All organizations have lots of demands on an employee’s time and energy. From product development to marketing, achieving excellent customer service, to creating the capital required to be successful, it is a constant battle to fit everything in an acceptable amount of time.


What usually takes place is productivity begins to decline because way too many meetings are taking place. Which annoys your team who have to find ways to complete their duties in between meetings. Moreover, as soon as productivity starts to shrink, the company’s primary purpose suffers in addition to employees feeling the pressure.

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The key reason why so many meetings are booked.

 





There are many good reasons to schedule meetings.

  • Meetings between the bosses.
  • Meetings with direct-reports.
  • Meetings for regular check-in and collaborative needs of the team.
  • Meetings for nonrecurring events.
  • Putting out customer fires.
  • Meetings for team building events.

However, many organizations do not look for other ways to share information. For some organization, they do not trust their team to do their jobs or perhaps Leaders feel the need to control just about every decision that must be made. It is this former category which is killer, and this creates a culture of pending disasters.


Schedule a 15 or 30 minute call to discuss how we can make a difference with your Team!

 

Your team members become disappointed and irritated when attending too many meetings.

 

First, they presume it is going to be a waste of their time, and they are not clear on the fundamental reason for being in the room.

Second, they get frustrated as they sit in a meeting, and not sitting at their desk working on their priorities.

 

Third, your team feels that they are not trusted to do their job. They may think that you are controlling everything and that they are being treated like robots that cannot think on their own.

All of this creates disaster for the culture of the company. A culture that will have employees looking for the exit. With the cost of replacing employees, this will affect the bottom line.

What can you do as a leader?

1.      Do not invite everyone to your meeting. Only invite those that will find value in the meeting.

2.      Maximize each person’ s time at their desk.

3.      Empower your people to make decisions without your input.

Case study:

 

Bob W. was once getting started as an interim executive at a new client and was given a team of people to manage. On his first day, he was informed about the weekly meetings that he needed to participate in along with his new team. He looked at the long list and realized that about 40 percent of his time was in meetings, many of which felt to him to be unnecessary. All these meetings were just an inherited way of doing the job from the previous manager. Bob could not afford to give what equaled two days away from his duties each week as a leader.

Bob decided to have a team meeting and asked the team what each meeting was trying to accomplish. After very little debate the team and Bob were able to merge a few meetings into one, eliminate all together some and delegate one or two people on the team to attend these meetings and create a report after the meeting to share with the remainder of the team.  Additionally, Bob asked each of the employees to look at their schedules and to cut out any unnecessary meetings. One of his team members stated they that were spending as much as 80 percent of their time each week in meetings. Upon investigation, Bob discovered that this employee was considered a poor performer. However, after reducing the number of meetings and giving them more time at their desk and clear priorities the work and employee’s attitude quickly, almost magically, improved.

Bob did have an employee that stated it was mandatory for him to be in all of the meetings on his current schedule, and he didn’t have a choice. To which Bob said we need to cut most of these meetings. Over the next week, Bob and his employee were able to reduce these meetings down to 20 percent of the employee time each week. This became somewhat easier for the employee to accept once Bob helped him discover his real priorities.  Recognizing what his priorities were allowed him to realize that very few of these meetings helped him carry out his work. By cutting down the routine of meetings, he was able to remain at his desk to complete his top priorities each week. This employee quickly improved his quality of work.

The Number of Meetings That Might Need to be Scheduled

 

For a start, try to keep your weekly meetings at 20 percent of your time. (This is just a start)

A one-on-one meeting with each member of your team that reports directly to you.
Meet once a week with the person managing you
Meet with your peers to collaborate on needs between departments.

That leaves plenty of time for the one-off meetings that come up during the ordinary course of business.

Keeping in mind the 20 percent meeting suggestion.

The 20 percent suggestion will keep you efficiently working on your top priorities, which should be the most critical work of the week. When you start checking projects off your to-do list, you will feel a sense of accomplishment, the business moves forward, and a healthy culture is maintained in the organization.

Strive to Thrive by Being the Most Effective.

 

·         Your focus should be on developing your team and not controlling the information that your team sees. Your attention should be on hiring the best possible for the position.

·        Your focus should be on finding ways to make your team’s job easier and complete faster, which equals a more efficient organization.

·         Do not suffocate your team with meetings.

·         Your team should be making their own decisions. (Even if they make mistakes, they will learn from them)

 

This process begins with finding the right people. Do everything you can to retain the services of smart people. It would help if you looked for people that can do the job better than you can or at the bare minimum can do the job at as well as you. Then get out of their way. Allow your team to do their work and understand their weekly and daily priorities. Understanding their priorities allows your team members to own their job. You will not need to micromanage every single task or decision.

 

Your number one job is to develop your team, which requires coaching, accountability, fewer meetings and you get out of the way.  As a Leader, you understand that mistakes will take place and when they do your team will learn from them.  Review trade journals and other information so that you can share with your team mistakes of other organizations and learn from them before the mistakes happens to your team.

 

Your first mission is to make sure that you are not taking in more meetings than you should.  You must set the example.  Then make sure your direct reports are staying below the 20 percent threshold of weekly meetings.

 

Here is an additional challenge for you. Reduce all your current meetings to half an hour in length.  With a written agenda that you follow, half-hour meetings will take place, freeing more time for organizational success.

 

 As you can perhaps tell, setting priorities leads to being organized which to fewer meetings, which leads to a great culture which is the key.