Is Your Team Wasting Time in Ineffective Meetings? - Dignify
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Is Your Team Wasting Time in Ineffective Meetings?

Wednesday, November 15, 2023 - Dignify

Wrap your ahead around this – according to a Zippia study, 71% of all meetings held turned out to be unproductive. That’s just over 7 in 10 total meetings. You probably had a meeting yesterday, you probably have one today, and you’ll probably have one tomorrow. Maybe you’re in a meeting right now while you’re reading this article! Point is – meetings take up a ton of our time, and they aren’t going away anytime soon. If the Zippia study holds true, most of that time is being wasted. Given how important meetings are and how much time they tend to take up, it’s vital to ensure that they are being set up, conducted, and managed in a way that is effective for all those involved.

When managed effectively, meetings are and always will be a great way to brainstorm ideas, coordinate action steps, make decisions, and propel teams and organizations to reach their goals. However, when managed ineffectively, meetings become a costly (in more ways than one) time sink that actually achieve the opposite of their intended effect. They can hold individual employees back from achieving their goals, they can prevent teams from meeting and exceeding their output expectations, and they can introduce a major internal roadblock for an organization as a whole.

But how does this happen? What does it look like? Nobody goes into the office scheming to de-rail a meeting, nobody wants to have a bad meeting, and you’d be hard pressed to find somebody who wants to spend excessive amounts of time in a meeting. But things get messy anyways. Let’s first put things into perspective with some statistics shared in an article by Mark Wolmark posted on Golden Steps ABA.

  • The average employee attends 62 meetings per month, which take up 15% of an organization’s total time
  • 50% of meeting time is spent on irrelevant topics
  • Only 37% of companies actively track the productivity/effectiveness of their meetings

Zippia also recorded that 65% of employees said that they are prevented from completing their tasks because of how often they get caught up in meetings. This is no surprise when you consider the 62 per month (or just under 16 per week) average, accounting for 31 hours per month spent in unproductive meetings.

All things considered, unproductive meetings cost organizations an incredible total of $37 billion dollars every year. Given the individual and collective cost of bad meetings, it’s imperative that every organization takes a close look at their meeting procedures to make sure that they’re being handled effectively. If for no other reason, then to ensure that the company’s time, money, and energy aren’t being wasted.

In this month’s next article, we will dive a little deeper into just what makes meetings unproductive and action steps that you can take to ensure that your meetings are being done the right way.

“Meeting statistics you should know (2023)” [Webpage]. Pumble. [Accessed October 11, 2023]

“Unproductive Meetings: How Much They Cost” [Article]. 18 August, 2022. Timeular. [Accessed October 11, 2023] Wolmark, Mark. “Time Wasted In Meetings: 30 Meeting Statistics” [Article]. 5 October, 2023. Golden Steps ABA.

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