Over the course of a 45-year career, the average professional will have spent 16% of their work hours in pointless meetings. That equals about seven wasted years.
The trouble is, we can’t get rid of meetings. Collaboration and teamwork couldn’t happen without them.
Luckily, proper management and meeting minutes can make any business gathering more productive.
What are meeting minutes, you ask? Read on to learn what they are, why they’re important, and how to record them.
What Are Meeting Minutes?
Meeting minutes are a written record of what happened during a meeting. It should summarize the entire meeting, from the discussion points to follow-up tasks.
Typically, an assistant or secretary will take the minutes. If there isn’t an assistant, the person running the meeting might appoint someone else to take minutes.
Once the meeting ends, the person who recorded the minutes will send out the document to all the attendees. They should send the notes within 24 hours after the meeting, but within the hour is ideal.
Why Are They Important?
Minutes are valuable for both people who went to the meeting and those who missed it.
Attendees can use the minutes to spot important details they missed. For example, if you miss the announcement of a project due date, you could find the date in the minutes without bothering a manager or coworker.
For those who can’t make the meeting, they can read the discussion summary and learn what decisions the team made. When the next meeting rolls around, they’ll be up to speed and can make valuable contributions.
Minutes also help measure the team’s progress, especially if you record them on a regular basis. Since there’s a record of past meetings, you can easily track the progress of a particular decision by reading through the minutes.
If the business ever lands in legal trouble, meeting minutes can also provide legal protection since the minutes are an official record.
Elements of Effective Meeting Minutes
Minutes should always include the names of the attendees and the date. Effective minutes also include a summary of the discussion and any decisions the team made.
Plus, they should also include any future due dates or follow-up tasks. This helps the team stay on schedule and remember the results of their discussion.
If your manager asked you to take meeting minutes, it can be difficult to keep track of all the necessary information. That’s why it’s smart to use online meeting minutes templates.
With a template, you’ll know you’re not forgetting anything important. Plus, your document will look sleek and professional.
Make Your Business Meetings More Productive Today
Accurate meeting minutes can keep your team on schedule and up to date. It helps meeting attendees and those who missed the meeting. It also helps you track progress on projects and decisions.
So, the next time someone asks you ‘what are meeting minutes,’ you can tell them why they’re important.
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