Wasting Time or Working? Making the Most of Team Meetings to Improve Efficiency

by Kylee Stone Apr 5,2022

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Team meetings are a way for leaders and their team members to connect and share relevant information, make decisions, and appoint directives that serve a greater purpose. 

Unfortunately, employees say that most meetings are a waste of time. They spend an average of 31 hours a month sitting in on unproductive calls. Without a highly engaged atmosphere, not only will you be unable to keep their interest, but you’ll be taking valuable time away for them to be in a workflow. 

It is estimated that ineffective team meetings waste more than $30 billion a year in the US, making this a crucial problem for business owners. You want to engage your people and enable them to execute the strategies you have for them without them feeling detached and dispassionate. 

Also read: 6 Proven Ways To Improve Team Engagement At Work!

Let’s explore ten ways to improve your team communication and productivity during call meetings. 

Eliminate unnecessary meetings and calls 

Before hosting a meeting, get clear about why it’s happening in the first place. Align with your goals and be sure that there’s a distinct purpose in gathering your team together with a direct call to action for them to follow. You don’t just want to fill up time with a call that could more productively be an email. 

Tina Hawk, SVP of Human Resources at GoodHire, suggests that too often team meetings are used to discuss the routine, while their main purpose should be making important decisions. Understand what you want the end result to be before going into it. Go over your employee roster to only include relevant team members in the meeting. If the call does not impact them, they don’t need to be on it. 

Also read: 3 Reasons Why Your Offboarding Strategy Is Critical For Employee Retention

Plan The Meeting

Clarity on the structure of the call will help you remain timely and efficient. Establish a clear agenda to share with employees ahead of time, enforce your protocol, and have a refined presentation to go over with a step-by-step plan for your expectations of meeting departmental goals

Don’t just wing it, and don’t assume you know enough to dive in without a blueprint. Establish a layout for meetings to help employees know what to expect and prepare well in advance for it. Formulate a time frame for meetings, schedule them amply in advance, and use your leadership skills to keep everything flowing interactively and with intent. 

Diminish lower priority work 

David Aylor, Founder & CEO of David Aylor, believes that without a system that helps to defer and delegate lower priority work, efficiency will suffer. There are countless tasks involved in achieving the bigger goal for a company. While each component is necessary to get where you want to be, not all tasks are as imperative as others. 

Team leaders should go over high-priority tasks to present to each department and how it fits in to result you want achieved for the long-term, understanding that employees wear many hats under the umbrella of their position, and focusing on what the key results are. 

Also read: What you need to know about OKRs

Assign meeting ownership

Staying on task is not always easy. Even though you have ownership of leading the way, involving your team always creates the impact. Assign roles that help keep the meeting flowing without delays and distractions. 

You might want to have someone take notes that can be transcribed to a software that simplifies employee communication through a discussion space, or someone to keep track of timing to support focus.

Promote No Meeting Days

Logan Mallory, VP of Motivosity, an employee engagement product, says, “Attending meetings can disrupt the employee efficiency, making it hard to get back in the flow.” Sometimes, team calls can feel redundant for employees, leading them to become a part of the day they dread. 

Let your team members follow their work groove without pulling them away from their day to discuss matters that could be put off for some time. Stepping away from meetings will help employees and you understand more about why they’re necessary, so convening for calls is more desired by your team. 

Communicate effectively 

If your employees feel they have a voice, they will be more inclined to participate in team calls. Establish open communications with your team members outside the meeting space to remain consistent with them. Find solutions through chatting apps to enforce workplace growth that improves collaboration. 

Choose a platform where employees can ask all their questions, align tasks, and manage their work. This collaborative effort to enhance the way everyone interacts will boost productivity and lessen time-wasting distractions. 

Also read: 10 Ways To Improve Communication At The Workplace

Give and receive feedback

Find out how employees feel about these meetings. Conduct formal surveys and listen to your team about how they’d rate the calls you’re having to see if they’re effective. It will help you target the type of meetings to be hosting. 

CEO of Quiet Light, Mark Daoust, states that the culture of ongoing employee feedback is the driving force towards employee development.” Initiate performance reviews and pay attention to where your employees’ strengths and weaknesses are, being willing to utilize your team calls to support improvement and development where it’s needed. 

Bring all the projects under one roof 

It’s a great business idea to streamline your channels of engagement to one system. Project management softwares allow you to gain access to everything your employees need all in one place, helping you plan, track data, and keep up with everyone’s task. 

Avoid overwhelm for your team by making it easier for them to obtain all the resources and management tools to work productively, also allowing you to oversee all of your business’s components. When you are leading team calls, you’ll know where to look for guidance. 

Measure everything

If you want a high-performing organization, you need to know the metrics for what works and what doesn’t. You must analyze company productivity, including sales and performance, paying attention to the scale that needs balancing. 

Ouriel Lemmel, CEO & Founder of WinIt, says, “An effective standard in place contributes to the achievement of goals. However, one can be only sure of progress if the process is measurable.” You cannot waste time trying to figure out where to put in efforts. Track your metrics t

Also read: Why companies should invest in People Analytics?

Follow up 

There’s no sense in having a call if you’re not going to follow up with how your employees take action after. Things come up, employees get sidetracked, and sometimes you need to step in to see how things are going. Whether it’s a follow-up email or a message sent on your communication channels, stay in touch. 

Your employee productivity will reflect in the way you engage with them and the culture you provide to always remain a leader who is in their circle. 

Also read: Virtual Onboarding: A New Reality

Don’t stop assessing your disciplines for things that could use more proficiency and be open to making necessary changes in the way you interact with your team, so there’s no time wasted. Stay up on business trends and be mindful of employee needs as they may adjust. Switching things up to make the most of team calls so everyone is contributing and growing collectively is a key factor to thrive. 

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Kylee Stone

Kylee Stone supports the professional services team as a CX intern and psychology SME. She leverages her innate creativity with extensive background in psychology to support client experience and organizational functions. Kylee is completing her master’s degree in Industrial-Organizational psychology at the University of Missouri Science and Technology emphasizing in Applied workplace psychology and Statistical Methods.

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