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Time is money, and wasted time is money down the drain. You may think we’re talking about the employees scrolling through Facebook or checking their Snapchat who are wasting most of your money. We’re actually referring to the countless meetings your whole team sits through to hear the same thing over and over again and the wasted time each of them experiences by sitting in a meeting that’s not going anywhere. 

In the U.S alone, $37 billion is lost due to unproductive meetings. On average, 62 meetings are attended a month by employees, and half of those are considered a waste of time. How do you stop the money from flowing down the drain, though?

  1. Use Goal Alignment to Maximize Clarity

Maximize productivity from the beginning by aligning employee performance goals with organization goals. By providing employees with clear organizational goals from the beginning, they are able to see how their work is helping to achieve the overarching theme throughout the company. Communications expert, Bill Quirke, says when employees understand their overall role in business, 91% will work toward its success. But when they don’t, that figure drops sharply to 23%.

Make it clear from the beginning how each role in the company contributes to the overall success of the organization. Using this strategy will help employees answer questions for themselves when they come up along the way and eliminate more meetings because your team will be able to align their tasks and make decisions that align with their role as well as the organizational goals.

How to make this work for you: Get the ball rolling with goal alignment from the very beginning by implementing this practice into your new hire strategy. You can also introduce it to your current employees during performance reviews. Make organizational goals part of your culture by adding them into daily updates or at the bottom of weekly memos.

  1. Rethink Your Norms of Giving and Receiving Feedback

Many times meetings are held to facilitate feedback on how the latest project went, what could be better next time, what went right, etc. This is not always the most effective way to do this, though, as the bigger personalities amongst the team may dominate the meetings or there could be some groupthink going on in regards to what people thought about the project and timeline.

Go around these complications by updating the way you give and receive feedback. Consider implementing a survey tool to gather employee feedback that gives clear on what you’re looking for and doesn’t take that much time.

How to make this work for you: If your employees enjoy being able to voice their opinion directly to you or others, implement the an option at the bottom of the survey to set up some one on one time with them to talk things over. Set a time limit on these quick get-togethers so the employee is able to get their feedback in, you can give yours and the flaws of traditional meetings are avoided.

  1. Hold Meetings to Accomplish Tasks, Not Just Because They’re on the Calendar

We all have that one meeting that happens to sit on the calendar for every about every third Thursday of the month, so your team gathers around the conference table once again to talk about… what exactly will you be talking about this time? Keeping meetings on the calendar just because they always have been is not productive for your team.

On average, 31 hours are spent in unproductive meetings every month. The point of holding a meeting should be to make sure the task at hand is being accomplished and if it can be done without the meeting and a little more communication, why waste yours and everyone else’s time? We’re not saying get rid of meetings altogether, as 92% of meeting attendees value meetings as an opportunity to contribute to the organization. So if you must have a meeting, be sure to set an agenda and a leader to keep things on track.

How to make this work for you: Keep the team in the loop and updated on a regular basis with changes in processes or feedback from projects to eliminate the need for useless meetings like the one that just so happens to be on the calendar every month. 71% of employees prefer immediate feedback anyway so make it part of the everyday routine. Through regular feedback and communication employees will be able to keep pushing through projects and hitting deadlines without coming to a standstill for a meeting about the same thing every month.

Do you have a technique your team uses to kick pointless meetings to the curb that we missed? Share it with us on Twitter @reviewsnap


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Chris Arringdale is the Co-Founder and President of Reviewsnap, an online performance appraisal software that allows you to customize performance management, competencies, rating scales and review periods. Reviewsnap serves more than 1,200 customers worldwide including, Penske Racing, CubeSmart, PrimeSource, and Nonprofit HR Solutions.

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