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Meetings are notorious for quickly turning into a time waste. To top that, 67% of employees say that spending a lot of their time in meetings clogs their productivity at work.
Since giving up on them altogether isn’t an option – in fact, practically speaking, that’s not even possible – what do you do? You focus on hosting only the most important types of meetings.
This brings us to the million-dollar question: what types of meetings should you be having? Let’s answer that for you in this post. Briefly, you need the following meetings:
On to the details next:
Admittedly, planning your week efficiently isn’t easy. It’s why Spitfire Inbound’s Louisa Du Toit recommends, “having a weekly workload planning meeting to help the team manage their upcoming week’s workload.”
On top of assistance with weekly workload planning, these meetings help Du Toit’s team “catch up on status, general team wellbeing (mentally), seeing where each of the team may need some assistance and share any learnings and information from the past week.”
Mughees Mehmood from Planet Content also thinks weekly meetings are helpful – but they don’t necessarily have to focus on helping manage workload. According to Mehmood, “this meeting’s agenda shouldn’t be work. This particular meeting should be an update of each employee” instead.
“Here’s an agenda for such a meeting:
“I believe it’s much more important to ensure that team members are communicating, working together, and feeling motivated,” Mehmood goes on. “That automatically ensures that there’s minimal need for an actual work meeting unless there’s a major update.”
That said, it’s just not Toit and Mehmood who think that the ideal frequency for meetings is weekly. Instead, the majority, 38%, think weekly is the ideal meeting frequency.
The next favored frequency for hosting meetings is monthly. However, 19% of our respondents think that hosting meetings every 2 weeks is best and only 11% saying hosting meetings twice a week is ideal.
Only 5% say daily meetings are ideal with another 3% saying quarterly meetings are adequate.
Related: 8 Types of Team Meetings You Need (and 3 You Don’t)
Several of our expert contributors speak in favor of this type of meeting.
Hiba Amin from Hypercontext, for instance, says, “One-on-ones are the most important meeting in a manager’s calendar. They’re a dedicated time and space to build rapport, share and receive feedback and eliminate roadblocks.”
“At the core, one-on-one meetings are about building a foundation of trust between you and your direct reports, ultimately leading to greater morale and productivity,” Amin explains.
Perry Zheng from Cash Flow Portal also adds “the purpose of these meetings is to provide support and coaching for employees to grow and excel, and to take feedback for possible improvements.”
“Fundamentally, one-on-ones are the employee’s meeting. The manager’s job here is only to engage and listen, and conduct them in a way that employees feel comfortable enough to open up about their experiences and problems,” comments Zheng, explaining the key to making one-on-one meetings work. “These meetings help managers empathize and connect with their direct employees, which improves the relationships in a workforce.”
These types of meetings are the most popular among our respondents. Some 21% of the contributors say problem-solving meetings are the most useful of all types of meetings.
Other useful meetings include status updates, team-building meetings, brainstorming, and info-sharing meetings.
“When there is a situation that requires prompt or creative problem solving or an important decision must be made, it is always preferred to hold a meeting to handle these efforts rather than try to coordinate it through a medium like e-mail or Slack,” observes Jordan Brannon of Coalition Technologies.
“Some types of information and ideas do not travel as well over text-based communication and parts of the discussion can be missed, overlooked, or misinterpreted this way. Holding a meeting and allowing team members to speak is much more efficient and effective in getting ideas across clearly and quickly.”
“As a manager, this also allows team members to speak up in a group setting and know that their voice is being heard by leadership,” adds Brannon.
“It also shows the team that you work alongside them through the process, and don’t only delegate efforts down to them.
Meetings eliminate barriers between tiers of a company structure and help to make everyone involved feel more connected and their contributions more valuable.”
There is no need to wait until you hold a meeting to take action and make a better decision for your business. With Databox’s business dashboards, you can monitor and report on performance in one place from any device.
“A status update meeting is held to show and keep track of team progress on projects, and the status of each team member,” elaborates David Kack from Powerful Generator.
And, it turns out meetings are also fairly popular among our respondents. Two of our contributors explain the reasons why. To start, Kack notes: “Regular status updates can improve productivity and provides an opportunity to discuss insights from your client tracking dashboard, because effectively communicating delays, problems, and roadblocks in a timely fashion increases the likelihood that adjustments can be made before tasks and milestones are missed.”
