Updated: Apr 15, 2021
Ever been to a meeting and left it thinking it was a complete waste of time and energy?
Someone spent the whole time talking and everyone else was checked out.
We kept getting stuck on side tangents and never actually got to the topic at hand.
Everyone was actively discussing the topic, but no decisions or next steps were made.
We started planning the details of one aspect of the project and completely forgot about the big picture.
Meetings are arguably one of the most necessary and important team processes to move work forward, yet all too often they do the opposite, stalling work and taking up valuable time and resources. Since figures show workers can spend anywhere from 10-45% of their time in meetings, it's important they are meaningful and productive.
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There are a few important things every company can do to make their meetings more productive and increase employee engagement and satisfaction:
1. Clarify Purpose of Meeting
Clarifying a purpose sounds simple enough, but actually this step is frequently overlooked, particularly regarding recurring meetings. It's important to be clear about why you are calling the meeting, and to reflect on whether or not holding a meeting is the right process to use.
There are 8 main reasons we hold meetings:
Share Information | to distribute information across or between departments, answer questions, and make sure everyone is on the same page.
Build Consensus | to make sure the team agrees and supports a course of action or new policy.
Surface Perspectives | to introduce an idea or update team and solicit feedback, ideas, or questions.
Build Trust | to specifically improve relationships among team members.
Solve Problems | to address challenges or obstacles regarding a particular project.
Address Conflict | to address conflict that has come up within team or among specific team members.
Make Decisions | to collaboratively brainstorm and determine possible courses of action.