„Sorry, I’m in a meeting. I’ll call you later!!!”
We constantly hear this statement. It is due to the fact that meetings take up most of our time throughout the day. We often schedule and attend meetings whenever we want to plan or take action. Having a lot of these rendezvous, company meetings have become one of the most common time thieves which have a negative impact on our productivity. If we add the 69% of the people who consider meetings inefficient and the 9% of those who literally fall asleep at meetings, we can conclude that these types of encounters have a major impact on the overall performance in the workplace environment.
Employers began to understand this need that employees have, especially in the cases where it is more likely to appear in the ranks of middle management. Sometimes, in the quest for finding solutions to the problem, we forget generational needs are different. The reactions of millennials (those born between 1980-2000) towards meetings are different from the reactions of those who are about to retire or are waiting for a promotion (after a 10-year service).
Microsoft Corp. performed a study in which they found that, due to a more digitalized lifestyle, young people have an attention span of 8 seconds. 77% of those interviewed, between the ages of 18 and 24, state that if nothing catches their attention directly, they turn to their mobile phones.
When it comes to direct interaction, even if they are technology freaks and connoisseurs, the people in the study prefer face-to-face meetings to video or remote conferences. Dan Schawbel states that the Y Generation is “a generation whose voice must be heard and which must participate in conversation instead of sitting and staring at a video-projector.”
We understand that different generations have different needs, but there is a specific set of actions which brings all generations closer together, when it comes to meetings. Steps to take:
Pick a moderator and encourage your employees to take turns in terms of who moderates the next session. If the meeting exceeds 45 minutes, you can have two moderators in order to engage more people.
Assign an active role to the others. One individual can keep track of time; another can take notes regarding the decisions that are taken, and another can make sure that the discussion does not drift away from the main topic.
Try to limit the presence of gadgets as much as possible throughout the meeting. Ask the participants not to take their phone, tablet or laptop in the meeting room. Instead, prepare some pens and paper for each to write down possible questions or issues.
Only 43% of them will remember what the meeting was about so an output should be the first thing a moderator should send to the participants, after the meeting. If you set up certain tasks, the output should be sent and printed to ensure we gave out all the details.
Decrease telephone conferences or Skype group meetings as much as possible. Instead, you can hold the meeting as scheduled and have a responsible who commits to inform the ones who could not make it.
Improving meetings one step at a time and implementing solutions which work and are relevant for your business and team, you can transform the regular meetings in useful moments, full of knowledge transfer and creative ideas.
“Sorry, I forgot to call you, I had a very pleasant meeting and forgot all about it…”
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