Meetings help bring people together and make sure everyone is on the same wavelength. But too many meetings can cause more problems than they should prevent. Meeting overload can drain people’s energy and destroy their morale.
The point of meetings is to help people get their work done, but sometimes they actually get in the way of people doing their tasks. So what do you do when your employees are overwhelmed by meetings?
Announce “Calendar Bankruptcy”
The Harvard Business Review polled 182 senior managers about the number of meetings they held and what they thought. The Review found that 65% of those surveyed said that meetings keep them from completing their work. Seventy-one percent said that their meetings were unproductive, and 62 percent said that the meetings did not bring the team together.
If you see that your employees are overwhelmed by the number of meetings per week, it’s time to cut the calendar down to zero. In other words, bankrupt your work calendar. After each meeting is canceled, carefully evaluate the scope and purpose of each meeting you canceled. Asana, collaborative organizational software, calls it “the end of the world.”
Don’t add meetings back to your calendar until you decide it’s necessary.
Productivity increases with fewer meetings
Employee productivity increases when there are fewer meetings. For example, the Harvard Business Review conducted a survey of 76 companies and found that productivity is 71% higher when meetings are reduced by 40%.
Fewer meetings allow workers to be more autonomous. Now they have time to write their “to-do lists” and stay up to date with messages or emails.
How to exclude meetings
Before making an appointment, the first question should be: “What is the purpose?” If it’s just spreading the word, there are other less intrusive ways to do it without wasting time. And if there is no one specific goal, skip the meeting and send an email.
You should also ask if all meeting participants really need the same information to do their job. For example, does a sales manager need to know what’s going on in the IT department? It could probably just be a Slack conversation or an email.
Asynchronous communication sometimes works better than a synchronous meeting. A synchronous meeting is scheduled, so everyone must be there at the same time. It can be a face-to-face meeting or a video meeting. But asynchronous communication, such as email, a project management tool, or even a messaging app, allows employees to access information on their own terms. The goal is still achieved, but no time is wasted in the meeting.
If you must hold meetings, at least one day per week must be free of meetings. For example, make “Wednesday no meetings” or “Friday no meetings” a rule. This will be the one day of the week when you are likely to be sure that your productivity will be at its peak.
Use project management software
Project management software allows your employees to track projects, meet deadlines, and stay on budget. The software is a great way for employees to communicate without having to meet face to face. In addition, real-time communication and tracking is more productive than interrupting work for a meeting.
There are many tools available to suit every need and budget.
What meetings remain
Some meetings need to be held to keep people in the mood of the team and achieve the set goals. But before you start a meeting or ask one of your managers to host a meeting, make sure you have an agenda. Everyone should receive this agenda before the meeting so that they come prepared.
Agenda keeps meetings on track. A sales point meeting can be quickly brought to a halt due to IT issues if the agenda is not developed and kept up to date.
There are other meetings, such as weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with key staff, that should be kept.
Brainstorming or innovation meetings may also be needed. But make sure you set clear goals for your brainstorming session. You are here to come up with new advertising ideas, not to complain about what is wrong with the company. Make sure you clearly understand that employees should come up with ideas to discuss. Once again, prepare the agenda, although it may be looser so that the meeting does not go astray.
An update meeting is often required. If there are changes in the goals, projects or budgets of the company, this must be reported personally. Make sure you are clear and organized with the information. Leave the designated time for questions and comments.
Project details do not need to be discussed at the meeting. This should be left to written communication so that everyone is always on the same wavelength. When the time comes to expand them, they can be discussed at the upgrade meeting.
Calendar Bankruptcy is just the beginning
Declaring bankruptcy on your calendar is just the beginning of getting rid of unnecessary appointments. Once you’ve deleted all the appointments from your calendar, restore only those that are absolutely necessary for the operation of your company or department.
When you have a meeting scheduled, make sure it’s scheduled, with an agenda and a time limit. Eliminating killer meetings will allow your employees to become more productive.
Copyright © 2022. The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors. They are for general informational purposes only and should not be construed or interpreted as a recommendation or solicitation. The Epoch Times does not provide advice on investments, taxes, legal matters, financial planning, estate planning, or any other personal finance. The Epoch Times is not responsible for the accuracy or timeliness of the information provided.