There are some pretty telling facts out there that indicate how people truly feel about work meetings. For example, a Clarizen study shows that 17% of American employees surveyed would rather watch paint dry than attend a meeting and 7% would prefer to have a mullet haircut than sit in a status meeting. There are also t-shirts in existence that read: “I survived another meeting that should have been an e-mail.”
Does this sound like employees at your company – or even something that you would say yourself? If so, we can help.
It’s important to be respectful of everyone’s time and truly think about whether it’s crucial to have a meeting before you schedule one. Direct Capital is here to get you thinking about meetings a little differently and hopefully help you stay focused and make them more productive from here on out.
- Have an agenda: This works for two reasons. When you get into the meeting, you’ll know exactly what you need to accomplish to feel as though it was successful. And, as you are putting together your agenda, you might notice that a meeting really isn’t necessary. Laying out the reason for the meeting will help you understand if it’s as important as you originally thought it was.
- Meet standing up: While this doesn’t solve the “Wait, why are we having a meeting on this again?” problem, it does help with the productivity of the meeting itself. Standing meetings get your employees up from their seats and out of their everyday groove. They still have to prepare and bring something to the table, but it will be easier to keep the meetings short, sweet and to the point.
- Project boards: Introducing some type of collaboration software or project management system will help not only keep meetings on track but also interesting. Let everyone see what projects are on deck, who the project manager is, and what the expected launch date is. This board or software can also save a lot of time since teams won’t have to verbally discuss what projects they’re working on.
- Call it something else: Everyone is sick of meetings. You are sick of meetings. So there’s an easy solution: Don’t have “meetings.” Have brunch with the team, Friday pizza, grab coffees, or do another fun activity like bowling or golf. Just because you’re having a good time doesn’t mean something productive and worthwhile won’t come out of it. In reality, whenever you get together with your co-workers for lunch or even after work hours, you probably often end up discussing work anyway.
- Only invite key stakeholders: Ever sit in on a meeting, not say a word, and wonder why you were invited in the first place? It’s okay not to attend every meeting you get invited to, especially if you feel like your time could be better spent elsewhere. However, the same goes for meetings you schedule. Only invite the key players; the decision makers. Everyone will be thankful you respected their time and be able to complete other projects quicker.
- Have clear next steps: The whole point of a meeting is to accomplish something, whether it’s getting a status update, gathering requirements, or just checking in. But regardless of the purpose of the meeting, each one should end with clear goals of what should happen next. Otherwise, you just had a meeting to sit and chat. Before wrapping up, make sure everyone understands what their role is in driving the project or task forward.
Having meetings is important, but so is making them worthwhile. Follow these six Golden Rules to have more productive meetings, happier employees, and a successful work day.
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