Meetings-Wrong Act In The Lineup

A USA Today Snapshot on June 23 was related to meetings and productivity. The question was, "How would employee productivity be affected if your company banned meetings one day a week?" The responses were:

  • More productive (45%)
  • No change (46%)
  • Less productive (7%)
  • Don't know (2%)

There are two intriguing findings from their poll. One is the obvious result that 7% of respondents need meetings to get direction, etc. The other is that almost half the respondents said there would be no change in productivity with less meetings... kind of makes you wonder what they are currently doing with their discretionary time.

Banning meetings are a frequent solution given during training programs to improving productivity. If banning meetings are not an option (any day of the week), consider these ideas:

  • Involve only those who have to be a part of the meeting. At the end of the meeting make a list of those individuals who need information from the meeting and who will communicate it to them.
  • Limit meetings to 30 minutes or less. If items take longer than expected, form a smaller group of people who can take action on the item and work toward solutions.
  • Have "stand up meetings." Don't allow participants to sit.
  • Send out agendas prior to meeting. Let people know that if they have information that could eliminate the item or reduce the need to discuss it, they should provide it to you by a deadline prior to the meeting.