Learning & Development

Should You Train Your Employees How to Conduct Meetings?

Research highlighted by Harvard Business Review shows that meetings have increased in length and frequency over the past 50 years, to the point where executives now spend an average of approximately 23 hours a week in them (and those hours only account for those meetings that were officially marked on their calendars).


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What’s more, of the 182 senior managers who were surveyed:
  • 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient;
  • 64% said meetings come at the expense of deep thinking; and
  • 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring their teams closer together.

Overall, most employees and managers probably feel that meetings are wasteful and pointless because they were never officially trained how to effectively schedule and conduct meetings as a part of their communications training.
But with research showing how communications-based skills training boosts productivity and retention levels by 12% while delivering a 250% return on investment based on higher productivity and retention, this should certainly not be the case.
So, succinctly put, the answer is yes. Yes, you should train your employees how to conduct meetings as a part of your soft skills communications-based training programs—especially your organization’s leaders and managers. Here are three recommendations for what you should include in your training program module about how to conduct meetings.

When It’s Appropriate to Schedule a Meeting

Did you know that the average worker spends around 4 hours a week simply preparing for status update meetings that could be communicated via e-mail, and he or she spends much more if he or she is a manager or business leader? Another consideration is that most meetings aren’t even necessary.
Most workers’ daily workflow is constantly being interrupted by meetings that are typically (and ironically) unproductive to that workflow. However, if you offer insight to your employees regarding when it’s necessary to meet and when it’s not, you can eliminate most unproductive and unnecessary meetings from occurring.
For instance, it might be necessary to meet to discuss new policies that are being implemented but not for anticipated weekly project updates that can be sent via e-mail.

How to Include Interactive and Engaging Elements

Seventy-two percent of business professionals claimed that they felt more engaged during a meeting when multimedia elements were used. So, be sure to offer visual aids during meetings, and try to include polls, short quizzes, etc., to keep meeting attendees engaged and focused on what’s being discussed.

Best Practices for Using Technology with Virtual Meetings

According to one survey, 41% of business professionals say that employee engagement levels decrease during meetings due to problems with using technology. So, train your employees how to use your meeting software and platforms—especially for meetings conducted virtually—before you expect them to know how to use them. And offer them courses for how to use technologies to create presentations and other interactive elements for meetings.
If you want more productive meetings and employees this year, consider training your employees on how to conduct meetings and use the information outlined above to get started.

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