We have all been there, stuck in a bad meeting. You arrive on time only to have the meeting start 15 minutes later. The meeting agenda is unclear. Who’s in charge of the meeting? Why are there so many invited attendees? A discussion on a new product turned into random ramblings that took up the majority of the time instead. Nothing is really decided and then the meeting wraps up, 10 minutes later than initially planned. On top of it all, you’re not even sure why you were called for that meeting. Sound familiar?
Meetings are meant to be the engine of productivity of the company. But how much of this is true? It is reported that on average, there’s at least 8 meetings per week across all employee types and company size. Is this truly necessary? Over the years, not only the number of meetings have increased, they have become ineffective and also more expensive.
At Workana, we saw that we spent a staggering USD 180,000 a year on meetings. Can you believe that?
Time is money, and wasted time is unfortunately, wasted money. So we came up with the following framework of assigning a ‘meeting owner’ to save time and money.
Below are the 5 ways we use to keep our meetings productive and effective:
- Meeting Ownership
Ever attended a meeting to discuss strategies to promote a new product that turned into something not related to the topic of the meeting at hand? We have all been there. This is why it’s necessary to have a meeting owner! A meeting owner organises the meeting, decides on the agenda, attendees and ensures the meeting stays on course.
- Discussions over Reporting
We realized that some meetings were just reporting sessions. Meaning that people just came in to report on what they were doing. We felt like this wasn’t a good use of meeting times and we used tools such as slack and Asana for reporting and made sure meetings were for discussions. Meetings are a great interactive place for discussions, sharing ideas and collective decision-making.
- Preparation is Key
As obvious as this may seem, preparation really is key to meeting productivity. When attendees come prepared, they are able to contribute effectively to the discussion. Despite that, there are instances where attendees are not able to contribute much to the meeting. The question then is, are they actually needed in the meeting?
By making sure that attendees prepare something for the meeting and for those who have nothing to prepare to not come will save time and keep the meeting small and effective.
- The Notekeeper
A common mistake during a meeting is not having a designated person to take notes of the important discussion, decisions and actions. What ensues is one person thinks the other person is doing the work and vice versa. By the time they find out, two weeks have passed with no actual work done. When having a Notekeeper, team members can avoid problems like this and make sure that they stay productive and effective.
- Time is of the essence
It’s exasperating to everybody to have a meeting start or end late for whatever reason. One way to ensure productive meetings is to adhere to the meeting times- that way people stay engaged and focused for the allocated meeting time because they know exactly when it will end.
Terrible meetings are nothing new, affecting start-ups to major corporations. At Workana, we follow these simple and essential tips for productive meetings.
We are happy to say that it has helped us save precious resources while encouraging a focused, positive work culture environment.
Check out our full video on this topic here!