Wasting Time on Unproductive Meetings is an Ongoing Issue
It’s no secret that most employees would rather be working than sitting through an unproductive meeting. This is simply a consequence of not knowing why or how to meet. Follow these meeting best practices!
Don’t meet for the sake of meeting. Your meeting must have value. If it doesn’t have value, cancel the meeting. It’s an instant win because you free up staff time for more valuable work that otherwise would go to waste. If you are tempted to throw a last-minute meeting, remember that employees have their day in full swing and the meeting is about to turn it into a frenzy. It’s often better to postpone the meeting to the next day.
All meetings should have an agenda. Without one, meetings lack focus and turn into social gatherings. Make it a habit to have a leader or facilitator who has given the meeting thought. Ensure that all participants have the agenda well in advance so they come prepared. If there is preparation work that participants need to have ready, make that explicit on the agenda.
When you schedule meetings, think about the impact your meeting request has on others. Think it through when you plan to meet early in the morning and late in the day. Working parents have to contend with daycare hours, football practices and school start and stop times. Managers who are considerate and caring about real world events and issues for employees can also be taken advantage of so it’s more than fair you expect mutual respect when it comes to special requests.
We often default to meeting in person out of habit. There are dozens of alternative ways to meet. Meet via a conference or a video call if it’s impractical for all attendees to meet in person.
Make sure your meeting is timed, it will result in more productive sessions. Starting and stopping meetings on time is expected and respected. Let people know you expect them to be on time and be on time yourself.