Importance of Meetings
•Establishes alignment: allows for discussion of complex issues and for the team to get on the same page.
- Helps leaders make better decisions when gaining insight from the team •
- Builds stronger relationships: free-flowing ideas and personal interaction which can increase work success and productivity.
- Information exchange: Communicate company updates and process changes
- Promotes inclusion: avenue to freely express thoughts and ideas
- Facilitates innovation: allows team to showcase critical thinking and creativity
- Opportunity to share feedback: a great way to learn more about your team and areas you can improve
- Improve employee engagement: when team members feel that their input is considered or solicited, it helps them feel valued about the job equals more productivity
What is the problem?
- Feeling overwhelmed by meeting
- No agenda
- No advanced communication
- No interaction
- Meeting length and frequency
- Conflicting opinions get out of control
- Not summarizing actions
- Regardless of meeting type, whether formal or informal, traditional or agile, face-to-face or electronically, they feel overwhelmed
- No agenda means no purpose for the meeting.
- No clear plan and goal of what you want to achieve.
- No advanced communication can lead to people arriving unprepared or not showing up at all
- No interaction as in talking at team members and not promoting opportunities for feedback
- Executives spend an average of nearly 23 hours per week in meetings and that excludes impromptu meetings
- Conflict can lead to a negative environment and distraction from the agenda
- Not summarizing actions – next steps are unclear, no action plan
- These issues lead to meeting failures which increase costs and decrease productivity, focus, and engagement
Survey of 182 Senior Managers in a Range of Industries
Only 17% reported that their meetings are generally productive uses of group and individual time
Effects of Meeting Failures
- Time is zero-sum (time spent doing more of one thing means less of another)
- Deep work meaning the ability to focus without distraction on a cognitively demanding task
- Having fewer meetings and running them poorly allows for more solo tasks and deep thinking, but weakens group productivity and collaboration
- Dysfunctional meeting behaviors (including wandering off-topic, complaining, and criticizing) decrease decreases market share, innovation, and employment stability
- Happiness: Job satisfaction correlates with the effectiveness of meetings.
- Bad meetings can undermine communication and collaboration leading to less satisfaction.
Five Steps for Systemic Change
- Collect data: Survey should include questions about emotions felt about meetings, hours spent in meetings, the balance between group and individual work-time, the impact o work quality, and identifying best practices
- Interpret data: By doing this together, you are generating widespread understanding and buy-in from your team as you try to make the systemic change
- Goal: Meeting free periods allows time to feel like they have freedom and flexibility to get tasks done and free up time in the schedule.
- Handoffs are good because they require less time and people and still an adequate exchange of information to keep everyone updated.
- Use pulse checks to identify how employees feel about the way they spend their time and how they are doing working on a team •
Tips for Meeting Management
- Establish clear agenda and stick to it
- Determine who should attend
- Set your schedule
- Determine action items and who is responsible
- Encourage feedback
- Leadership support is critical
How is this applicable to our practice?
- Pharmacists are constantly in meetings
- The administrative role has a higher volume of meetings
- Distractions during meetings can lead to misunderstandings and mistakes
- Improper “go-live” or medication safety issue
- Meeting failures can decrease team satisfaction thus decrease productivity in pharmacy
- Promote high tension in an already stressful work environment
- The team feels a disconnect between themselves and the leader
- More push back on new initiatives
- Many factors go into making a successful meeting or a failed one
- Open communication and honesty foster stronger bonds
- Systemic change can lead to better meetings
- Better meeting means a happier team and better results