10 Dec How To Handle the Meeting Overload
The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t being said. The art of reading between the lines is a lifelong quest of the wise
Shannon L. Alder
Thanks to the new age technologies like zoom, webinars, podcasts etc.. The digital workforce can connect with each other frequently for exchange of knowledge and valuable information. Hence meetings have become a commonplace in the annals of the business world. However leaders find it challenging to schedule and run their meetings without impacting staff morale and productivity. Let’s look at some of the ways by which organisations can carry out their meetings effectively for achieving optimum productivity and employee satisfaction.
One of the common psychological fears associated with meetings is fear of missing out. Employees feel that attending all the meetings is negotiable which creates a sense of fear and anxiety when they do not need to attend the scheduled meetings. This leaves little time for the staff to focus on their core priorities due to attention lapse resulting in drop in productivity. Leaders need to clearly communicate the meeting agenda and share the meeting invite only to those staff who are required to participate in the discussion. Staff members need to be empowered to decline the meeting invites when they have time critical tasks and deliverables that need to be actioned. They can catch up with their teammates or managers to take a download of the information post facto.
It is often found that leaders schedule the meetings to suit their calendar without due consideration to the availability of their teams. Leaders need to be wary and guard themselves against such impulsive behaviours which could end up becoming counter productive. There could bring opportunity costs of running a meeting during inopportune timings which can impact staff morale and motivation levels. Aligning the meeting schedule which is mutually convenient with the team members would help in fostering a culture of collaborative leadership and inclusivity. Leverage on meetings and conduct brainstorming sessions to discuss critical issues relating to project timelines and any potential challenges faced. Reward good performance by sending thank you cards and congratulatory emails.
Schedule recurring meetings to keep track of the progress and stick to the agenda. Check with the participants for any updates before the meeting starts. Cancel the meetings which are redundant when the attendees have nothing to update or a lot of work is still in progress. This would allow the team members to focus on their tasks on hand effectively rather than giving interim updates and feedback. Leaders also need to keep track of the key deliverables which were discussed during the meeting to avoid repetition and save time instead of repeating the same conversations. Having a clear brief and debrief session would help summarize the main points discussed. Document the discussion items and review them periodically to restructure the meeting schedule appropriately.
Shed unconscious bias and mitigate pluralistic ignorance by encouraging team members to give honest feedback about unproductive meetings. Earmark specific timings during non peak hours when the team members would be relatively free and away from their daily routine of multi tasking activities. Conduct water cooler conversations and casual meetings for better team bonding and digital detoxification.
We at Xforia Technologies are people friendly and focused on engaging with our employees positively through digital empowerment and innovation.