Are Your Meetings Effective?

By Marcie Levine

Are Your Meetings Effective?

NPR ran a segment last week on meetings. They stated that “The average American office worker spends more than nine hours of every week preparing for, or attending, project update meetings, according to the results of a survey released last week by the software firm Clarizen and Harris Poll. That’s up nearly 14 percent from the last survey four years ago.”


More from the NPR article:
“Al Pittampalli is an author and an expert on ‘meeting culture.’ He says at their best, meetings are the lifeblood of an organization. ‘They’re the place where we make the most important decisions, express the most important messages, the most important communications on the most important matters of the day,’ he says. But as a consultant, Pittampalli sees meeting culture run amok.
He sees ‘not just marathon meetings, but meetings that are done to prepare for meetings, and meetings that are done to prepare for meetings to prepare for meetings. It is a waste of time — it’s what I call a weapon of mass interruption.’”

As an HR Director, I would sit in meetings while we were waiting to get started – waiting on the late folks. I would look around the room, and since I was the HR Director, I had an idea of what everyone in the room made on an annual basis. I would add up those numbers, and calculate how much money it cost us to be sitting there, waiting on folks that were late.

I don’t know if meetings have gotten much better since then. People talk about meetings with no agendas, latecomers, and no action items assigned by the end of the meeting. And although most organizations do not include competencies and questions on meeting management in their assessments and engagement surveys, I think that there is cause for reconsideration.

In our library of 360 degree leadership questions, we have several that focus on meeting management such as
• Sets objectives, time limit and agenda for meetings
• Maximizes the value of meeting time
• Consistently provides an agenda before meetings begin
• Ensures that meetings have a stated purpose and outcome
• Plans and conducts effective meetings

Next time you are in the design phase of a 360 assessment, please consider adding a few questions on meeting management. More effective meetings can happen with some thought and attention, and may save the organization a significant amount of money along the way.

To read the entire NPR article or listen to the story, go to:

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About the author

Marcie Levine

Marcie Levine

Prior to founding SurveyConnect, Marcie had more than twelve-years of experience in HR, both as a consultant and in several corporate positions. As an HR consultant, she worked on a variety of client assignments, including the design and implementation of surveys. She created SurveyConnect to streamline and simplify the process of survey creation and administration. Marcie has published articles about 360 feedback process in trade magazines, including the International Society for Performance Improvement, Selling Power, T+D Magazine, and Quirk’s Marketing Research Review.