Are Your Meetings Really Worth It?

(Edited from a previous posting in July, 2015)

The statistics are staggering…

  • 37 percent of employee time is spent in meetings

  • managers attend more than 60 meetings per month

  • 47% consider too many meetings the biggest waste of time

  • 39% of meeting participants admitted to dozing off during a meeting

  • Over 70% brought other work to meetings

  • it is estimated that 25-50% of meeting time is wasted

Is it time to clean up your meetings? Mismanaged, poorly run, disorganized meetings can cost an organization $‘000’s a year. They can waste days of employees’ time. They can demoralize the team and they can create conflict needlessly.

Too often we find ourselves sitting in a meeting without a clear objective, with the wrong people present, without proper preparation, that started late and we know from past experience that it will run overtime! The perfect disaster.

Next time you call a meeting why not run it through a checklist to be sure that you’re not wasting anyone’s time.

  • Do you really need to be holding a meeting or could you achieve the desired results through a conference call or otherwise?

  • What is the objective of this meeting? Not only your objective but the objectives of the attendees?

  • Do you have an achievable agenda?

  • Do you have the right people in attendance? And just as importantly, do you have the right people not in attendance? Does everyone you invited really need to be there?

  • Are you able to provide everyone with enough background or preliminary information in order to guarantee engagement by all?

If you have a check beside all five points above then you’re off to a good start. But the execution of the meeting is just as important as the preliminary checklist.  I once sat in a board room of an organization that had posted the rules of engagement for all meetings on each wall. There was no question that everyone could read them and think about them throughout the meetings.

  • Start on time

  • End on time

  • Respect everyone’s opinion

  • Don’t waste anyone’s time

  • Assign a chair, scribe and timekeeper

There are many benefits to a well-planned and a well-run meeting, the least of which is it to get the job done efficiently. But there is a very important residual effect to great meetings and that is that people will want to be there. If they know your meetings are well-planned and well-run they won’t be making excuses to avoid them. They will know that no time will be wasted needlessly and that you will get the job done.

Run great meetings and everyone will notice. Spread the good news by mentoring and coaching others to do so as well and it will pay off for everyone.

Is it time to clean up your meetings?

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