Long tedious meetings kill productivity at work. If you’ve ever had to deal with a rambling one, where no work got done, when it ran 2 hours too long or involved participants who weren’t ready and presentations that bored you to tears, then you know just how bad these meetings could go. However, meetings aren’t just a waste of your time, it’s also money down the drain. The Business Insider says the U.S. loses about as much as 37 billions of dollars to unproductive meetings every year. That is a colossal amount of waste. We list here 10 ways to help you and your company save up on time and costs when you do meetings, whether in-person or on video:
Don’t have too many Meetings
Even video meetings are interruptions in the daily grind. If you want your team to be productive and deliver impressive output, you’ll need to give them time to get any work done. Limit the number of your meetings. Fewer ones improve concentration at the workplace.
Pick a good facilitator
A facilitator manages the discussion, encourages participation from everyone in the group and steps in to steer the discussion back to the topic at hand if and when the talk starts to get off track. However, make sure you pick a good facilitator. A boring one will put your team to sleep, resulting in low engagement and little to zero productivity.
Give out ground rules
Make sure you and everybody else on the team are on the same page. Make up a few ground rules. That way, everyone will know what to do whenever you call for a meeting.
Let them know why
A lot of meetings are wasted because when people call for meetings, they fail to provide the participants with an agenda. If they’re coming into the meeting blind, they won’t have any research or materials with them. By stating the agenda before the meeting, everybody can do a little research and preparation on the side. When they get to the meeting, the discussion can start right away instead of having to spend time getting people up to speed.
Know your audience
It’s easy to make sure your meetings are productive when you already have an idea about the other participants in the room. You know what kind of humor will work and what questions to ask to encourage a shy participant to join the discussion. So reach out and make an effort to get to know your team. That way, you’ll know just what to say to put them at ease. This will improve engagement and give you the results you want.
Get the right tools
For your virtual meetings, don’t let blurry videos get in the way. If you can barely distinguish one face from another, invest in the right tools like the BlueJeans huddle device. You can start the meeting with a single keystroke and have your entire team join you. Worried about the maximum number of participants? The device is designed to accommodate up to a 100 participants so pretty sure you and your team will be covered.
Cross out tasks not time
Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook doesn’t count time but tasks. She has a list for every meeting, crosses each one out and gets out once the entire list is done. So if that happens in the first 10 or 15 minutes, then the meeting is done. That’s a good strategy to follow. Once everything has been covered, break up the meeting. People will appreciate the extra time.
Send out updates
Inc. says one of the best ways to keep from wasting thousands of work hours is to keep everyone in the company updated with weekly reports. That way, there’s no need to call for meetings just to make sure everyone’s on the same page.
You don’t need to have meetings all the time. Sometimes, some of the information you need to know or impart can be said over email. So ask yourself: do you really need a meeting or can you simply rely on email or chat instead for simple data gathering or updates.
Don’t use your phone
If you use your phone during the meeting, even to just check for messages or reply to one, you’re actually prioritizing that message over the people in front of you. Don’t be rude. During a meeting, set your phone aside and keep it on silent. And unless it’s an emergency, don’t answer any calls or texts. When you put your full attention to the meeting, you’re more engaged, more passionate and that quality of attention is going to matter to the rest of the team.
So when the next meeting comes around, make sure you aren’t throwing money out the window. Do your best to keep it as productive as possible.