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5 Reasons to Reduce Employee Meetings
June 21, 2018
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5 Reasons to Reduce Employee Meetings

Small business owners often have limited resources, so they need their employees to be as productive as possible. If you’re holding multiple employee meetings each week, you might want to rethink your strategy. Research by Atlassan shows that employees consider half of all meetings to be a waste of time. In addition, 91 percent of those surveyed admitted to daydreaming during meetings, 96 percent said that they purposely missed meetings, and 39 percent of people even confessed to sleeping during a meeting. Clearly, many employee meetings aren’t effective, and there are better ways for your team to be productive during the work day.

In this post, we’ll explain the reasons to reduce the number of employee meetings you hold, so that you and your employees can increase productivity.

1. Meetings Are Costly

Even if your employees are non-exempt and salaried, paying them to attend a meeting can really add up. For example, if you hold a one-hour meeting with 10 employees and their average salary is $25 an hour ($52,000 per year), that meeting just cost you $250.

Before hosting a meeting, it’s important to consider how much it’s going to cost you, and if a meeting is really necessary. We suggest using this meeting calculator to enter your employees’ salaries and see how much each meeting is costing.

2. Distractions Kill Productivity

Data from Forbes revealed that 71 percent of employees get distracted while working, and only 29 percent of workers can block out all distractions. Meetings can be distractions because it takes employees away from what they were originally working on (which hopefully was contributing to your company generating sales).

According to Gloria Mark from the University of California Irvine, if work is interrupted, it can take the average worker 25 minutes to get back on track. So, not only do you lose the time that your employees were in a meeting, you also lose additional time that it takes for them to focus on their work again.

3. Meetings Could Be a Waste of Time

David Rubinger, a data scientist at Polar, found that after his CEO designated Tuesday and Thursday as meeting-free days, employees didn’t reschedule their meetings for other days of the week. Instead, they were just more productive when they met on other days of the week, or used email or messaging systems to discuss issues instead of holding meetings. This showed that some of the meetings were a waste of time, and the information could’ve been communicated through other sources.

4. Meetings Might Frustrate Employees

Your top-level employees likely value being productive, and if they’re frustrated by all the meetings they’re attending, they’ll be less productive. This could lead to reduced sales and fewer business opportunities. They could also feel like it’s wasting their time, which could lead to them looking for a new job. Instead of continuing to host unnecessary meetings, we suggest asking your employees for feedback. Most likely, they’ll be able to provide helpful feedback, and will appreciate that you value their input.

5. The Information Could Be Addressed Over Email

Some topics are important to discuss during meetings, but most of the time, the information can be communicated over email. The Harvard Business Review recommends asking yourself if you’ve really thought through the situation before scheduling a meeting. If you haven’t, you should schedule strategic thinking time for yourself. They also recommend determining if you need outside thinking to make progress on the assignment, and if moving forward requires a real-time conversation. If the answer to both of those is “no,” sending an email is better than hosting a meeting.

Conclusion

If you believe excessive meetings are harming your company’s productivity, try cutting a few out each week and see what happens. In addition, you could communicate more through email or messaging services like Slack instead. Ultimately, you’ll have to decide if the meetings are leading to an increase or decrease in productivity. Your goal as a business owner is to make money, and the more productive your employees are, the more sales you can earn.

Fora Financial

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Fora Financial is a working capital provider to small business owners nationwide. In addition, the Fora Financial team provides educational information to the small business community through their blog, which covers topics such as business financing, marketing, technology, and much more. If you’d like to see a topic covered on the Fora Financial blog, or want to submit a guest post, please email us at [email protected].
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