Successfully running a business is one of the most difficult activities a person can take on. One of the reasons why so many businesses ultimately fail is because of their failure to get costs under control. Truth be told, there are certain things that the majority of businesses can do without in an attempt to save money. One of these is holding routine business meetings. Wasteful meetings actually help to drain your bottom line.
How Meetings Can Waste Time & Resources
How much are meetings wasting of time and resources? Here are some meeting data that speaks to how much time and money can be wasted in meetings:
- 25 million meetings happen per day
- Pointless or meaningless meetings cost U.S. companies $399 Billion in 2019
- 71% of meetings considered “unproductive” or “inefficient“
- The average employee spends 35% to 50% of their time in meetings
5 Ways Wasteful Meetings Can Negatively Affect Your Revenue
We know that some meetings can be time-wasters. How can business meetings drain an organization’s revenue? Here are five ways of how wasteful meetings can negatively affect your revenue.
#1 Most Attendees Probably Don’t Need to Be There
Business meetings usually result in the attendance of at least several different employees at the request of a manager. Sometimes, it’s the entire office staff. In most cases, it’s going to be a stretch to say that each person that attended that meeting actually had to have been there. There were probably meetings you attended in the past that you contributed nothing to. You were probably left wondering why you were there at all. Such feelings are common, and they are probably quite justified. In a lot of cases, it’s two to three people that get the most out of such meetings. Bringing everyone else into the fold is simply a waste of precious resources that could have been spent on actual work.
#2 Meetings Are Inefficient for Disseminating Information
Many companies also hold meetings for the wrong reasons. If your meeting is being held simply to disseminate some news throughout the company, you are wasting everyone’s time. Forcing many of your employees to crowd together around a table is not an efficient manner of disseminating new information in the 21st century. For one, you have an e-mail that can accomplish the same purpose in less than a second. Even a paper memo will get the point across the same as a time-wasting meeting would. Unfortunately, a great portion of meetings is spent this way.
#3 Most Meetings Do Not Foster Innovation
One thing you may have experienced at a meeting before is a brainstorming session. However, while such exercises may hold merit for getting the creative juices flowing, an official meeting is perhaps not the best environment to spur innovation. The formality of a supervised meeting itself tends to suck out all spontaneity and free-thinking that is necessary for the kind of creativity needed for true innovation. A non-formal collaboration between employees is much more likely to produce the kind of innovation that can actually move your company forward.
#4 Most Meetings Are Not Scheduled for an Appropriate Length of Time
Part of why wasteful meetings occur is due to how meetings are scheduled. Since they have to be scheduled, that means the time, in the beginning, the end and in-between is wasted. A scheduled meeting, for example, will likely be scheduled for a half an hour or even an hour depending on how it is scheduled. However, it would be doubtful that the most important parts of the meeting lasted more than several minutes at most.
#5 Employee Time Is Expensive
Forcing all your employees to gather together for a meeting means they are not performing their regular work. This eats away at their productivity, and you get less benefit from the time they spend on the clock as a result. Having employees is expensive. You have to pay for their salaries, benefits, training and more. Wasting their time with ineffectual meetings means you are paying all that in exchange for having them sit in chairs around a table without actual work being completed. It’s simply a waste of time and resources.
How to Avoid Wasteful Meetings
Overall, many meetings tend to be ineffective, hamper productivity and waste company time. As a result, calling meetings that are needed will hurt your bottom line.
Instead, when calling a meeting make sure you do the following:
- What is the purpose of the meeting?
- Could this meeting be an email or slack message?
- Do all meeting attendees know the purpose of the meeting and what is expected of them?
- Is there an agenda sent out, with specific items that need answers?
- Do all invitees have to be there, or can some just be updated with a follow email, or meeting summary?
- Is the amount of time appropriate to discuss items on the meeting agenda?
Before creating a meeting invite, ask yourself these questions. This may help reduce unnecessary meetings.
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