Meetings are something that defines an organisation. With new tools and technologies, meetings have become a part and parcel of employees’ worklife. From the employers’ perspective, meetings are places to get to know where the organisation is moving and also ideating on various issues. Considering that working nowadays is moving towards team engagement, number of meetings is likely to increase rather than decrease. So employees in order to keep the momentum going need to focus on productive meetings.
The American Psychological Association has published a nationwide poll by Clarizen where US employees spend an average of 9 hours a week preparing for or attending team meetings, but more than a third of employees believe those meetings are a waste of time. Almost half of employees would rather do any unpleasant activity rather than sit through a meeting, including waiting in line at the DMV or watching paint dry, the poll found. Although the poll is US-centric, the premise is valid globally.
High-octane meets are often energy sapping. There are number of heavy-duty ideas which get discussed in the round-tables, and sometimes employees get disoriented in executing them. There are various ways employees can retain the energy level after meetings.
Take meetings as your real work: Taking a casual approach towards important meetings will not solve any issue. Employees should focus their mind-set — a shared conviction among all the participants that meetings are real work. The usual expression after any kinds of meeting is that of being relieved. The “Meetings over” approach is the wrong approach.
Be punctual: Lots of time employees turn up late for meetings. This doesn’t really shorten the meeting period, rather it’s time consuming. Employees usually have advanced knowledge about meeting-dates. It is essential to congregate at the designated hour so that the meeting ends at the alloted time.
Don’t log in to social media while in a meeting: More often than not, with technology fuelling business growth, it has become imperative for employees to carry their laptops with them. There might be a time in a meet that a particular employee doesn’t have direct interest in an idea which is being discussed. With wi-fi available, employees can often think of using social media for entertaining themselves in that time. So surfing the net, logging on to social-networking sites or checking emails are not considered correct. Mind gets distracted and the purpose of meetings are lost in transition.
Stick to the topic of discussion: Meetings require a lot of vocal power, and thus emerge a lot of ideas. So sticking to the meeting topic is essential and employees should make a conscious effort not to digress from topics. Have an agenda-driven meeting. So that at the end of the session, employees are better placed than what they came with in the first place.
No one wants to attend an unproductive meeting. Understanding why employers call for such meetings will give the workers an idea that it is how the former keep tabs of different verticals without being too nosy. Company growth depends on communication between the leaders and their employers, and meetings are that space where it can be done.