Rather than being productivity killers, well-crafted meetings can help raise productivity and achieve an open culture within teams, says Jerene Ang.
American economist Thomas Sowell once said: “The least productive people are usually the ones who are most in favour of holding meetings.”
In a 2016 survey by CareerBuilder, almost a quarter (24%) of employers cited meetings as a productivity killer in the workplace.
While a year ago, I would have been quick to agree, after the team at Human Resources started holding weekly catch-up meetings effective January 2017, I came to realise that meetings can be beneficial in many ways – here are some of the benefits I’ve found.
Increasing the productivity of the team
Rather than being a productivity killer, meeting once a week (especially on Mondays or Tuesdays) can help increase team productivity by helping everyone prioritise their tasks for the week.
Work is never-ending, and chances are you’ll have more than one task on your plate at any given time. Among them, some will be high priority (for example, those which are deadlines), and others will be of lower priority.
Instead of letting your team multi-task, leading to productivity loss and possibly ending up with no task fully completed, make use of weekly meetings to help your team members pick out the tasks to focus on first.
By doing so, you enable them to create greater impact while doing the same amount of work.
Creating a culture of feedback
Studies have shown that employees prefer to receive daily or weekly feedback, however, in a survey by Eagle Hill Consulting, only two in five report receiving regular feedback at work. This problem can be solved by holding weekly team meetings.
For example, during weekly meetings at Human Resources, we reflect on our own as well as our peers’ work in the past week.
By providing a space for open dialogue about performance, with not only top-down feedback, but also peer-to-peer feedback, regular meetings can foster a culture of feedback within the team. At the same time, this feedback loop helps minimise the feeling staff have of being “in the dark” about how managers think they are performing and prevents them from being “blindsided” by a performance review.
Reduce workplace stress
A survey by ComPsych Corporation pointed out the five triggers of workplace stress – unclear expectations from bosses; confusion between co-workers; the belief that workloads will increase; uncertainty about the future and stability of the company; and new processes/ operating rules/skills.
These triggers can be alleviated through regular communication and transparency which weekly meetings can provide.
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