Are Your Weekly Meetings Really Accomplishing Anything?

BY Kathy Crosett
Featured image for “Are Your Weekly Meetings Really Accomplishing Anything?”

Are you trapped in a weekly meeting grind? Do you feel like you have to hold one-​on-​one meetings because everyone else does? Or maybe you read in a management book that you need meetings to keep everyone informed. Stop already!

The unquestioning commitment to weekly meetings is old school. Beyond that, it’s expensive. When team members are sitting in meetings that don’t cover new ground, they aren’t getting their core work done.

Is there a way to hold more efficient meetings? Terry Lipovski thinks so. In a Fast Company column, Lipovski outlines a few ways for leaders to establish meeting schedules. Here are a couple of tips that resonated with me.

Weekly one-​on-​one meetings don’t have to be a litany of what a staff member is accomplishing. That kind of information can easily be shared in an email which could be more efficient for your team member to write and for you to read. Consider holding this kind of a meeting only once a month with each team member. The meeting may be as short as 15 or 20 minutes. Agree on specific goals to be achieved or work projects to finish over the upcoming four-​week period. Then check in at the one month point and see how things are going.

On a monthly or quarterly basis, hold a 30-​minute meeting with each team member to discuss long range planning. The focus of these meetings should be about professional development. Lipovski suggests discussing a specific skill that an employee wants to develop. This skill should be developed in the context of a current or future position. For example, they may want to have more customer interaction with the eventual goal of becoming a customer service agent. Work on a plan that allows this employee to fill in while others are on lunch break or vacation. At the end of each cycle, discuss progress that’s been made. Document what’s happened and establish new goals.

This strategic approach to one-​on-​one meetings helps employees accomplish their work goals. And, it helps you coach employees who want to actively reach the next level in their careers.