8 Sep 2019

How to build a successful meeting culture

 Discover how to create a meeting culture and how Joan helps you meet better

Do you want to hear a real-life horror story? Research shows that the number and length of meetings increasingly grows. In the 1960s executives spent less than 10 hours per week in a meeting. Fifty years later, the number jumps to 23 hours. 

That’s right, in a single working week you spend one whole day in the meetings. This is without counting the ad-hoc meetings and preparation, which usually takes another hour or two. Is there any solution or should you just give up?

Here’s what to do:

  1. Identify your meeting problem
  2. First steps towards your meeting culture
  3. Preparation is 90% of a successful meeting
  4. Track the success

Identify your meeting problem

Steven Rogelberg at the University of Carolina surveyed 182 senior managers and 71% of them said meetings are unproductive and inefficient

Want to know the state of your meetings? Here’s a quick survey. Let’s examine the following 10 statements:

  1. Meetings don’t start on time
  2. It’s hard to find a free meeting location
  3. No decisions are made at the meetings
  4. There’s no agenda
  5. No one prepares in advance
  6. They are scheduled at the last minute
  7. There’s at least some struggle with technology
  8. Additional chairs are often needed
  9. Even when there’s agenda, it’s not adhered to
  10. People work on other tasks while in the meeting

For each “Yes”, you get a point. If you score above 8 points, you’re in serious meeting troubles. Issues split into different themes – meetings are either badly run, poorly timed, or not very well prepared in advance. 

The first steps towards your meeting culture

We wish there was a way to solve all your meeting issues at once. But there isn’t. According to a recent article in Techrepublic, a lot depends on your meeting culture. 

If you’ve scored above 8, it’s time to start working on it. The best thing to do is to set a meeting culture. It’s a process that will take time, but it’s worth it for creating more efficient meetings.

Meetings should inspire creativity, and productivity, instead of walking all over them. It is believed that the optimum meeting is only 15 minutes long. A strategic approach is to communicate meetings as the tool of last resort. When email and one-on-one conversations won’t bring a satisfactory outcome, it’s time to call the meeting. 

hbr meeting questionnaire

Preparation is 90% of a successful meeting

Now that it’s company-wide determined when a meeting should be organized, the focus can shift to efficiency. Preparing for the meeting and taking care technical difficulties don’t arise is a must.

Book a meeting space in advance

Schedule your meeting at least a day ahead. Then no one will be able to steal you the room with the AC. With Joan, you can book meetings in 7 different ways. No need to interrupt your workflow, simply choose the solution that’s most fitted for you. 

Make sure there are enough empty chairs

Imagine this: you get into the meeting room and 2 chairs are missing. The meeting is going to start in a minute and you have no idea where to get those two chairs. Honestly, this happens, you cannot control situations like it in advance. Joan 6 enables a custom button feature “request more chairs”. Simply tap the button and someone will get the text to rush over with extra chairs.

Technology check

Double-check all the tech you need for the meeting. Is wi-fi working? Is your presentation ready for sharing? With Joan’s partner Airtame, you need no extra cables for sharing screens. And even if something goes wrong in the middle of the meeting, Joan’s custom button with the “IT Support” option can save you out.

Prepare the agenda

In order to have a short and fruitful meeting, you need to let everyone know what’s it going to be about. It’s the only way everyone can and is encouraged to prepare. Don’t forget that each point on the agenda needs to have a purpose – what are the decisions connected to this point that you need to make. Your goal is to leave the meeting with a clear map of where to go next. 

Track your meeting success

Always set milestones and track progress. It’s the only way to know whether progress is being made towards the company’s goals. After each meeting, the organizer is responsible for sending notes with further steps. They are also responsible for delegating tasks in the software you’re using.  

Joan helps with tracking the use of meeting rooms. Insights tell you which meeting rooms are taken the most and how many meetings the company’s booked. Reward your employees on weeks with fewer meetings, and build the company meeting culture with Joan.

Want to stop wasting time and meet better? Read more about our solutions