Online meeting follow-ups
A meeting can be called effective when every person walks out with a clear objective and assigned responsibility. Getting feedback from attendees may give you ample opportunities to improve future meetings, making remote meetings more inclusive and efficient.
Strategies to follow up after remote meeting
1. Share minutes of meeting (MoM)
MoMs are a summary written live during the meeting, which includes the list of attendees, issues raised, responses shared, and decisions taken. As an effective follow-up strategy, share MoMs within 24 hours. This document serves as an accurate meeting record about all that has happened, including the learning, agreements, and decisions taken. It helps to summarise the key points discussed during the meeting.
2. Thank people for their time and effort
It’s a good idea to acknowledge the presence of attendees by thanking them for their efforts. It is considered to be a good code of conduct and professional when you appreciate their presence and convey a thankyou note. It builds a good impression on your client, boss, subordinates, and colleagues.
It is another way to keep the team motivated and interested while instilling a sense of responsibility for work and upcoming tasks. A meeting is successful when everyone gets on the same page regarding the upcoming targets and can discuss any changes required or steps to be taken ahead to be successful.
3. Define action items
Action items are the tasks allotted to the attendees. The MoMs may include the action items as well, or it can be communicated separately in a clear and concise format.
The action items include the name of the person responsible for the achievement of the task, the expected due date for completion, and the resources required for achieving the task.
Some action items need immediate attention and should be completed right away, whereas others have a more extended deadline. The team should prioritise the action items and reach a consensus.
4. Record and index all action items
Once your list of action items is ready, prioritise them and index them such that the team follows the track and there is no chance of missing out or ignoring the tasks. It’s advisable to keep checking the progress and completion of action items.
Team members who are lagging need to be pushed remotely through emails, chats, or maybe another meeting. This indexing proves lucrative for future meetings, where you may start the next meeting disclosing the status of action items.
You may reward or appreciate the team who completes the task first. It creates a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction while you move closer towards achieving the set goals and objectives.
Also calculate the rate of completion of action items, which is computed as the number of action items completed against the total agreed-upon action items. It will be a way to motivate the team and achieve higher goals.
5. Keep communication lines open.
A lot of things discussed during the meeting may change over time. Some new elements may be added, the priorities may change, or some problems may arise. In any of these cases, you should communicate clearly and promptly. It’s best to share information asynchronously via the organisation’s mode of communication and collaboration, like slack. Attach any relevant documents and resources that can be utilised by members.
This way, all team members are on the same page and can share and discuss issues easily. Sometimes some obstacles may arise that prevent the team from meeting deadlines. When all teams are aware of the situation, they can collaborate and assist in helping achieve the target. Whatever is the case, communication should be kept on.
You may even invite some people to share feedback, ask questions, take a poll or survey, based on the requirement.
“The purpose of meetings is to get things done. Following up ensures that things get done. Following up is not just another process, but the key to progress and higher performance.”
Effective follow up eliminates non-productivity, helps accomplish tasks and achieve results, so much so that future meetings may not even be required. Follow the above strategies to stay on target, impart clarity across the team, and keep team members motivated.