How many meetings start on time? More often than not it is 5 or 10 minutes after the assigned time before everyone arrives for the meeting or the conference call. Most schedulers assume that meetings can be scheduled back to back with no time for travel or a restroom break.
Where do meetings go wrong?
If people expect the first 10 minutes to be a waste of time waiting for everyone to arrive, it’s easy to also be 10 minutes late to the next meeting. Soon nobody shows up on time, which is the norm for many company cultures. I certainly have lived in a culture with that norm.
One great trick for making your meetings work in a culture of delayed start times:
- Set the start time to ten minutes after the hour or half-hour. Schedule the start time as 11:10 instead of 11:00 for example.
- Only invite those who need to be in the meeting.
- Have an agenda with time allocations for each topic and stick to the schedule.
- Start on time even if people are missing.
- Try to end the meeting five or ten minutes before the next meeting time starts. (11:25 or 11:50 in the example).
- Assign responsibility for each follow-up action item.
- Distribute good notes of the meeting with action items and due dates.
My experience is that well run meetings are an exception and appreciated. The likelihood of attendance of theright people goes up dramatically for good meetings, and so does productivity between meetings.
You may not be able to change your company’s meeting culture, but you can change the start times for the meetings you run.