Are your team meetings sabotaging your bottom line?
There used to be a saying as we gathered around the water cooler back when I worked in corporate – We are calling meetings, about meetings! Those days are long gone and I sure have had my share of meetings that compromised my bottom line, the productivity and sanity of my team, not only in corporate but also as the leader of my businesses.
You are not alone. A recent survey by Microsoft of roughly 38,000 people around the world found out that 70% of the “meetings” they hold weren’t productive.
And to make matters worse, it is estimated that the cost in lost time and wasted talent is $200 billion annually – yikes!
So, what can you do as the leader of your business to ensure your team meetings don’t end up eating up your time and cash flow?
Here are the 2 ingenuous strategies I use to lead super productive & profitable daily and weekly meetings. But, most importantly meetings so that you can improve your business performance, foster accountability, develop deeper connections with your team, build a culture of unisome as you scale and put out a lot of fires, even before they happen.
15-Minute Daily “Mini-Calls”
On a daily basis (except Wednesdays) my team and I jump on a fifteen-minute mini-call. We use these daily calls to check-in and talk about what’s on the agenda for the day. But most importantly, these 15-minute calls keep everyone aligned and working exactly on the tasks (Top Priorities) that will ensure we meet our 90 day goals for the company.
How do I keep the daily meetings tight?
Simple. We follow the same structure every day. Each team member shares wins, roadblocks and a progress update on top priorities they are working on.
We don’t problem solve or get into any kind of deep discussions. The daily calls are quick, straight to the point and a time to ask for clarification on anything that’s keeping someone stuck and not able to meet their goals. A daily mini-call is a great way to keep you & your team focused on your 90 day and overarching goals of the business.
On a weekly basis my team and I gather for our weekly meeting. We follow the same structure every week. The idea behind having a weekly meeting is to focus more on what’s important, and brainstorm deeper on challenges we’re facing.
How do I ensure these longer meetings are not boring and stay focused?
We follow the same structure and I schedule the meetings right before things like lunch, or end of day. This scheduling trick works wonders as it eliminates 90 percent of the time that’s wasted during a meeting.
For the first 15-20 minutes everyone takes 3-5 minutes and provides a progress update based around the following questions:
- What went according to plan last week? Each team member shares good news both professional and personal. Sharing personal wins are a great booster for your team members and more fun too.
- What didn’t go according to plan last week?
- What roadblocks are you facing that’s preventing you to complete your tasks?
- What are the TOP one to three things to work on this week?
The second half of the meeting (about 30 minutes) we focus on our business metrics. We review the key numbers that allows us to manage and measure the business performance to ensure we are getting closer to achieving our goals. It’s a great accountability strategy for everyone to be aware of the key numbers for the business.
The last part of the meeting (30 minutes) we discuss the roadblocks preventing all of us from achieving our weekly tasks and subsequently our 90 day goals. As a group we brainstorm and come up with the best ways to help out those that are facing roadblocks.
Here are a few other strategies that I’ve learned through the years to keep my meetings highly productive, fun and more profitable:
- Never end a meeting without everyone knowing their exact deliverables for the following week. Coming up with ideas during a meeting is useless, unless those ideas and suggestions are documented and assigned to someone to execute on. Always make sure everyone has and it’s clear on the next steps.
- Meetings that go beyond one hour lose steam and focus. As such, try to hold your weekly (or any) meeting to 1-2 hours at the absolute most.
- If possible, have meetings standing up
- Unless, absolutely necessary don’t allow your team members to bring gadgets to the meeting
- Meetings can’t be effective if there’s no system in place to ensure they happen on a regular basis
I’ve attended and facilitated many meetings and often sure meetings did seem like a big waste of time, let’s face it when you put a group of people in a room it can be challenging to maintain control. I also know improving the quality of meetings takes work, however, the investment in doing so will ensure a better return on your and your team’s time.
Also, when you run effective meetings that allows your team to have a clear vision, direction and strategy of how things are going to get done. Therefore, reducing confusion, waste of talent and money.
Now its your turn, I want to hear from you.
In the comments below, tell me this:
How do you keep control of your meetings? What struggles have you had when it comes to running meetings?