Reasons behind unproductive meetings revealed

A meeting with no clear purpose or agenda is a sure fire way to leave your attendees drained and your meetings unproductive.

That’s according to a report by Robert Half Management Resources which surveyed more than 400 employees about some of their meeting and conference bugbears.

Cited by, 30 per cent of those surveyed identified ‘no clear purpose’ as the reason why their meeting was unproductive. A further 30 per cent believed the meeting’s agenda straying from the main topic broke their meeting down into a draining, frustrating venture.

In addition, 20 per cent were left cranky about meetings that don’t end at their scheduled conclusion time while 15 per cent were unhappy with late starting times.

According to Dan Cook, a meetings expert writing for, good leaders ensure the agenda and any supporting materials “are accessible and publicised in advance”, leading to a stimulated, energised audience.

“If it’s an in-person meeting,” asks Cook, “make sure there are enough seats in the room for everyone. Leave time for setup and pre-meeting technology challenges that may arise.”

Furthermore, meetings leaders should finish their meetings with an action point.

“If anyone leaves the meeting wondering what the next steps are, you haven’t done your job as meeting host,” added Cook. “Allow time for people to ask questions, and determine who has responsibility for each follow-up item.”