This edition of Sparked was published and delivered on May 12th, 2023.

Sparked is Fired Up! Culture’s bi-weekly email newsletter focused on what drives culture and engagement in the workplace. This newsletter is for leaders who are ready to get intentional about bringing their team together, building engagement, and harnessing the power of culture to drive results.

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Spark your Team by Reducing Meeting Fatigue

During the course of my coaching conversations over the last few weeks, a similar theme popped up across a variety of organizations in different industries:

  1. We have too many meetings
  2. Our meetings aren’t a good use of our time

Meeting fatigue is real and it. is. draining.

A lot of people are feeling this. Unnecessary and ineffective meetings are a drag which leads to team members feeling unproductive and behind on what they really need to accomplish.

When a day or week is packed with meetings, team members struggle to get their work done without early mornings or late nights. That’s not sustainable in the long run. 

Are all meetings a waste of time? No.

But am I willing to bet that most of the existing meetings on your calendar have room to improve how efficient they are? Absolutely.

And as those meetings improve, your team members will have more time to spend on the right things more often.

Who doesn’t want that?

Take Action to Reduce Meeting Fatigue

How can we improve on meeting fatigue? Start here:

  • Ruthlessly Audit: Review the meetings you lead and the meeting you are an attendee for. Spend some time looking at your calendar over the next few weeks. Which meetings do you own and/or have the ability to enact change around? Are those meetings incredibly productive? Should they be adjusted? Is a meeting really required to accomplish the meeting’s objective? 
  • Pick the Right Medium: This meeting could have been an email. There’s a reason the saying exists. One of the most productive actions you can take is to find the right medium to accomplish your objective. Is a meeting where everyone is present the best way to go? Maybe. What about an email? A Slack conversation? A video recording?
  • Refine the Attendee List: If you’re having a meeting, really scrutinize who has to be there. Remove folks if their presence isn’t essential. Get the group to be as small as feasible. 
  • Test and Iterate: Test and try different approaches to discover what actually works and what doesn’t. Remember, folks on your team want to see that you are actively working to improve in this case, their meeting situation. Test and iterate until you find the right mix. Thinking about meeting cadence, duration, medium, and attendees are good places to start testing. 

For your Consideration

Have you considered how much time your team spends meeting during the course of an average week? 

Spend some time looking at your calendar and the calendars of your team members. 

Which meetings feel 100% necessary? Are those happening on the right cadence with the right people? 

Which meetings need to be refined? Which ones should shift to be asynchronous?

Which meetings could become an email, instant message, or video recording?

Really take the time to consider how your meetings could be approached differently. Finding efficiency for yourself and your team members gives everyone more time back. 

Further Exploration on Meeting Better