“It is not enough to be busy. The question is: what are we busy about?” – Henry David Thoreau
Work meetings have become an integral part of the work culture. A meeting well done can accomplish a lot of things much more effectively. Besides, work meetings instill a feeling of inclusivity amongst people working together. Also, it helps develop strong professional bonds that ease the compatibility of a team as a whole. Not to mention work meetings also allow individuals the opportunity to step up and show what more they can provide to the company if given a chance.
Work meetings can further help in resolving conflicts (if any). It even helps with better decision-making abilities and ensures that the team realizes their importance with their time and effort is well spent. However, time management can be an issue when attending or organizing several meetings in a day regularly. So, a question arises here – How to decide if a work meeting is necessary?
Recently, Korn Ferry conducted a survey in which more than 67% of participants stated that they spend most of their time on work meetings and calls negatively. Also, more than 34% of people believe that they waste nearly two to five hours on meetings weekly, accomplishing nothing. More importantly, around 35% of the participants stated that they would never decline a meeting invitation despite knowing that it won’t be productive. Additionally, many remote workers attend virtual meetings to remain connected with their distant colleagues. Also, for those wondering about Korn Ferry, let me tell you that they are a global organizational consulting firm.
There is no denying that work meetings are vitally important, as you may have read above. However, Korn Ferry’s survey reports paint a contrasting picture of how it affects time management while adding nothing significantly.
When a work meeting is done right, it can help in accomplishing several things. It can help individuals to elevate their quality of work through constructive feedback. It can bring teams together and improve the level of engagement. Most of all, it can lead to creating a safe platform where people can attain both personal and professional goals. However, failing to meet those expectations can negatively create an aura of distraction and lessen the motivation of team members. As a result, overall productivity will take a hit, and the meeting may become a place where we will join for the sake of it. Also, it may even affect the company’s image negatively. Besides, employee's mental health is also important.
So, how can we have the best of both, i.e., work meeting maintains its integrity while ensuring it doesn’t consume unnecessary time. Well, there are essentially four steps that can help you get there.
Here the four steps essentially point out the four important questions you must consider before arranging a meeting. These questions will be instrumental in helping you save a lot of time for everyone. Still, simultaneously, they will enhance the overall performances of the individual along with the company itself. So, let’s have a look at them one by one below.
Ask Why a Work Meeting is Needed?
When you ask yourself, “Why is a work meeting needed?” you will normally have two answers, i.e., if a meeting is required to spread knowledge or information, or it is made solely for team-building purposes.
If you want to keep a meeting to spread information or knowledge, consider whether you can effectively meet the objective with written documentation and distribution such as Google Docs, Emails, Slack, etc. If the answer is a “Yes,” then do your best not to keep a work meeting. But if your purpose of the meeting is related to team building, then move onto the next question, i.e., Question #2.
Who is Required in the Meeting?
If the meeting is team-based or related to team building, you will definitely have names of whom you want to be in that meeting. Team meetings are usually kept for either brainstorming decisions or for developing team connections. So, start with making a list of people you think should be a part of the team meeting. Once the list is ready, invite the people for the meeting who are in it and leave the rest.
Is the Meeting Needed for Urgency?
There will be times when you have to call for urgent meetings. However, while there isn’t any urgent matter to keep a meeting, be mindful of the timing and situation before you fix a meeting. As there can be situations where people fight deadlines to ensure nothing gets delayed. And you being the responsible person above them, should ensure that you don’t bring them unnecessarily.
Decide on How Long the Meeting Should Be?
Productive meetings are well-organized meetings that ensure every objective of the meeting is delivered effectively within a certain time frame. Also, productive meetings never drag owing to the proper planning and alignment. They are well organized as per where the focus is needed. Whereas unplanned and unorganized often leads to loss and wastage of valuable time.
So, keeping these criteria into consideration, you can aptly decide if a meeting is necessary or not. After all, the purpose of the meeting should be to benefit the individuals and the company. Also, it would be best if you did it without causing a dent in its image for various reasons, as mentioned above. You can even do better if you learn about how to handle employees during the pandemic?
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A lone wolf by definition, a writer by heart, and a lost star with ambitions to light up the dark both inside and around me, sometimes by immersing myself into books or video games or traveling with a backpack to an uncertain destination believing that life is all about the choices we make and we don't.