Have you ever looked at your calendar and cringed at the idea of spending the day in back-to-back meetings? Or, have you ever received a meeting invite that left you wondering why you have to attend? If I were to bet, the answer is probably yes.
An astonishing $37 billion dollars is wasted every year on unproductive meetings. That number alone is enough proof that it’s time rethink the way we get together and collaborate.
Here are 5 tips on how to get the most out of your meeting time:
- Set the agenda. Stop sending empty meeting invites. Twenty five percent of meetings are spent discussing irrelevant issues. It’s imperative that you take the time to clearly set the agenda. State what the meeting is about, how people are expected to prepare and what they would like to achieve.
- Cut down the invite list. Personally, I’ve lost track on how many useless meetings I’ve been invited to throughout my career. Spend a few minutes really thinking about who you are inviting and how they will contribute. Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is known for the Two Pizza Rule: no meeting should have more people than can be fed with two pepperoni pizzas.
- Start 5-10 minutes after the hour or half hour. A whopping 56% of people fail to attend meetings and 59% start their meetings start late. Mainly because one or two people aren’t on time. Kickoff your meetings 5-10 minutes after the hour or half hour. That gives employees time in between meetings to grab a glass of water, get a quick snack, respond to emails and use the bathroom.
- Forbid multitasking. Seventy three percent of employees do other work in meetings and only 2% of people can multitask successfully. Require people to put down their devices and shut off their computers. That way you have everyone’s full and undivided attention.
- Solve the task at hand. One of my favorite commercials is a Google Hangouts commercial from a few years back. It shows a virtual meeting coming to a close where the attendees are discussing next steps, action items, etc. The guy leading the meeting goes, “there are no next steps. We just solved it.” This pretty much sums up my point. All too often we spend hours meeting and deliberating on how to solve a problem, only to then follow up with additional meetings on how to execute. If you’re meeting to solve the task at hand, try and solve it then and there.
Bonus: Invest in professional training and development.
Did you know 75% of people have received no formal training on how to conduct a meeting? It’s no wonder so much time and money has been wasted to poorly organized and mismanaged meetings. Learning and training programs are a fantastic way to invest in your workforce’s professional development and educate them on how to hold productive meetings. Just think about how much money you could save!
And, if you want help getting started, let’s talk! Contact Meridian today.