The ever-increasing use of committees owes a great deal to the growing emphasis on group participation in organizations and group management. Yet committees are found to suffer from certain disadvantages so we discuss here various way of making committees successful by which a manager may try to overcome by following the guidelines that appear below:
Making Committees Successful
1. Committee’s authority is to be clearly stated: A committee’s authority should be spelled out clearly so that each and every member knows whether their responsibility is to make recommendations, make decisions, or merely deliberate and give the committee chief some insights into the issue under discussion.
2. Members must be selected carefully: If a committee is to be effective, the members must be representative of the interests they are expected to serve. They must also be competent to perform well in a group. Moreover, the members should have the capacity for communicating well and reaching group decisions by integrated group thinking rather than by inappropriate compromise.
3. The size should be workable: The size of the committee is important. It should not be either too big or too small. If the committee is too big, there may not be enough opportunities for adequate communication among its members. If, on the other hand, the committee is too small it may fail to serve the purpose. Thus, as a general rule, a committee should be large enough to promote deliberation and include the breadth of expertise required for the job but not as large as to waste time or foster indecision. As is generally found, the optimum committee size is between five to fifteen members.
4. Selecting a competent chairperson: In order to make committee meetings successful, the selection of the chairperson is crucial. A competent chairperson can minimize the limitations of a committee by proper planning of the meeting, preparing the agenda carefully, conducting the meeting effectively, and integrating the ideas judiciously. As a matter of fact, the success of fact the success of committee meetings depends to a large extent upon the competence of the chairperson.
5. Careful selection of the subject matter: The subject should be selected carefully. Committee actions are to be kept limited to those types of subjects that are suitable for group deliberations. Members should be given an opportunity to study the subject matter well ahead of the meeting time and for that matter, the agenda and relevant information are to be circulated among them accordingly.
6. Committee must be cost-effective: In the long run, committees are justified if the costs are offset by tangible and intangible benefits. It should be remembered, however, that although the tangible benefits are not very hard to be determined, it may be difficult to count the intangible benefits such as morale, motivation, and training of committee members.
7. Circulation of minutes: Circulation of minutes and checking conclusions are indispensable for effective communication in committees. Sometimes individuals may leave a meeting with varying interpretations as to what agreements were reached. This can be avoided by noting down minutes carefully and circulating them in draft form for correction or modification before the final copy is approved by the committee.
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