One of the greatest time wasters for productivity in many small businesses is spending valuable time in meetings. How many times have you heard people say, "I am having a meeting about the meeting we had this morning" or "How can I get any work done if I am always in meetings?"
According to Zappia, "In the United States, there are around 55 million meetings held each week. That is at least 11 million per day and over 1 billion per year. The average worker spends at least 3 hours a week in meetings, with 30% of workers reporting that they spend over 5 hours per week in meetings."
Meetings are most effective when you need to have a discussion, brainstorm, or make a decision that requires real-time collaboration and input from multiple individuals. When you need input from other thought leaders it is usually a suitable time to have a meeting.
Emails, on the other hand, are more appropriate for conveying information, updates, or requesting a response that does not require immediate attention or a response. If you need to give instructions, an email may do. If you need a team to plan, call a meeting.
Your team's productivity is dependent on the amount of time that the business owners give them to complete tasks. If you are going to take your team away from billable tasks, make sure it counts.
In fact, many big companies like Google utilize what is known as the 50/25 rule when it comes to meetings. The idea is that instead of scheduling a meeting for an hour, set aside 50 minutes. Or if you were thinking about a 30-minute meeting, try going for a 25-minute meeting instead. Chances are your team will be just as productive in 50 minutes as they would have been in sixty. Giving them that time back allows them 10 minutes more productivity.
Business owners may waste time in meetings by not having a clear agenda, inviting too many people, allowing the discussion to go off-topic, and not having actionable next steps. It is important to have a clear purpose for the meeting and stick to the agenda to ensure productive use of time.
Follow your agenda and make sure you have a solid follow-up plan with the decision-makers on your team. At the conclusion of every meeting assign tasks, and deadlines and schedule any follow-up required to complete a task or assignment. By following these rules, your meetings will be productive, and your employees will not feel like they are wasting precious time on the job.
At ClarityHR our goal is to help you and your team get more out of the hours in your day. Our team of human resource professionals is here to help you streamline the people side of your business. How can ClarityHR help you?