Is it worth your money to spend time in a meeting?
Meetings – they are the subject of frustration and often, futility. Getting together with peers or coworkers to discuss problems and implement solutions can be fruitful, however many organizations fall victim to the belief that more meetings equals more productivity.
In fact, I have worked with some companies that held daily meetings, thinking that it was the most effective way to reinforce an agreement on tasks, workflow and more. Although once management realized that the actual cost of time spent away from productive work, contrasted with the actual output of those meetings did not achieve the outcomes they wanted, it was time to reevaluate their practices, and work towards an organizational design to get the company back on the right track.
Putting a dollar figure on that scenario is one way to realize the true cost of meetings and how big of a chunk that it takes out of your revenue stream.
For instance, a one hour, daily meeting with six team member employees (average salary of $30K) would total $588.50 a week (including paid benefits). While that may not be a shocking number, consider the cost over a year—$29,425. (Based on 50 weeks to allow for holidays or time off). If you continue that pattern, that number grows to over $147,000 in five years.
Remember, the above example is based on lower level employees, such as team members and shift supervisors. Including one or more mid and high level employees and your operational budget swells.
Cutting down on the number of meetings or combining several groups into one is a possibility, however, larger meetings usually mean some attendees are not engaged, merely observers or figure heads. Often those who run the meeting without an agenda or timetable can quickly lose control of the tempo— discussions can ramble off topic and a 20 minute meeting can suddenly stretch to an hour or more.
What is the solution? Start with an overall strategy, accountability process and report structure that can be implemented in real time rather than tabling items for the next meeting. Asking the right questions can also set things back on track quickly. Seek input from across all ranks. It may be as simple as rearranging a work station or switching tasks between two workers.
Meetings are not going away. However, you can reduce your time spent scheduling meetings, holding meetings, rescheduling meetings and dragging out meetings with an overall strategy and focus on improving processes throughout your company.
If your company lacks an updated, overall strategy or you can’t remember the last time you reviewed your work-flow and processes, talk to us at Success Trek.