A meeting is an event where minutes are taken and hours wasted. — James T. Kirk
Meetings suffer a bittersweet reputation. They can either be hothouses for brainstorming and taking necessary decisions or a pure waste of time! So, what is it about meetings that inspire boredom and lack of motivation?
Let’s take a look at some of the most glaring reasons that cause meetings to have a bad rap.
Why Do Meetings Suffer A Bad Reputation?
Here are some reasons why employees groan when they need to attend a meeting!
1. Meetings Are Considered Ineffective!
According to statistics, 47% of all meetings are considered to be simply a distraction from the more important work!
A lot of times, organisations tend to shove a group of people into the room and expect them to be productive. But without the right kind of planning and management, it’s hard to get people on the same page!
No wonder then, meetings end up being exercises in futility!
2. Bad Meeting Behaviour!
Meetings also end up being ineffective, because of bad meeting behaviour. There are participants who either turn up late, or don’t turn up at all, are distracted with other work during the meeting, try to hog the limelight, or simply don’t speak up.
This sort of behaviour can end up demoralising the rest of the participants, and the meeting becomes a stalemate!
3. Meetings Are Poorly Managed!
Another reason could be that meetings are not planned and managed properly.
The lack of a structure means participants are unsure of what to expect from the meeting. This also results in an unwillingness to ask for a follow-up!
4. Meetings Interrupt The Work Day!
Meetings are usually held at random times, and end up interrupting the daily schedule. Owing to the lack of planning, what was supposed to be a short 30-minute meeting, ends up being dragged on.
Not to forget, there could be other important calls scheduled for the rest of the day, and an ineffective meeting simply eats into the employees’ productive time!
5. Not All Meetings Are Useful!
According to some estimates, employees use an average of 4.5 hours in status meetings every week. Middle managers use 35% of their time and upper management 50% of their time in meetings.
Are all those meetings necessary? It’s safe to assume they’re not!
So… How do you ensure meetings don’t end up becoming a colossal waste of time? Here are some quick tips to make them engaging and productive!
Ways To Make Sure Your Meetings Are Successful!
You can use the following tips to ensure that your meetings end up being fruitful!
1. Don’t just talk about it, act upon it!
Various issues are raised in meetings, but they are rarely addressed. Team leaders should understand that if employees have a genuine concern and bring it up in a meeting, it has got to be dealt with.
You cannot just talk about it in the four walls of the conference room and forget all about it when you leave the room. So, don’t just talk about it, act upon it!
2. Don’t make meetings a yawn-fest!
Meetings cannot go on for hours and hours. This happens a lot of times when one thread of discussion leads to another and that to another and eventually, everyone goes off topic.
The key here is to stick to the point and not beat around the bush. You don’t want your employees to be yawning while you’re addressing issues and raising important points during a meeting, do you?
3. A few words of encouragement!
If the meeting is all about performance, as the boss, you have all the right to be critical. But also make sure you encourage your employees and motivate them to do better, perform better. A few words of encouragement will do no harm and will only bring out the best in an employee.
4. Be more interactive!
Most instances might have meetings to be a monologue where it is just the team leader/ boss making several points known and the employees simply sitting and nodding their heads.
A meeting should also have discussions where employees give their inputs and share ideas. Make it a dialogue and not a monologue!
5. Consider everyone’s point of view!
When conducting a meeting, every employee’s perspective towards the discussion would be different. As a good leader, you must consider all points of view, genuinely evaluate those suggestions, and give constructive feedback.
6. Be clear about the objective!
The agenda of the meeting shouldn’t be vague. It’s important to let employees and colleagues know what exactly are you going to be aiming at.
So, to make the most of the time, ensure that you’re clear about the purpose of having a meeting.
7. Avoid last-minute meetings!
Employees take time out from their work schedule for meetings. It’s always better to inform them about the meeting well in advance so that they can plan work accordingly. Meetings should start and end on time so that employees can finish the rest of their work and leave on time.
8. Don’t conduct unnecessary meetings!
Don’t conduct meetings unless it’s really necessary. If it is something that can be discussed over mail or with a small discussion with selective employees from the team, there is no need for you to call for a meeting.
You need to clearly prioritize issues/concerns and take meetings if and when it’s actually the need of the hour.
9. Establishing ground rules!
As a leader or someone who is heading the meet, you need to establish certain ground rules before you go ahead with it.
For instance, you can make it clear how inputs and contributions are welcome, but employees have to make the discussion short and crisp. And even if someone fails to abide by the rules and tries to monopolise the conversation, you have the right to interrupt and politely call them out.
10. Meetings need not always be held in offices!
Meetings may not always be held in conference rooms or offices. To make a meeting more engaging and interactive, you can also choose to have one in a coffee shop nearby.
How else is the meeting going to be productive unless you follow up with the employees? The meeting will be fruitful only and only if the concerns raised are being taken care of.
By following the aforementioned steps, you’d not only be able to make meetings truly engaging and productive, but employees would actually start looking forward to them! Here’s to fruitful meetings!