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Managers Describe Most Meetings as a Waste of Time


Eight out of 10 managers believe that most of their work meetings are unnecessary or unproductive, according to research by recruitment experts.

A survey of over 2000 managers across the UK by recruitment agency HTW Selection revealed that 82% of respondents agreed they were wasting time in at least half their meetings.

The greatest cause of time wasting meetings were a lack of structure to the meeting, this resulted in no defined actions, and cost businesses thousands of pounds every year, according to respondents.

David Tunna, of HTW Selection said: "Good planning and preparation can increase the effectiveness of meeting, which saves everyone time, saves businesses money and may also help to reduce employee frustration.”

His tips include:

  • Create an agenda: a meaningful agenda is vital to any meeting. Make a specific list of what should be accomplished in the meeting and tick these off as you go through them.
  • Prioritise tasks: as a group, prioritise items on the agenda in order of importance and then allocate time to be spent discussing each issue.
  • Time it right: consider the time of day the meeting is being held. People are usually more creative and switched on in the morning and tend to be sluggish after lunch. It is also important to ensure that the meeting begins and ends on time to avoid frustration. If a meeting is running over, people are thinking about what they are missing at their next appointment or what emails are sitting in their inbox not what is happening in the meeting.
  • Get the mix right: ensure only the right people are invited to the meeting. Assemble a group of people who can actually come up with new ideas, help solve the problem or benefit from being involved in the meeting. Try to ensure the key decision makers pertaining to the issue attend the meeting.
  • Evaluate things: at the end of the meeting, evaluate the meetings effectiveness by checking the agenda to ensure all items have been discussed and ask participants for feedback.
  • Follow up: establish an action plan at the end of the meeting and assign responsibility and timelines for tasks. Determine discussion points for the next session to enable participants to begin thinking about what they need to prepare.


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