Countless hours are spent daily, weekly, monthly and yearly in organizational meetings and ‘re-meetings’ (meetings to discuss what was already concluded in the last meeting). In fact, a research revealed that a high-earning company was spending 300,000 person hours a year supporting a weekly meeting that didn’t really accomplish anything.
Although employees in this part of the world hardly give honest feedback for fear or favor, most of the time, they show up for organizational meetings wishing they were anywhere else in the world. The truth is, in some ways, organizational meetings may be stealing, or even killing productivity.
Leadership Thought 20: Meetings and conferences can be a colossal waste of time, resources, and undermine teamwork. Leaders are to blame. Thanks to Dilbert we can see ourselves clearly, but can we change our ways??? pic.twitter.com/p8PTCLuJZg
— Don Bolduc (@GenDonBolduc) January 22, 2018
A ‘Total’ Waste of Money
If as a manager or team lead you call for meeting of your 8-person team between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. How many organizational hours did you spend? At first, it may seem like just an hour, right? Okay, let’s take some time to analyse this.
Employees monthly salaries can be broken down into hourly salaries. This means every organization pays its employees per hour–whether at end of day or at the end/start of a month. So, taking a paid hour each from 8 persons seated for a one hour meeting is equal to 8 (paid/organizational) hours which is the equivalent of one team member’s full workday.
Apparently, an hour meeting is not really an hour meeting as the cost of these meetings could be the ‘total’/accumulated waste of time and money. It might interest you to know that time spent in meetings has increased to 15 percent of total time spent at work.
A Waste of Unnecessary Resources
It is simple, if you are not learning a new thing or contributing to the meeting, then you are a wasted resource…not you reading this, the you attending the meeting. More often than not, meetings comprise of participants who are not needed. Have you ever attended a meeting with your laptop or your phone and find yourself working on another entirely different project half the time or throughout the session/time? Then, that meeting wasn’t for you. Don’t feel guilty –even your manager does same.
If your attention is somewhere else, someplace else, something else or you are multitasking with work while in the meeting, you might be in the right place at the wrong time.
A staggering 71% of employees feel that #meetings are a waste of time. That's a huge percentage! We organise fun and engaging meetings in beautiful spaces and would love to help you with yours. https://t.co/vMfiOJjC1Q #corporate pic.twitter.com/GvkH1ruVnF
— Inspirational Venues & Events (@InspVenues) April 1, 2018
A Waste of Prowess
Okay, let’s say you actively participate in meetings, how many meetings of the past months were centered on trying to advance the organization in some new direction? My bet is that your past few meetings have been about updates, recaps and reviews. If there are no action points from the meeting, then send an email. If the previous action points have not been acted on, send a reminder.
If you’re just going to a meeting to say what you said the last time, the same way you said it, there’s every tendency you will get the same response. So, just send an email or place some calls.
Meetings are essential – they enable collaboration, creativity & innovation, foster relationships & ensure information is shared BUT – most organisations do them so badly we don't see any of these benefits! Can you relate to waste of time meetings? https://t.co/HsQ9rAsuZW pic.twitter.com/NWtTQkbjvd
— Katherine Bryant (@Katherine_Coach) March 25, 2018
Organizational meetings are paramount only and only if the benefit outweighs the cost (time, money and resources). If you’re considering scheduling a meeting, ask yourself these:
- Do I really need this meeting? What will it cost me if I don’t?
- Can I replace that meeting with an alternate form of communication?
- Are all the attendants of the meeting really needed? What role will X, Y, Z play?
- Do I have a clear, straight-to-the-point agenda?
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