Are Meetings a Waste of Time? It Depends…

Inefficiency in business - lengthy meetings image 4994994

Did you know that 11 million meetings are held daily, with over a billion every year? The average worker spends approximately 5 hours on meetings each week.

This is a lot of valuable time that can be spent on many other things. Many people feel that meetings are a waste of time because, in many cases, they are.

Some meetings go on for too long. Then you also have non stop meetings to wrap up things from the previous meetings. Meetings can be incredible to get the whole team together.

Most people do not hate meetings. They only hate the bad ones. Here is everything you need to know to make meetings productive and not waste time.

Meetings Are a Waste of Time?

Many employees think that meetings are silly and a waste of time. However, this happens when people’s opinions and ideas are ignored. Higher managers and team bosses tend to take their team members for granted, especially if an employee is starting at the bottom.

Then meetings can become a drag because people choose to focus on their own work instead of collaborating with others in a forum. Managers need to focus on clarity around the decision-making process. This is key to make meetings productive and not a waste of time.

This is because meetings become frustrating when decisions are not made or are decided without involving others equally. People dislike being ignored. Therefore, if you ask for someone’s input, you must avoid making them feel powerless and devalued.

How to Improve Meetings?

The first step to improving your future meetings is to have a clear objective from the start. You should never aim to have a meeting for the sake of hosting one.

If there is no clear purpose, there should be no meeting scheduled. When you want to have a meeting, you need to state your ultimate goal for it. This is because meetings are not social gatherings.

You must ensure that they are goal-oriented to tackle business issues. Hanging out with people is a good thing but can easily be done outside a conference room.

Your employees need to know what you want to discuss and decide to avoid wasting people’s time and energy.

Host Meetings Outside

If you notice that people lack ideas or have low energy during your meetings, it is a sign that they deserve one off-site for some fresh vibes to avoid fatigue.

It always helps to take your staff to a nearby café, bar, or restaurant to treat them. The change of scenery help brings positivity and good ideas to the table. If a meetings are too long, this can be more refreshing than being stuck in an office.

Then you should also follow up with staff members after a meeting to hear their feedback.

This will help you determine whether the team enjoyed the change of pace. Ask your team members if they think your sessions are helpful and use their feedback to improve your future meetings.

Always Be Prepared

Preparing a meeting is critical to reducing unnecessary meetings. This is because you can cover all the essential topics within one session instead of going over time and having to schedule another get-together to cover all the points you did not get to discuss.

Before your meetings begin, you must give your team members an agenda. This should mention all the topics you want to discuss during the session and briefly describe your objectives.

You should also list the names of people who are attending the meeting so that everybody knows who will address each topic. Finally, do not forget to mention the date, time, and location of your meeting and any other information people need to know.

Having an agenda goes a long way to motivate people to take an interest in your discussions. Here is more info.

Determine Actions

A meeting would be useless if nothing good comes out of it. If you discuss a plan of action, you should ensure that this is appropriately communicated and documented.

Remember to specify which person is responsible for a particular task and hold them accountable by setting deadlines for completion.

This way, the rest of the team will know that the meeting was not a waste of time if everyone has action items to complete.

Why Are Meetings Important?

When they are organized right, meetings can help build personal interaction and teamwork. Hosting a meeting provides the opportunity for a free-flow exchange of ideas.

This will help you hear and see all your team members personally. You can then establish a deeper bond with others you work with. Having a solid team dynamic is crucial if you want to improve productivity.

It is also important to understand that meetings establish alignment. People come together to discuss issues and brainstorm ideas together. However, you should always ensure that the less important things are discussed via email.

There is no reason to have a meeting for every single topic. Always have your meetings checklist ready to discuss important matters to respect people’s time.

Finally, sessions also promote inclusion. When others see value in attending your meetings, they will be more engaging if they know that you are willing to listen carefully to their input.

It is necessary to have an inclusive culture in place with an environment that supports everyone. This is the best way to facilitate innovation and creative thinking.

If the same people dominate every meeting while others sit silently, you need to step up and give others a chance to speak up. This open communication will allow members to grow professionally and socially.

Host the Best Meetings Today

Now that you know why people think that meetings are a waste of time and how to improve them to maximize employee engagement, it is time to prepare your agenda.

Always organize and prepare for meetings beforehand to ensure you do not waste people’s time going off-topic.

Make a list of topics to discuss and keep the less important ones for an email or zoom chat instead of making team members commute all the way to the office.

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