Weekly Meetings – are they worth it
Weekly meetings are they necessary? If you type into google “are meetings a waste of time” 22 million responses are available and essentially they all said the same thing, ‘ not always, but essentially yes they are mostly a waste of our time.
Are you setting meetings every week reviewing performance, or turnover, or similar, is the attendance compulsory, is the attendance good? Do your colleagues eyes glaze over? Are you achieving anything or is it just ‘ticking a box’. How much are these meetings costing your business? Are you getting your monies worth? Ron Thomas‘ comments that people like conference call type meets best because, you can sit and surf the internet when you are at the boring bits!
What is it that makes us dislike meetings so much? Is it the feeling that we could be actually working now? Or is it that meetings go off the agenda within five minutes. If you are the chair and guilty of allowing this then stop it from happening, firstly by having a very tight and relevant agenda. At your next staff meeting why dont you review the processes you use to justify the time spent ‘meeting’, why don’t you go all out and cancel the next meeting, see what happens the next week. Does productivity stop, do staff down tools in protest that they are not attending weekly meetings? Are staff furious that they are not attending because this was the one day you supplied sandwiches from M and S for the working lunch!
What about the last part of the meeting, do you hold your breath and pray no one sticks up their hand when the chair says “any other business”. Do you need any other business in that agenda? This in itself is debatable but if you insist on having it ensure that the subject is only discussed if it is relevant to the purpose of the meeting. If you really need assistance with your meeting and agenda there are plenty of online support forums you can use. Try this one
Do people leave your meetings with a clear idea of what they have achieved, and what is expected of them before the next meeting.
Does this seem negative? What about those of us that think meetings are great. Here is what Douglas Whitt recommends for his weekly meetings
Weekly Agenda – 30 – 60 minutes
5 Minutes – Good News. Everyone share two good news stories from past week, one personal one business. Make sure everyone participates.
5-10 Minutes – The Numbers – Review everyone’s individual or team weekly measures of productivity. Eliminate conversation, just report the outcome, best if you can provide the results graphically. [Reports, charts, etc.]
10 Minutes – Customer and Employee Data. What or where are the recurring issues or concerns that the team or its customers are facing day in and day out. Choose one issue, assign a person or small group to explore and get to the root cause of it.
10 Minutes – Review Accountabilities and Commitments. Review and update accountabilities from last meetings and from quarterly planning. Reschedule where necessary and make commitments to complete accountabilities for next meeting.
10–30 Minutes – Collective Intelligence. This should focus on a rock – a large priority. Get everyone’s input and drill into one of your big issues. Make a presentation on one of your rocks with the person accountable leading it.
One Phrase Closes – Everyone delivers a word or phrase about how they feel about the meeting.
Keep a Log – Record who said they would do what, when.
So if you didn’t nod off reading that, out of interest , could you share with us what your piece of good news story is and can you tell us which one word sums up the meeting – no swear word please!! Do you think the minutes taker needs to record the one word summaries and who said them?
In summary if you need meetings they must 1. be relevant 2 kept to a short timed agenda 3 leave people feeling they have achieved something and know what is expected of them – before the next meeting!