Meetings are a fact of life. No matter where you work, there’s going to be some kind of meeting at some point. There’s research to support the idea that two-thirds of all meetings end up being unnecessary. This is time that keeps employees from working and completing their tasks.
Employees spend close to 23 hours a week in meetings. That means that most of this time is spent preparing for the meeting and then attending it. But what does the average employee get out of a meeting? A 30-second elevator pitch of course!
When planning meetings some questions need to be asked:
- Who needs to attend?
Really think about who needs to be involved and identify the most important points. You want to make sure that the meeting’s objectives are clear.
- Do you need to attend?
Some people might need these meetings so that all their subordinates can know what’s happening, or maybe someone has asked them to attend so they can feel as if they’re being asked for advice or suggestions. It’s important to find out if you really have any legitimate reasons for being there, or if it’s just forced upon you. If you have legitimate work to do and the meeting isn’t too important…it may be more beneficial for the company to let you do your work and be given a summary of the meeting later.
- Do you need to attend the whole thing?
In some instances attendees can leave early if the other parts of the meeting do not pertain to them. This is especially true if sensitive information is being discussed and is on a need-to-know basis.
- Who will set up the prework before the meeting?
You’ll need to know who is preparing for the meeting. Will they be available to clarify points made in the meeting? Most likely, they must attend. You’ll want to make sure that IT staff are available as well just in case there’s any technical issues. The worst part of a meeting is often when there’s a computer glitch and everyone awkwardly waits for the IT guy to fix it.
- What is the outcome?
Will the meeting generate an impact on productivity and/or increase morale? If the meeting is just held for the sake of killing time, then it’s best not to have a meeting at all. You want your meetings to be engaging with clear goals and objectives. Most of all, you don’t want to have everyone bored at the end! This doesn’t mean that you have to have your meetings fun all the time, but you want to make sure that people don’t dread going to them. Remember, nobody wants to sit through a dull meeting and most people want to do good work. Good, productive meetings where everyone is appreciated for their input will go a long way in ensuring your company’s success. Good luck!
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