Whether you like them or hate them, meetings serve a crucial role in the operations of a business.
Even the smallest family business relies on trust, cooperation, and verbal discussion to get things done and keep business flowing effectively, while large corporations gather dozens of board members, department staff, and representatives of all levels in meetings to discuss pressing matters, solve problems, and iron out plans for the future.
However, while holding a meeting is a good first step towards accomplishing goals, it does not guarantee success. This is where meeting minutes come in.
Minute-taking is just “corporate speak” for note-taking at meetings, and plays an important role in solidifying the events and results of business meetings.
If you don’t already apply this practice in your business, you can hire another company like Global Lingo to handle the minute-taking for you, or find a staff member to master this skill themselves.
So why is minute-taking important? Here are a few reasons:
#1. Creating a call to action
Have you ever been in a meeting where everyone discussed moving forward with a plan or project, only for it all to fall apart weeks later when people forgot or thought someone else would do it?
These situations are all too common in the business world, especially when meetings are not logged or summarised.
On the other hand, when you record the tasks that should be carried out by specific people in the minutes, they will be much more motivated to carry them out.
An official record assigns direct responsibility, serving as a call to action for workers and staff.
#2. Meeting minutes improve team relations
The traditional philosophy is that meetings and similar interactions built trust and improve relations within a team, while minute-taking is overlooked.
Though minute-taking does not usually require a large team working together to create the notes, the process is still important for teambuilding.
First of all, workers like to see their words and arguments acknowledged and put on paper, as it makes them feel valued and respected.
Furthermore, the official record of the meeting lays out clear expectations for everyone, providing an additional level of transparency and fairness.
#3. Offering important retrospective
When businesses conduct minute-taking for a long period (months, years), the notes become very important for future planning and strategy.
Rather than looking back at numbers, rates, and results, businesses can find the past decisions, words, and meetings that led to changes in the company’s success.
If the company is experiencing issues, they can isolate wrong decisions in the archive, while positive results can be traced back to key meetings and discussions as well.
#4. A legal record
In many companies, meeting minutes are considered legal documentation admissible in court.
This means that notes containing details about participants, their words and actions during the meeting can serve as a major defense against frivolous lawsuits and people making claims about the business without evidence to prove it.
The notes should be properly archived and protected to prevent accidental/intentional tampering or deletion.
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