Not all virtual meetings are created equal.
As a busy professional, you know how challenging it is for teams and organizations to schedule and conduct effective meetings. But how much are these ineffective meetings costing you?
Meetings are an investment of time, money, and resources. They’re one of the most expensive overhead costs within your organization, especially now in the remote workforce.
According to PGi company Ready Talk:
- On average, employees spend 1/3 of their time in meetings.
- The average percentage of meeting time considered unproductive by meeting participants is 33.4%.
- 63% of meetings are "conducted without a pre-planned agenda."
- And the average salary cost of a meeting is $338.
This means that a significant amount of time and money is being wasted in meetings.
Scheduling and planning an effective virtual meeting for your team isn't always easy. But there are some common mistakes we can avoid, helping us remove time wasters and save us money.
Here are four mistakes to avoid when scheduling with your team.
Mistake #1: Inviting the wrong participants
Scheduling meetings with the wrong team members is a sure way to sabotage your virtual meetings and your team's effectiveness.
Perhaps you’re trying to include everyone so no one feels left out, or maybe you’re hoping that an additional collaborator will lead to better brainstorming.
But in many cases, additional attendees will just be a distraction.
It's important to only choose the most relevant people for your meeting. You'll save time by not having to share irrelevant information or tireless explanations. And the appropriate team members will receive the feedback necessary to grow, while those who aren’t attending can focus on getting work done.
By including only relevant team members, you're ensuring that all meeting participants are engaged. Those who are being asked to attend meetings—but don’t need to be there—will be more easily distracted.
Mistake #2: No meeting agenda
Not having a meeting agenda is sure to sabotage your virtual meetings. An agenda is key to being productive—whether the purpose is to make decisions, plan projects, or collaborate on important work.
Imagine leading a whole meeting without any agenda planned. You’ll spend 10-20 minutes rambling or veering off on a tangent that leads down endless rabbit holes. Not only will you waste a lot of time without any progress, but you'll also suffer the opportunity cost of what your team could’ve achieved elsewhere.
An agenda can set and manage expectations for your meeting participants. It provides clarity and communicates why it's important to attend. Creating an agenda is a quick fix that 63% of meetings fail to include.
Undock helps you solve this problem by offering its members a built-in agenda. After scheduling a meeting, you can create an agenda that prepares everyone. Start scheduling meetings and see for yourself, it’s free!
Mistake #3: Creating win-lose outcomes
Creating win-lose outcomes is sure to sabotage your virtual meetings. This typically happens when the meeting facilitator is too attached to their ideas and isn't open to new ones.
It’s important for your team members to realize that meetings are not about reaching an agreement, but rather finding alignment with one another. Alignment means members are free to contribute their ideas. By the end of the meeting, everyone can choose and commit to a final decision. And if everyone contributed ideas, this decision has better chances of being a win-win.
Remember that conflict is inevitable and normal. It’s not a problem as long as your team is willing to resolve it professionally. In fact, conflict is a great opportunity for your team to learn and grow together.
Win-lose outcomes set a negative tone for your team. Ideally, everyone leaves the meeting excited and ready to execute.
Ask yourself: “How can we make this a win-win for everyone?”
Mistake #4: Lack of documentation
Losing track of meeting notes—or even worse, not documenting at all—is a sure way to sabotage your virtual meetings.
Someone may have shared a brilliant idea. But if no one documented it, you may have lost it forever. It could've been a breakthrough idea or a solution to an important problem.
Also, documentation will improve future meetings, as you’ll be able to “pick up where you left off.” This has the added benefit of keeping other team members accountable.
We created Undock with these problems in mind. Our built-in notetaking feature ensures that all your ideas are captured during meetings. Important documents get saved for future reference, and participants can be held accountable.
We’ve discussed 4 mistakes that will surely sabotage your virtual meetings. Team frustration will lead to organizational challenges if you continue to make them.
And to help you fix these virtual meeting mistakes, we recommend trying Undock.