I wanted to use time “suck” in the headline of this piece, but opted for “drain,” as perhaps guttural-sounding, “drain” is almost certainly more pleasing overall.
Plus, if you are a manager who has submitted to yet another meeting that has taken too much of your valuable time (in return for whatever little benefit you may have derived), “suck” is more aptly a word used to describe the overall nature of most internal meetings.
This problem is particularly insidious in larger companies.
For smaller companies, however, meetings conducted are typically shorter in duration, more productive and smaller in their numbers—something the big guys could use to learn.
Larger companies have more mid-level managers and this is the biggest reason for the lack of benefit or productivity during these meetings.
Conference calls are among the worst offenders when it comes to this detriment to good business communication.
As someone who has participated in his share of business meeting, round robin discussions of things I did not remember long afterwards, the thing I usually reflected upon post meeting the most, was the hollow feeling that what just transpired was yet another block of largely unproductive time I can never have back.
I realize there are many schools of thought on the subject of meetings.
Limiting the scope and number of internal meetings that an organization endeavors to engage in among its managers, though, is often one of the singular and most positively impacting cultural developments a company can have.
With the move from a manufacturing-based economy to a service-based one, the U.S. economy has also largely abandoned one of the biggest morale-boosting ambassadors of team and company culture it has ever known: the rarely seen in the wild these days dinosaur heretofore known as the Working Manager.
I have labored for both managers who have had no clue as to what I was doing job-wise and also for those who worked alongside me–fulfilling at least part-time, some of the functions I was.
I can assure you that employees are more likely to “go to the wall” for you, and consistently perform above and beyond, if their managers are at least available and accessible to them.
How do you realize this accessibility?
Reduce the number of unnecessary, lacking in structure and substance meetings you have internally, and the troops will quickly feel more aligned and engaged with you.
It is the “perception” that you spend more time in meetings in which nothing is communicated or passed down to your charges, which is often the single most egregious thing distancing employee-manager rapport.
Ignoring perception in this case is tantamount to jeopardizing your role as manager.
Do not buy in to the foolish notion that a lot of meetings equal job security, either.
Employees get that their managers need to be in meetings occasionally.
As managers, you need to get that they understand this. Demonstrate their importance to you and the organization by in turn increasing the amount of face time you give them.
To not do so, is to risk disconnect from even your best employees, who, while possessing the ability to work independently, can also learn to live without any supervision from you at all.
At this point, what kind of job security do all those meetings provide?