If you allow multitasking during meetings, you are not encouraging employees to stay focused and engaged. Hold more productive meetings with these tips:
- Ban electronics. Smartphones and laptops are very distracting. Ask meeting attendees to leave them behind unless they are needed for the meeting. If that is not possible, set a rule that all devices must be turned off during meetings.
- Ask questions. If employees know you will expect feedback and discussion during meetings, they’ll be more likely to pay attention.
- Stick to the time allotted. When employees are distracted by other tasks, you often have to repeat information, lengthening your meetings. Adopt a strict policy that meetings are to end on time to keep people tuned in. If employees remain focused and you finish early, reward them by ending the meeting then.
- Keep yourself focused. If you don’t want others multitasking, practice what you preach. Place your smartphone out of sight and use your laptop only if the meeting warrants it.
— Adapted from “7 Ways to Keep People From Multitasking in a Meeting,” Kim Casey, http://blog.pgi.com.