Meetings help to keep organizations running smoothly, but they often are not good uses of time. The vast majority of organizations have a handful of truly productive meetings each year, but they also have hundreds of other meetings where nothing gets done. It may feel like these bad meetings only cost your company time, but they are actually costing you thousands of dollars each year.

Bad Meetings Burn Money

Bad meetings cost you in three ways: They waste time, they use up valuable resources, and they delay the achievement of the desired result. From the wasted man hours alone, a bad meeting is akin to burning money. You have literally thrown away the hourly salary of each person who attends the meeting for the duration of that meeting because nothing productive was achieved. You can add to that cost to the cost of the time it takes them to get to and from the meeting and the time it takes for them to settle back into the groove of their work.

You Don’t Have to Have Bad Meetings!

Most business leaders genuinely believe that meetings are just a necessary evil and that there is no way to make every meeting achieve its intended goal. Our facilitation training specialists know that that belief is just not true. You can improve meeting productivity within individual teams, departments or across the entire enterprise if the leadership is willing to stand up and refuse to tolerate poor meeting performance.

Strategies Your Organization Can Employ

Once you decide that bad meetings are unacceptable, it’s time to start implementing strategies to change the way that others within your organization approach meetings. You can follow any number of strategies, but we have three that we’ve found particularly effective.

  1. The Bottom-Up Approach: In this approach, leaders focus on encouraging individual action, which will eventually work its way up through the organization. Individual volunteers will attend training courses to learn how to best facilitate meetings, then spread these ideas.
  2. Department Level Change: This approach focuses on improving the productivity of meetings within a single department. From here, individuals within the department will take techniques into other meetings, and other departments will be inspired by the success of the initial department.
  3. Enterprise Level Change: This approach can radically transform an organization quickly — as long as it is implemented correctly.

We have two ways that you can learn more about these strategies for improving the productivity of your meetings: through our new white paper, “The Cost of Wasted Meetings,” and through our upcoming webinar on the topic.