Financial Data
Updated 26 Feb 2020

Counting the cost of too many meetings!

How much does poor communication cost your organisation over a twelve months period?

Kevin Bassett, Entrepreneur, 10 June 2014  Share  0 comments  Print

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Most organisations would have no idea, and it’s highly likely that it would be more than they can afford.

Financial statements from an organisation at the years end or even monthly budget versus actual departmental reports rarely indicate such things as;

  • Lost productivity due to poorly run meetings
  • Missed business opportunities through poor cross functional understanding
  • 35% employee turn-over because we say one thing and do another

Let’s do some arithmetic on poorly run meetings

Regardless of its purpose, a meeting is an exercise in communication:

You speak, you listen, and you interact. It is rare to find anyone in business who has not complained about meetings at some time: Too many, too long, and too boring. You could add to that: too expensive.

Consider meetings that are supposed to last an hour but somehow expand to use up most of the afternoon.

Calculate the hourly cost of total participant time and multiply by the length of the meeting. Keep in mind that the more senior the participants the more expensive the time.

The result may not sound too alarming, until you consider how many of those meetings take place in your organisation every day, every week, every year. Work it out for yourself.

What is the cost of unproductive meeting time across your organisation? Does anyone know? Maybe not, so how do we solve this?

The solution to this problem is simple: Have fewer meetings and make the ones you do have efficient.

Here are but a few suggestions:

  • Create an open, friction-free environment where team members can access each other if buy-in is necessary on something. No need to gather the whole team all the time, encourage the people who need to work together to do so.
  • Have a standing time already on the agenda daily or weekly where everyone gets a limited amount of time to discuss items they need to go through with the team.
  • Ensure all meetings have a clear agenda with specific items, and don’t add additional items to the agenda. Stay focused, accomplish what needs to be done, and move on.
  • Use a project management system to organise your company – you’d be surprised how much can get done in a good project management tool instead of both meetings and emails.
  • Setup a shared calendar and make sure everyone is using it and it’s up to date.

Ever hear the saying ‘time is money’? Well next time take this to heart.

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Kevin Bassett, Entrepreneur

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