Center for Meeting Effectiveness

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Meet the director

Joseph Allen, PhDJoe_Allen_Updated_Headshot.png, is a professor of industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology at the University of Utah. With more than 200 academic publications, he has authored or co-authored approximately 25% of all peer-reviewed research on meeting science. He has also published several books, including “Running Effective Meetings for Dummies,” “Suddenly Virtual: Making Remote Meetings Work,” and “Suddenly Hybrid: Managing the Modern Meeting.” Contact him at

Why Better Meetings Matter

It’s a scenario playing out in conference rooms across the country: employees glancing at their watches during a meeting that started late, wondering when they will be able to get back to their real work, as someone drones on about an irrelevant topic with seemingly no intention of letting anyone else participate. And what’s worse, it’s only the first meeting in a day packed with them.

Why are situations like this a crisis for companies and organizations? Consider the following: 

  • Recent estimates indicate more than 55 million meetings occur daily in the U.S. -- and findings show roughly half of meetings are rated as poor.
  • Ample evidence shows that ineffective meetings reduce employee engagement, increase burnout and turnover and, ultimately, decimate the bottom line. 
  • Effective meetings have been linked to improved performance on every level, from individuals to teams, to entire organizations. 

At the Center for Meeting Effectiveness (CME), we help companies and organizations address the problem, one meeting at a time, through science-based best practices and guidance. 


The CME assists 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 solutions to specific problems within an organization, with interventions based in meeting and occupational/environmental health sciences.

Adaptive Improvement Model – Base Offering

We recommend that organizations begin with our Adaptive Improvement Model, a holistic approach that includes the following:

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 key performance indicator (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

What Do These Services Entail?

While most organizations begin with our Adaptive Improvement Model, these services can also be utilized on an a la carte basis.

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.

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