Board members regularly hold meetings that decide the fate of the company and people’s careers. Since these things are quite responsible, both to the law and to the company itself, all board actions must be formally certified in a special document called meeting minutes. The secretary takes minutes for many reasons, and in this article, we will break down in more detail why meeting minutes are important, what they are and what should go into the minutes.
What are the meeting minutes?
Surely everyone at a meeting has tried to make some personal notes of information that you think is important but in the end, you didn’t even use it. In the rush to have time to write down every word of the other participants, we do not understand what is important, and what can be omitted. Minutes are a prime example of summarizing all the important information about a meeting, and they are a starting point for future meetings, especially for those board members who were not present at the previous meeting. The person in charge of taking minutes should be sure to know how to create effective minutes. The content of the minutes should be written in a clear and dry factual language and should not leave out any important details.
Minutes of meetings should describe: all items that have been brought up for discussion and all decisions that have been made on an issue, the results of each vote, suggestions made by individual participants, including names, and those items that will be brought up at the next board meeting.
Should every meeting have minutes?
If we’re talking about a board meeting, meeting minutes are a required part of every meeting. Board members are legally responsible individuals whose every decision is governed by the appropriate authorities. Meeting minutes are the document that officially confirms every decision of the board.
However, when it comes to other kinds of meetings, minutes are not a must, but they are a handy enough way to remember all the details of the meeting and have a more organized and productive follow-up meeting.
Why are meeting minutes important?
At first glance, it may seem like meeting minutes are a time-consuming process, but in fact, they help you save time and money. Below we’ve highlighted the main reasons why minutes are considered so important:
- Legal protection
As mentioned, meeting minutes are an official document that clearly shows your compliance with the law. Lawyers believe that if an action was not recorded in the minutes, then it did not happen at all. In the case of litigation, the minutes will be your strong evidence of innocence. However, it is worth remembering that the document becomes official only when it has collected the signatures of all participants and the seal of the chairman.
- Minutes provide the same memories
By reviewing the minutes of previous meetings, each member will remember or know exactly which actions took place and which did not. This will reduce the likelihood of confusion and ensure a smooth process for each meeting.
- They stimulate action.
Minutes help formulate a plan of next steps because they spell out who made what decision, when, and what decision, so they can easily be used to create a plan of next steps. They also allow participants who were not present at the previous meeting to quickly adapt to events that are taking place.
- Records act as a yardstick
When your company has a moment to evaluate performance and business progress, board minutes become more useful than ever. With them, you can easily track company growth and use them as an accountability tool.