Meetings might seem necessary to hold, but most of the time they actually aren’t. Did you know that employees spend hours of wasted time on unproductive meetings? And many of them do feel as if they’re wasting time sitting there in a meeting room instead of getting on with more important matters.
Research shows that 65% of employees feel that meetings keep them from completing their own work. Although it’s a good way to come together, brainstorm, and form new strategies, there are those unnecessary and time-consuming meetings that don’t need to be held. If you think about it, it’s actually very counterproductive because employees are spending all their time listening and run out of time to accomplish their work.
So the key, really, is to lessen meetings and only hold them when necessary. When it becomes essential to huddle up, here are some tips to ensure efficiency and productivity.
Set and adhere to a time limit
Most managers or executives like keeping the meeting going on and on, without setting a time when the meeting should end. The tendency is that the meeting lasts for hours and takes up all morning, even when the agenda could have been discussed in half an hour.
It’s easy to lose track of time when in a meeting. That’s why it’s important to set a time frame. Limit the meeting to an hour or less and strive to end at that time. This will guarantee that only important matters are discussed, and there’s no time wasted sitting in a room without really touching on anything necessary.
Determine the necessity
The tendency is that meetings are held to update employees and keep everyone on tabs regarding new processes, announcements, upcoming events, etc. But do you really need a meeting for that? Because that has been the norm, it seems only normal. If you really think about it, however, these are matters that can be sent through an email blast, instant message, or even a post in the office’s bulletin board.
Have a clear agenda
Holding a meeting without any objectives or agenda will cause the meeting to run longer. That’s because people will just be bringing up random things that seem to have significance but really don’t. And it’s never going to end.
On the other hand, having a clear agenda will set the objectives of the meeting and limit the discussion only to what’s important. Consider distributing the agenda to the participants ahead of time so they can prepare their questions, insights, or feedback to hasten the flow of the session.
Set a positive environment
A common cause of unproductive meetings is the negative environment. If the session starts with complaints, blames, problems, etc. then the whole atmosphere changes and it will be carried out through the entire duration of the meeting. This will discourage participation, stop the attendees from collaborating and sharing their ideas, etc.
It’s important to start a meeting on a good note and to give only constructive criticism. Save the scolding for personal one-on-one talks so it doesn’t ruin the atmosphere during the session. Instead, focus on moving forward, discuss strategies, encourage participants to voice out their feedback, or even get breakfast catering to lighten the mood and improve productivity.
Meetings are the number one consumers of time in the office. If your team is to hold a meeting, take these tips to make the session productive and efficient.