Center for Meeting Effectiveness

Women at computers

It’s a scenario playing out in millions of conference rooms across the country every day: employees sneaking glances at their watches during a meeting that started late, wondering when they will be able to get back to doing their jobs as the manager drones on about a half-relevant topic with seemingly little interest in letting anyone else offer input or otherwise participate. And what’s worse, it’s only the first meeting in a day packed with them.

Recent estimates indicate more than 55 million meetings happen daily in the U.S., and findings show roughly half of meetings are rated as poor. For businesses where these bad meetings are occurring, the problem goes well beyond managers being lampooned in water-cooler jokes over their talent for putting employees to sleep. Ample evidence shows ineffective meetings reduce employee engagement, increase burnout and turnover and, ultimately, crush the bottom line. 

Further, ineffective safety meetings result in lack of awareness of hazards, cutting corners in dangerous environments, and reductions in safety culture. Bad safety meetings put employees and their employers at risk for injury, lawsuits, and fatalities. Thus, making the boardroom meeting better is important, but making safety meetings better is simply the right thing to do!

The Center for Meeting Effectiveness (CME) within the Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational and Environmental Health aims to address the problem. We work to improve employee engagement, well-being, and safety, one meeting at a time. Better meetings have been linked to improved performance on every level, from individuals to teams to entire organizations. At the CME, we offer science-based meeting management best practices for the purpose of improving meeting inputs, process, and outcomes.


The CME is available to assist businesses and other organizations that need help creating a successful meeting culture. Our services include all levels of evaluation of meetings, as well as standardized assessments of organizational outcomes and properties, including employee engagement, safety climate, injuries, hazards, and more. Our team builds interventions designed to solve specific problems within an organization from simple monologuers in conference rooms, to supervisors who are not providing a psychological safe environment for discussing occupational hazards. Our interventions are based in meeting and occupational/environmental health sciences.

Adaptive Improvement Model – Base Offering

Needs assessment

  • Up to three interviews for assessing organizational meeting culture and pain points
  • Up to two team observations and focus group sessions
  • Cohort survey of meeting experiences and KPI metrics

Intervention development

  • Analysis of needs assessment data and report to organizational stakeholders
  • Prepare materials for workshops, team coaching sessions, booster webinar, etc.

Training and booster training

  • One large group workshop
  • Up to three team coaching sessions
  • One webinar booster training
  • Up to five one-on-one coaching sessions with team leaders

Post assessment and follow-up

  • Cohort survey of meeting experiences and KPI metrics
  • Up to three interviews and coaching sessions
  • Up to three team observations and focus group sessions
  • Follow-up session with report and planning process

While we recommend organizations begin with our Adaptive Improvement Model, which provides a holistic range of services, we also offer services that can be utilized on an a la carte basis.

Additional Services

Tips for Running Effective Meetings

Before the Meeting

Meeting design

  • Call a meeting only when necessary
  • Schedule meeting length to fit with meeting goals; avoid long meetings
  • Keep meeting size small by only including those whose expertise/knowledge is required
  • Match technology to meeting objectives—use rich media (such as videoconferencing, teleconferencing) for virtual attendees

Leader and attendee responsibilities

  • Set clear goals and desired outcomes for the meeting
  • Prepare an agenda and circulate it in advance
  • Make sure the meeting is relevant to everyone invited
  • Come prepared by reviewing agenda
  • Ensure technology is working and ready to go prior to the meeting

Publications and Reports

At RMCOEH's Center for Meeting Effectiveness, we take pride in unearthing knowledge about how meetings work, how they're changing, and how they can be done better. Our researchers seek to push meeting science forward and are active in publishing technical reports, white papers, and peer-reviewed studies. Below is a selection of publications that illustrate our expertise and passion for pursuing what's on the next horizon.



Contact Us

Email us at or call us at 801-581-4800 to learn more about utilizing our services.

Meet the CME Director

Joseph A. Allen, PhD, is a professor of industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology at the University of Utah. His research focuses on three areas: the study of workplace meetings, organizational community engagement, and occupational safety and health. He has more than 200 publications in academic outlets and has authored or co-authored approximately 25% of all peer-reviewed research on the topic of meeting science. He has published several books, including “Running Effective Meetings for Dummies,” “Suddenly Virtual: Making Remote Meetings Work,” “Suddenly Hybrid: Managing the Modern Meeting,” and “The Burned Out Physician: Managing the Stress and Reducing the Errors.”

Joseph Allen headshot


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