The Cost Of Lost Productivity And The Emotional Toll Of Committee-itis

A One Hour Meeting Could Cost You $2,100 Per Hour or More

Meeting anxiety, meeting fatigue, and lost productivity dominate our modern workday. It doesn’t matter if the meetings are virtual or in-person or a hybrid of the two, the result is the same. 

According to Harvard Business Review, “70% of meetings keep employees from doing productive work. While there was a 20% decrease in the average length of meetings during the pandemic, the number of meetings attended by a worker on average rose by 13.5%. In addition, newly promoted managers are holding almost a third more meetings than their seasoned counterparts.” 

It may also surprise you that research suggests a one-hour meeting of five people with an average salary of $100,000 costs $350 per person. That means a one-hour meeting could cost you around $2,100 (or more) with a team of six – with few results to move ahead on the problem you are trying to solve. 

Too many meetings also cause people to tune out and become unmotivated. Adding to the stress, anxiety and fatigue – tired employees often go home and work more, neglecting their families and tiring themselves out further. This leads to resentment, not feeling accomplished, unhappiness, and higher employee turnover as they seek work-life balance. These factors also take a financial toll on your organization especially when considering the cost to recruit, hire, and train new talent.

Committees have challenges for the following reasons:

  • Identifying and explaining problem-solving styles
  • Focusing the team on the most important problems
  • Helping everyone to see the hierarchy of issues
  • Putting problems in context with company goals

At CarneyCo, we have a methodology to bring clarity, consensus, and focus to your teams so they can work smart and efficiently knowing their work matters and will be productive for the organization. It’s all about solving the right problems. This will help you reduce meeting fatigue and meeting costs. Until then, here are solutions you can implement. 

      1. Rethink who needs to be in the meetings you currently hold. Not everyone needs to be. Pare down to the essential team members and let those no longer involved know you are giving them back their time, not leaving them out.
      2. Allow people to stay at their desks to get their work done instead of calling them to sit at your desk to talk about repeat issues – be mindful of your employees’ desires to feel accomplished each day. 
      3. Reduce resentment by trusting employees to do their job. Do not spend time micro-managing. Create clear expectations and foster an environment for easy-going communication that will empower your employees. 
      4. Examine your management style. If your grip is too tight, you must ask yourself why. Are you communicating clearly? If so, and your employee can’t be depended upon, you must decide the proper course of action whether further training, switching to a new role, or dismissal.

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