Nearly everyone who works in an office will state too many meetings take place. Though some meetings are certainly necessary, the subject matter discussed in most of these get-togethers could be covered through emails or phone calls that take significantly less time. Project managers, executives, and other MSP business leaders tend to err on the side of over-communicating through frequent meetings. Some of these leaders hold meetings to justify their authority. In reality, most of these meetings are unnecessary. In fact, such meetings often prove destructive to workplace morale and productivity.
Why Meetings are Ineffective
Studies show upwards of two-thirds of meetings prove unproductive. A large part of the problem with frequent meetings is they chew up a significant portion of the workday. Some meetings stretch for hours. Add in the fact that meetings force employees to stop what they are doing and try to get back into the flow of work following the group discussion, and it is easy to see why they are falling out of favor.
If you were to poll office workers about how they feel about meetings, most would admit they think these discussions tend to be a colossal waste of time. Furthermore, there are too many of them! Yet, few raise objections to meetings as they fear repercussions from superiors who schedule and lead such discussions.
Interactions Through Technology can Replace Traditional Meetings
Meetings are a bit of an outdated concept. They originated in the days prior to computers and email. Nowadays, it is possible to partake in a virtual meeting on the internet. Mass communications can be transmitted by way of email. There is no longer a need for frequent face-to-face interactions with multiple employees at your MSP business.
Meetings Prevent Work From Being Done
It is interesting to learn that most businesses that claim to have a progressive workplace culture have stringent meeting policies. This stance is in response to the average office in which meetings take place at a high frequency with little justification. Progressive employers are well aware of the fact that meetings disrupt the flow of work. A meeting has the potential to chew up half an hour, an hour or even longer. This might not seem like a major threat to productivity until you consider most meetings involve at least half a dozen employees. If 10 people attend an hour-long meeting, the company loses 10 hours of productivity in a single day.
It is also important to note that meetings are extremely disruptive. Employees are forced to stop working, shift their focus to the meeting, and attempt to transition back to work following the meeting. Transitioning in such a seamless manner is easier said than done.
Consider Football Meetings
Think back to the last football game you watched. Consider the manner in which these athletes meet. Prior to each play, the players stand in a circle known as the “huddle”, discuss what is going to happen, and execute it less than a minute later. This is not to say a one-minute meeting will prove effective for businesses. However, there is a lesson to be learned from football meetings. They are short, to-the-point, highly effective and enjoyable. These interactions can take place at a high frequency without reducing worker productivity.
Football players regroup with a lengthy meeting at halftime to discuss the overarching plan for the upcoming action. This lengthy meeting proves effective, partially because it only occurs once. Infrequent meetings are taken more seriously due to their rarity. This is precisely why the football teams’ approach to meetings is effective. Replicate this approach in your office, and you will find your infrequent meetings prove highly effective.
Question if a Meeting is Really Necessary
If you have the authority to schedule meetings, try to communicate information through phone calls and emails instead of time-consuming meetings. In most instances, it is unnecessary to force everyone to stop what they are doing and meet in the conference room. If necessary, meet with a couple employees in a small group. Avoid the temptation to call meetings at your MSP business, and you will find your team proves that much more productive.