However, although the individual employee still has a really good influence on how much of his life he wants to spend defending little monsters, it is often very different when it comes to his working time in meetings.
A wide range of studies reach the conclusion that employees of all hierarchical levels spend approximately 15 % of their weekly working time in meetings.
If one places alongside this figure the real personnel costs, an alarming total is produced. Astonishingly, very few companies place importance on making as sensible use as possible of this cost pool. Management theories about efficiency and cost cutting fizzle out when it comes to the sacrilege of the weekly jour fixe.
Nevertheless, meetings can be organised and managed sensibly through the consistent implementation of just a few points:
1. Produce clear time planning
The beginning and end are fixed and are known to all. This is joggled only in absolute exceptions. Topics are to be dealt with objectively and in a target-orientated manner. An open end rarely leads to more creativity, but only to going through already-known facts.
2. Punctual start
There is no further waiting. The meeting begins punctually at the arranged time. Only thus can there be deadline discipline. Just quickly get a coffee, a last look at the mobile… Why should it be okay in a company to make others wait?
3. All necessary documents are at hand
Everything that must be got or copied belatedly or verified “briefly” extends the meeting unnecessarily.
4. Participants are chosen purposefully
Employees can also be informed in other ways. They do not have to participant in a meeting that does not affect them or that affects them only partially.
5. Moderate the meeting
The moderator consciously keeps the meeting within the planned time frame and content framework. He is well prepared and does not see himself as an improviser. Those who talk at length are stopped and the focus is on a balanced exchange of opinions – not on lengthy PowerPoint presentations of individual persons.
6. Meet in the morning
Efficient meetings are achieved only when they take place at a time of day at which a person’s performance curve is usually at its highest – i.e. in the morning.
7. Switch off devices
Each meeting demands the full attention of all participants. Therefore, the elementary rule should apply: all electronic devices are switched off for the duration of the meeting.
8. Binding minutes
What was discussed, what goals were set and by when are they to be implemented – only by means of this underlying data does an information event produce targeted courses of action.
9. Cancel a meeting sometimes too
The famous Monday meeting is soon to be here but there is actually nothing groundbreaking and new? Then the courage should be mustered up to have a meeting-free day. The employees will thank you for it.