Team meetings are significant and inevitable. They ensure the team’s projects are on time and on track and that everyone is on the same page. Team meetings make clear that everyone is working toward the same goal.
However, statistics show another side of the story. Generally, employees end up wasting approximately 31 hours each month in unproductive meetings.
Even at the management level, middle managers waste up to 35% of their time and upper managers waste up to 50% of theirs in meetings.
This being said, meetings are important. But how do you make them productive and effective, too?
We may have some tips to help you along the way.
Have an agenda
While this may seem like unnecessary information — or a given — it may surprise you that more than 63% of meetings have no planned agenda.
With no pre-decided agenda, meetings can quickly become a waste of time. From conversations going off topic to discussing items with the least priority, a mismanaged meeting can do more harm than good.
A good method by which to stick to the agenda is by outlining the details of the meeting and sharing them with employees beforehand. This keeps the meeting’s discussions on track in a productive manner.
Creating an agenda also allows you to assign each employee a piece of the presentation, helping employees feel useful and focused.
While it’s good to have discussions outlined, it can also be effective to leave a time slot open in your meetings to brainstorm.
Employees have unique skillsets, thought processes and talents, and this gives your team members the opportunity to feel heard.
Employee disengagement is an unfortunate fact; a whopping 70% of U.S. workers report not feeling engaged enough at the workplace.
Thus, encouraging employees to speak up just may do the trick. Brainstorming sessions can help employees share ideas based on their unique skillsets.
These sessions can enable employees to voice ideas and issues that may otherwise seem invisible, which may contribute valuable information to the business and lead to finding unlikely solutions.
A picture says a thousand words
Visuals are an integral part of every meeting.
Did you know that over 90% of information conveyed to the brain is visual? Also, your brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than it does words.
You may want to consider these statistics next time you arrange a meeting.
Don’t just talk over the matters using text on slides or paper handouts. Make use of graphs, pictures and even videos to discuss progress.
Keep team meetings short
Long meetings can make employees tired and distracted.
According to research, the time span for paying attention is between 10 and 18 minutes. For this reason, you may want to keep meetings to, on average, 15 minutes or less.
Short meetings help focus only on the issues without giving employees the luxury of time to get side-tracked.
Did you know that Yahoo’s Marissa Mayer schedules only 10-minute meetings?
Many modern companies have branch offices scattered in various locations.
Though face-to-face meetings are effective, traveling between branches can waste time and resources.
According to Verizon Conferencing, face-to-face meetings that require travel may be seven times more expensive than virtual meetings.
While you may consider the option of conference calls, you may also want to know that 65% of employees regularly do other work during a conference call.
This, in turn, causes loss of focus and wasted time.
Rather than conference calls, it can be useful to engage in video conferencing, allowing employees to meet face-to-face without actually being in the same place.
A good solution: online meetings.
Better yet, invest in online meeting management software.
A meeting management app has the ability to streamline multiple processes, from managing attendees and vendors to deciding budgets and schedules. It can also provide multi-party video conferencing and content sharing.
Some can even arrange your notes into professional meeting minutes and help you send them to the team. Meeting management apps can be the solution to nearly all meeting productivity issues.
Do you have any tips to make meetings better and more effective? Share them with us, in the comments below.