Many times, meetings already feel like a waste of time. Have you ever thought about how expensive meetings are? During regular business operational times, your team easily spends 15% of the week in meetings. So simply calculate 15% of your payroll. That’s what it costs you EVERY WEEK. We have a large client with 150 employees at an average of $60,000 in salary. They once calculated that they spend nearly $1.3 million in meetings.
Granted, meetings can create efficiencies that save money or result in ideas that help generate revenues. But ONLY if they’re run efficiently. However, financial costs are only one of the expenses of poorly planned and executed meetings.
Have you ever been in a meeting and thought to yourself: “I really need to get some real work done?” We all have.
Even meetings with the best intentions can slide sideways before we know it. Boring presenters, opinions with no actions, off-target side conversations and no planning or objectives. Worse yet, meetings that end with no action plan and accountability usually mean there is no resolution. So the topic continues to be an issue, creating resentment and disinterest in subsequent meetings.
We’ve all been in these meetings, so how do we fix them?
Start by defining the meeting. There are really only three types of productive meetings:
Develop a time management process that requires any meeting initiator to clarify the objective using one of these three types. If the meeting has two of these intentions, then a second meeting should be scheduled.
Start every meeting by clearly communicating the purpose and reminding everyone that you’re going to try to stay focused.
From this point, it’s important to stick with a standardized agenda for time management. This creates a consistency that can, with a little team practice, create more efficient and effective meetings – meetings that result in action plans and accountability.
In our next blog, we’ll share the specific agendas we’ve developed for each of these types of meetings that have resulted in more successful meetings for our clients. While our process gives you a strong starting point, we encourage you and your team to experiment and adapt the process into a system that works for your organization.
While different types of meetings have their unique attributes and challenges, every meeting should have the same steps for time management.
We’ve collected some time management practices our clients have adopted to help create more efficient and more effective meetings.
Thanks for allowing us to share ideas our clients use in their businesses. Please feel free to share ideas you use effectively in the comments.