What to do After a Meeting

Don't assume that ideas discussed during a meeting will be put into action or even remembered. To ensure follow-through and accountability a meeting leader needs to do three key tasks after the meeting ends. These are discussed in detail below.

  1. Distribute minutes
  2. Archive meeting documents
  3. Check for action

1. Distribute minutes

Ensure that minutes are produced and promptly distributed to all attendees including guests. Meeting minutes don't need to include everything everyone said. They do need to include following:

  • Date, time location
  • Attendees
  • Key points raised and decisions made
  • Motions and voting results if votes taken
  • Who is responsible for what follow-up action and by when
  • Name of the Recorder

Most word processing software includes templates for agendas and minutes.

 2. Archive meeting documents

All meeting documents including the agenda, minutes and supporting documents should be kept together and archived.

These records can be checked when questions arise about past decisions or actions. It is discouraging to committee or group members to rehash prior discussions or decisions because of poor record keeping.

3. Check on action

Often people need a gentle nudge to remind them about completing action items. Leaders need to check to ensure that action is taking place as agreed. The check can be an E-mail or phone call to the point person or a meeting devoted to checking on progress. Not checking may send a message that not much action is really expected.

Tip: Every goal and action item needs a "point person." This person is responsible for reminding everyone of action items connecting people to their work and following up with colleagues to make sure the work has been completed. The point person also reports on results.

[See article, What to Do At a Check Meeting]

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