Vickie Pierre from Home Insurance Rates adds, “Without question, managers need to know what’s going on. Therefore, status update meetings are crucial. Simply put, status update meetings help provide managers with points of course correction, acceleration, and potential pause.”
Pierre goes on to explain each of these pointers separately:
“Course correction comes when a manager can see where the team is on a project. As long as the manager can see who has done what, and how progress is being made, he or she can work with the team to make sure any and all adjustments are made, ensuring the desired outcomes are achieved.”
“Acceleration can be a natural byproduct of status meetings simply because a manager has discovered that the team has been moving at a quicker-than-realized pace. Perhaps the manager discovers that so much has gone into the project, that all outcomes have been achieved. This will, in the end, cut down on work and leverage the team into other areas.”
“Without a status meeting, managers might not know when it’s time to stop, reassess, or just pull the plug until it’s too late. Bottom line? Knowing when it’s time to pause or stop is crucial. It’s not just a matter of time, it’s also a matter of quality and money. Whether it’s wasting resources or correcting a critical error, holding regular status meetings is a no-brainer, and key to any manager maintaining efficiency and success”
To understand how things are going, you shouldn’t have to dig around your email inbox, Slack or wait for a reporting meeting each week. With Databox Scorecards, you can receive (or send) regular updates on your key performance indicators (KPIs) through email, mobile push notification, and/or Slack every day, week, or month.
Related: 10 Marketing KPIs You Should Share with Your Team
“Every manager should have team-building meetings with their staff,” insists VelvetJobs’ William Taylor.
“The purpose of these meetings is to allow team members to form personal relationships with one another and bond beyond work boundaries.”
But here’s the thing: “team-building meetings are supposed to be casual, fun, authentic, and relaxed. Such meetings should also encourage everyone involved to loosen up and let their guard down.” So this is exactly how to make these meetings a success.
For PEO Companies, these types of meetings have played a vital role in their success according to Nelson Sherwin. “They give us a chance to get together as a team and discuss workplace trends, motivation levels, and our oath for the future. We also like to use this time to chat with our closest coworkers and build on relationships within the team.”
Similar to feedback meetings are evaluation meetings that Navarre Trousselot from Navexa talks about.
“In my experience, it’s essential to evaluate performance and results on a regular basis and not just once every three months or less. I advise managers to introduce weekly evaluation meetings that will enable them to get insights into the overall progress.”
“These meetings don’t have to be very long – sometimes even half an hour is enough to summarize main points and identify space for improvement,” Trousselot observes.
“When it comes to the format of the meeting, this is very much open for managers to choose. Some people have rather strict agendas and reporting systems whereas others prefer a more relaxed atmosphere and an open conversation with the rest of the team.”
Editor’s note: Track each of your team member’s performance on one dashboard called the Asana (Team overview) dashboard template. It shows you the total tasks you create and complete alongside tasks completed and overdue by assignees among other essential metrics. This way, you can get a full team overview on one screen.
Another type of meeting you should be considering hosting is the info-sharing meeting. Ashley Cummings from Searchlight Content LLC is a proponent of these meetings.
“I try and mitigate meetings as much as possible, but there is one meeting that is essential for every relationship, and that’s info-sharing meetings,” shares Cummings. “My theory is everyone needs a time (e.g., initial kick-off call, beginning of a new project, benchmark meetings, etc.) so managers can communicate expectations and employees or contractors can ask questions. The meetings don’t have to be long, but when you have a chance to communicate expectations upfront, projects will move along more smoothly.”
Editor’s note: Don’t have the time for info-sharing meetings? Improve your meetings’ efficiency with Databox’s dashboard templates. For example, this Asana (Project Overview) Dashboard Template can help you gain better visibility into your team’s performance on all key tasks per project, thereby improving your team’s productivity and transparency.
Cummings’ opinion raises a question though – what’s the ideal duration for meetings? We asked our contributors the same. An overwhelming majority of 45% said 15-30 minutes is the perfect duration for meetings.
33% also think 30-34 minutes are perfect. Less than 12% say 45-60 minutes is the best meeting duration. Only 5% agree meetings should last for 15 minutes or less.
And that’s all, folks. This list covers all the essential meetings for keeping employees engaged, informed, and satisfied. Once you’re clear on the type of meeting you want to have, you’ll be able to save everybody’s time since you’ll have clear objectives around the meeting.
And to cut down time on meetings and reporting, you could also start using our business dashboard software like an employee time tracking dashboard. Start a free trial here.
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