As a manager, meetings are an important part of your day. You solve problems, build consensus and get status updates on big projects.
But, as one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, Adams & Garth knows that sometimes they can be a giant time suck, as well. Everyone is talking in circles…and nothing gets done.
And in fact, unproductive meetings do more than just waste time. The cost a lot of money, too.
According to the National Statistics Council, 37% of employee time is spent in meetings. And according to a study by Bain & Company, one organization wasted $15 million with a single weekly meeting of mid-level managers.
Of course, that doesn’t mean you should cut out meetings entirely. It does mean, though, that you need to take a more productive approach. Here’s how:
Prepare a meeting agenda and send it out in advance.
Your agenda serves many purposes. It gives people the opportunity to prepare for the meeting. It define the meeting’s goal. For instance, are you trying to get an update on various tasks? Or do you want to make a decision during the meeting? It should also provide structure for the meeting – i.e. which topic is to be covered first, second, etc.
Only invite people to the meeting who really need to be there.
Too many people in a meeting lead to unproductive results. So what’s the optimal size? The book Decide & Deliver: 5 Steps to Breakthrough Performance in Your Organization says it’s seven. More than seven people will reduce decision effectiveness by 10%, according to the authors.
Ask people to leave their phones at their desks.
Your team should be giving you their undivided attention during a meeting. Having their phones can detract from that. Also, when people aren’t constantly checking texts and emails on their phone, they can focus more and the meeting can move along faster.
Cut out early if possible.
If your meeting is scheduled to run until 11 a.m. and you’re done covering the agenda by 10:45, then end the meeting. Don’t be tempted to start discussing another problem or project point.
Likewise, if during the meeting, side issues come up and start taking over, steer the discussions back to the topic at hand. It’s up to you to keep meetings productive and on target.
Have too many meetings – and not getting enough work done – because you’re understaffed? Call the experts at Adams & Garth. As one of Staunton’s leading staffing agencies, we can take the hassle out of recruiting for you, so you can focus on other priorities and still find exceptional employees. Contact Adams & Garth today to learn more.