You know those meetings: the weekly check-ins, or the monthly team meetings. They all have the same thing in common: Your employees hate them. In fact, in a recent Harris poll, sponsored by the online collaboration company Clarizen, 17 percent of employees said that they would rather watch paint dry than attend a meeting. Eight percent said that they’d rather have a root canal.
Does this mean that meetings are bad, and you should not have them? Of course not. It just means that meetings need to be done differently. Take these tips from Inc.:
“Meetings have value,”Clarizen CEO Avinoam Nowogrodski says, “but only if they are focused on problem solving, innovation, and identifying opportunities to cross-leverage each other’s work.”
1. Try collaboration software.
Obviously, this likely conclusion was Clarizen’s motive for sponsoring the study. That said, they have a point. Collaboration or project management software, or even a large spreadsheet mounted on the wall, would allow every member of the team to see the status of every other member’s projects whenever they wanted. That would save a lot of time over check-in meetings or having teams write up reports.
2. Meet standing up.
This increasingly popular practice doesn’t eliminate status meetings, but forces participants to keep their comments short because no one wants to spend hours on their feet. A further benefit is that standing for a few minutes will improve the health of employees who would otherwise be seated all day.
The down sides are that employees still have to spend time preparing for the meetings, so productivity gains may be lessened. Also, standing meetings require some discipline, both in not sitting, and in punctuality (because if people are waiting around for missing colleagues they’re likely to sit or resent having to stand). Still, standing status meetings are a whole lot better than seated ones.