Are meetings dragging your team down? Do you know how to tell? I have 3 key indicators to help you figure it out!
Meetings are one of my least favorite things. As necessary as they are, they tend to feel draining to me, like a waste of time, an inconvenience in my day, and if there isn’t coffee or food, I really don’t feel excited about meetings.
That said, they are necessary for great communication and internal team alignment.
Stand up meetings are probably one of my preferred types of meetings. This is where teams check in daily and literally stand so the meeting doesn’t go over 15 minutes. Team members go over they are working on that day – priorities and goals. Cut through the chit chat and straight to the meat of the meeting in as briefly as possible. As an introvert, this is ideal for me.
I’ve worked on teams where we had standing up meetings daily, where we had no meetings and where we had multiple types of meeting within the organization.
Employees have mixed feelings about meetings, how often they are, how long they go, and what they are about.
When I first started my legal career, as a paralegal, I worked for a firm that held weekly meetings to go over what everyone was working on. They were at the very start of the day, in fact, we had to come in early each Friday to have this meeting. Granted coffee and donuts/muffins were provided so that was an ok incentive. However, it still required us all to be there early and the meetings were long. Eventually, someone said these meetings needed to stop, and they did, and people started to feel out of the loop and not aligned with the rest of the office.
Some meeting pitfalls to be aware of are when meetings turn into chat sessions where everyone gets caught up in personal stories – don’t get me wrong personal level conversations help teams connect, but meetings are not the time for that. And some people can become drained by that when they have an agenda to work on and need to get back to projects.
Keeping everyone happy is never feasible but there can be a good balance. I’ve shown you how meetings can be draining and how they can be helpful, so the key is to find the right balance.
I can assure you having teams come in early on a Friday, will not score you gold starts, but providing coffee and muffins might provide some extra enthusiasm.
For certain, going without meetings can derail teams causing lack of team alignment, missing deadlines, miscommunicated project collaboration or not identifying when someone is taking on more of the work and could use some help. Meetings are necessary to ensure company-wide communication and connection. And most of all that we are all working towards the company’s main goals.
For me, I found myself many times over the years that there were too many meetings in a week or a day and they take away from actually doing the work. Creating more work and leaving less space for doing, this is a dangerous path.
As the CEO of your business, you want to ensure not to bog your team down in meetings, and also keep the communication flowing. So there must be a balance in the communication and allow space for work.
Three indicators to pay attention to when planning for regular meetings:
- What is the least amount of time you need to accomplish necessary communication?
- What are the meeting goals? Do you have an agenda and timeframe set? Stick to it.
- Get feedback from your team. Do they feel they need more or less communication and do they feel their plate is balanced? Do they feel the meetings are effective, if not what do they need for the meetings to feel most effective?
Be strategic and consistent about meetings.
Stand up meetings are great. And what is best is you can do them virtually! Whether your team works in one location together or are spread out across the world, virtual stand up meetings are an easy way to keep up with and participate with one another.
Create a list of things the team will all report on.
Identify the platform to communicate on (Slack, Email, Messenger, IM).
Set a meeting/reminder on everyone’s calendars and set the time their list should be submitted along with frequency. (Daily? Weekly?). This should be at the start of the day before anyone gets into projects and work, and it will help them to plan for their day ahead as well.
Weekly – Mondays when they arrive in the office.
Daily – when they arrive in the office.
Doing a mix of daily stand-ups with a weekly team meeting might even fit your team. I love stand up meetings for the sake of making sure everyone is planning their day or week out, have a way to measure their successes and leave work feeling accomplished more often than feeling “what did I get done?” and “did I get anything done on my list?” These meetings provide accountability and when other members of the team have something for another team member to do, we all know what everyone is working on to know whether they are available or working on their own deadlines.
Head over to the Facebook Group and tell us 1 thing you love and 1 thing you dislike about meetings.