Have you ever thought about the costs of meetings in your organisation and whether you are getting a reasonable return on investment?
Consider this: Record all the meetings that occur in your organisation for a week. Multiply that by 52 to give you an aggregate number of meetings over a year. Consider the average size of these meetings, that is, the number of people attending them. Work out the average salary paid to your employees on an hourly basis and multiply that by the number of attendees. Double that figure to compensate for opportunity costs lost while attending the meetings. The dollar value will be a sobering realisation!
For example, consider an SME of 100 employees. Let's say that each person spends four of their 40 hours a week in meetings (10% of their time). That means 400 hours a week are spent a week in meetings in a company this size. Double that to compensate for the opportunity costs lost while attending these meetings. That's 800 hours a week in meeting costs times 52 weeks giving a total of 41,600 hours a year. Let's say that the average hourly rate of people employed in this company is $38. That means that in dollar terms, the meetings in this SME over the course of a year are costing $1,580,800. That figure represents 20% of payroll.
If that expenditure was a line item in the balance sheet, any manager worth his or her salt would question that item on the basis of whether the organisation got a reasonable return on the cost of those meetings.
What's the answer?
Well, there are two possible answers. One is to reduce the amount of meetings. Another answer is to make sure that those people running your meetings have the necessary skills to make the meetings as productive as possible. Both answers are worth considering.
However, it should be pointed out that making meetings more productive is a misnomer. Meetings themselves cannot be productive in and of themselves. It is what happens between meetings that is the true measure of whether those meetings are reaping benefits.
Anyway, the bottom line is that we all attend to many meetings; that the meetings often add little value, and they are often poorly run.
I suggest you have a purge on meetings in your organisation as means of increasing productivity.