There has been a bit of talk this month on meetings, their value, the opportunity costs to employees and the ultimate financial cost to an organisation. A simple meeting can become an expensive and unnecessary cost if the participants do not absolutely need to be there are and aren’t actively involved.
Studies coming out of the US show that the average American spends 9 hours per week in status meetings, which over the course of a year costs $11,700. That’s nearly $12,00 for one employee to sit in status meetings. If you look at the costs for the whole team, you’d hope it ran on time.
I myself try and ensure that my meetings have measurable objective and that all participants can add value in achieving these objectives. If you don’t need to attend a meeting, decline the invitation but ask to be informed of the outcomes after the meeting. Your time is valuable, treat it that way. By doing this you ensure that only people who are finishing attend.
To learn more, take a read of two great articles this week, the first from Karlyn Borysenko who looks at the costs associated with having a meeting culture in her great piece here.The second is from Greg Savage where he proclaims that Meetings are not sacred. Cancel a few, right now!. For more figures, take a look at this study by Clarizen on Workers Consider Status Meetings a Productivity-Killing Waste of Time
My key rules on meetings
- Create an objective and agenda send it out before the meeting, so you stay on purpose
- Have a set time frame for the meeting and do not exceed it no matter what
- Record actions and expect attendees to be accountable
- Have a person responsible for leading the meeting and ensuring all attendees are able to contribute
- Summaries at the end of the meeting to check to see the objective has been achieved.
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