Why Meeting Minutes are Critical for Business Success

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July 15, 2019
Author: Ben Halverson
Organization: Lorman Education Service

When you hold a meeting, there are many important factors that help influence the success of the meeting. You want a clear plan in place that will help tell you what you need to accomplish during the meeting and a strategy that will allow you to more effectively engage everyone present at the meeting. There is, however, one more element you should be considering: the importance of meeting minutes.

What are Meeting Minutes?

Meeting minutes are the record of what went on in your meeting. They can be as detailed or as simple as you want them to be; however, this important document provides evidence of any decisions that were made during a meeting as well as making it easier to go back and see who committed to a certain project, who made certain suggestions, and other key information about what took place during the meeting. 

Why are Meeting Minutes So Important?

When you keep a record of your meetings, you accomplish a number of important goals for your workplace. 

1. Minutes provide valuable information that can help protect your company legally.

Did one employee accuse another of harassment? Are you struggling to keep track of who was responsible for a specific project or who might have contributed? Through meeting minutes, you can quickly access important records concerning the meeting--including anything inappropriate that went on. Make a habit of noting these events and what was done about them to help protect your company. 

2. Meeting minutes provide a record of ownership.

Did you take a vote during your meeting? If so, the minutes will show which employee or board member voted in which direction. Later, that can help assess ownership and make it easier to understand which way board members are most likely to vote--and help display whether any of them are acting in their personal best interests, rather than in the interests of the organization as a whole. 

3. Meeting minutes can help increase accountability.

You know what you're supposed to be accomplishing, but how fast do you need to take care of it, really? Without minutes, especially if you hold regular meetings, it can be hard to measure exactly when a decision was made or when a project began. Through meeting minutes, on the other hand, you can get a better look at the when of those important records, which will put you in a better position to hold the staff accountable. 

4. Taking the minutes helps boost productivity.

During your meeting, you may discuss what you are hoping to accomplish as well as assessing past productivity. The minutes from your meeting can provide a valuable boost in productivity: not only do you have a better idea of where you've been and what you need to accomplish, they can help provide you with valuable information about future needs. 

5. Minutes provide an important record that can help participants remember what went on during the meeting.

Not every person who attended the meeting will take their own notes. Unfortunately, that can mean the loss of vital information later. When you keep track of the minutes for your meeting, you keep an important record that will make it easier for everyone present during the meeting to remember exactly what occurred.

6. The minutes from the last meeting may provide a starting point for future meetings.

You can review the minutes to determine what each team member was supposed to accomplish, then assess whether they have met their goals, within the first few minutes of the meeting. A look at past minutes can also prevent you from dwelling too long on a topic that has already been dealt with.

Do you need training that will help you keep better track of what goes on during your meetings? Are you looking for more help with communication and education? Contact us today to learn how we can help.

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