Every year Americans are spending more and more time in meetings, and it’s costing a ton of money. On average most employees in the business world attend about sixty-two hour long meetings per month. Statistics say that less than half of these meetings conducted yield beneficial outcomes, resulting in a whopping four full working days your employees spend in unproductive meetings every month. Of course meetings are necessary for communication within your company, and are not likely to go away any time soon. However, there are some tricks you can employ to cut back on the wasted time and money.
Have an Agenda, and Follow it Precisely
One of the biggest factors to wasted meeting time is inconsistent start/end times. Most meetings start about five to ten minutes late, and end even later. If your meeting is scheduled to end at 2 pm and you haven’t covered all the material intended by that time, you probably got off topic somewhere. This is easy to do, especially if you came in without a structured idea about how to direct the conversation. Create a simple agenda beforehand, and send it to all the attendees so they’ll have an idea about what material will be discussed.
Shorten the Length of your Meetings
The general consensus is that meetings should go no longer than ninety minutes (though typically an hour should be sufficient.) Any longer and your employees simply won’t be able to retain the information covered. Also, make sure your meetings will have a positive effect on your company. So often meetings occur and nothing comes to fruition after, so always leave time at the end of your meetings to create a plan of action.
Communicate with your Team
Communication is key to a successful meeting before, during and after it actually occurs. As discussed above, it’s a good idea if your employees have an understanding of what the meeting will cover. Passing out the agenda prior to the meeting is a good way to do this. Furthermore, keep your employees engaged all the way through the meeting. It’s easy to get off topic when you have everybody in the room offering their opinions and ideas, but with some practice and a solid agenda, you can maximize efficiency and walk away with solid ideas. Lastly, keep in communication with your team even after the meeting is over. Follow up with them on whatever plan of action you created to ensure that it was time well spent.
At the end of the day, meetings are expensive. Make them worth your while.
For more tips and tricks to running a better business, subscribe to our blog!