How to Keep Employees Engaged in the Digital Era: Run Better Meetings
A recent study commissioned by Doodle found that most top employees spend upwards of 20 percent of the working week attending meetings. Add in the amount of time spent planning, scheduling, and organizing meetings, and it’s clear that we’re looking at an area that is ripe for improvement — and those improvements could have powerful effects on productivity and employee engagement.
Not convinced these costs add up? The same study found that, in 2018 alone, unnecessary or poorly organized meetings cost companies in the US $399 billion. Imagine the economic boost that could be achieved if we could harness just a fraction of that wasted potential.
How to Run Better Meetings
There are two main factors to consider when thinking about how to improve meetings across your organization: time spent arranging and attending meetings and the quality of the work meetings facilitate. Here are two key ways leaders can help to inculcate a more positive, meaningful approach to meetings throughout their organizations:
1. Create Shared Norms Around Scheduling Meetings
A major piece of the puzzle when trying to reduce wasted time and effort is to consider whether meetings are absolutely necessary. In many cases, meetings are called without any set agenda or to discuss information that could simply have been shared in an email.
By setting an expectation throughout your organization that meetings should only be used when there is a clear purpose and a reason for everyone involved to attend, you can help to reduce the number of hours your employees waste in any given week.
2. Create Shared Norms Around Attending Meetings
Creating a culture where participants know that a high threshold exists for setting a meeting will benefit your organization in two ways. First, it will lead to fewer meetings, and the meetings that do occur will be better planned and more productive.
Second, it will reduce no-shows and encourage meaningful participation. When you have developed a culture that respects employees’ time, people will view the meetings they are expected to attend as important and prepare accordingly. They’ll do research in advance, remember to attend, arrive on time, and remain present and involved while the meetings are underway.
Creating a more productive meeting culture within your organization won’t be easy, but it is a worthwhile undertaking. By freeing your employees from hours of wasted time each week, you are giving them more time to pursue meaningful activities within their jobs on a daily basis, which is beneficial for everyone.
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