It’s not often that you find someone with a passion for meetings – in fact, if you can honestly say you look forward to them, you’re in the minority. The main reason, says a post I read on HubSpot just before Christmas, is because they’re often considered a complete waste of time and energy. Now, I’m not saying we should banish the meeting altogether, but what I do believe is that we should leave the unproductive ones in 2015.
Here are some of the main reasons we should say goodbye to the ill-prepared meeting:
- One weekly executive meeting can use up around 300,000 hours each year, consuming 7,000 hours for the top execs involved. Admittedly, this is a large company we’re talking about, but businesses of all shapes and sizes can learn from this: employees spend a lot of their working lives in the meeting room.
- More than 75% of participants in an Igloo survey said they were frustrated by meetings deemed unnecessary; interestingly, millennials are 10% more tolerant with “off-topic meetings” than their older counterparts.
- They tend to be filled with annoying buzzwords, which can seriously irritate people. The worst include the following: “Think outside the box”, “Bring to the table”, “Touch base”, “Win-win”, “Going forward” and “Synergy”. Guilty of any of those?
- The generational gaps in the workplace mean that issues arise with conference calls – a result of an increase in remote working. Pet peeves vary between millennial and older employees – for example, 10% more participants over 35 become annoyed by callers who talk over each other, compared with the younger generation.
The HubSpot article recommended a few things: outline an agenda; designate a set time for questions; keep an eye on how much time meetings are taking up; and constantly be on the lookout for areas in which you can improve.
So, we may not be witnessing the death of the meeting just yet, but maybe one of our New Year’s resolutions should be to make them as engaging and productive as humanly possible…