Meetings are the corporate get-togethers we all love to hate. For every productive one, it seems there’s at least one or more that are a complete waste of time. Here’s how you can reduce the number of meetings you need to attend.
We’ve all been there: You agree to attend a meeting, even though its description is somewhat fuzzy. The meeting begins, but it soon becomes clear that it has no agenda and even less focus. It quickly veers off into topics unrelated to the vague description provided earlier.
We’re wasting too much time and money
The management consulting firm Bain & Company found that 15% of an organization’s collective time is spent in meetings, a number that has steadily increased since 2008. Senior executives spend more than 40% of their time – two full days a week – in meetings with three or more coworkers.
And many meetings, Bain found, are often scheduled “just because.”
All these meetings come with a staggering price. Companies in the U.S. alone waste more than $37 billion in salary costs related to unnecessary meetings, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To help solve this, here are some things you can do to make sure your business meeting is productive.
» Think hard before you click the “Invite” button.
Outlook makes it easy – maybe too easy – to send a meeting notice. Before you organize a meeting, ask yourself: Does this absolutely require a meeting? You may find that you can accomplish the goal by making a few phone calls or sending an IM or two.
» Save “the more the merrier” for parties, not business meetings.
If you do need to organize a meeting, ask: Which people absolutely need to attend? Invite only those whose presence is ipconnectl to resolving the issue at hand.
» Tell people why they need to attend.
In your meeting inipconnecttion, clearly explain why you’re calling the meeting, why an attendee’s presence is needed, and what you expect to accomplish. Invite attendees to opt out if they don’t feel they can contribute in a meaningful way.
» Sweat the details. Meetings don’t run themselves.
Conducting a good one means getting the details right: Have a clear meeting agenda. If reading is required, send the materials upfront. Keep the meeting focused and start and end on time. And if participants aren’t paying full attention, demand that they do so.
Our time is too valuable to waste on unnecessary, unproductive business meetings.