Daily Buzz: Tips for More Productive Meetings

A study shows that 56 percent of meeting time is unproductive. Here are some strategies to make them more efficient. Also: Associations should emphasize purpose in workplace culture.

Time is valuable, and by coming to your meetings, colleagues are entrusting you not to waste theirs. But according to new research from employees in the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, of the 187 hours a year they spend in meetings on average, about 56 percent of that time is spent unproductively—totaling 105 hours wasted.

So, what causes the squandered time? A lot of factors, including location, time, place, technological issues, and tardiness. Though some of these might be uncontrollable, Smart Meetings suggests strategies for more productive meetings. Among them:

Keep to the agenda, and discourage multiple avenues of dialogue. Set the meeting topic at the beginning of the meeting, and veer all conversations back to the schedule if they get off track.

Test technology before the start time. Work out any tech faux pas before attendees even enter the room.

Don’t let anyone dominate the conversation. Give everyone the chance to engage in your meeting.

Create a Culture of Purpose

In associations, workplace culture doesn’t only affect internal teams—it can also affect members. That means groups need to put extra emphasis on creating a positive, successful culture.

Although associations face different challenges than for-profits when it comes to culture, that doesn’t mean it can be ignored. “Research from the corporate world shows that the top 10 percent of companies, ranked in terms of performance and success and employee engagement, have cultures largely driven by leaders,” says Sarah Sladek in a post on Association Success. “In associations, it’s convoluted because we have these tug-of-war power struggles between boards, leaders, staff, volunteers, and members.”

Because purpose is at the core of most associations, Sladek recommends building a culture around your organization’s mission. “Benefits are often great and meaningful things, but are they enough?” she says. “Associations have tremendous purpose, and they’re doing tremendous work. Capitalizing on that and communicating that effectively is key to attracting passionate staff who will thrive in a strong culture.”

Other Links of Note

Connect members online through member location mapping. The Wild Apricot blog explains the benefits.

Microcontent—headlines, email subject lines, and social posts—can be the deciding factor in whether people read your content. Here’s how to do it well, says Nonprofit Marketing Guide.

Influencer marketing will only get bigger in 2019. These are the trends to watch, from Forbes.

(shironosov/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Jeff Hsin

By Jeff Hsin


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