If you think your employees are slacking off, you should re-evaluate your meeting schedule. A recent study shows that 24 billion hours are wasted each year due to unproductive meetings in the U.S.

As the saying goes, “Time is money.” The study done by Zippia shows $37 billion per year is lost due to unproductive meetings. On average, one company could lose $300 million each year. The statistics show only 11% of the countless meetings are productive. Meeting attendance numbers are even more upsetting, as 96% of employees missed meetings while another 91% daydreamed.

How to improve production in meetings while cutting down on how much it costs? Skillcast has listed these steps to ensure a more productive meeting.

First, define the purpose of your meeting and if it is needed. Second, set a meeting agenda. Make sure to share the agenda before the meeting, so your staff is prepared. If there is no agenda, a meeting is probably not needed. Next, make sure key decision-makers are available for them, and if they are not, you should postpone or reschedule. Allow your employees to decline a meeting invite if they can prove the meeting is not essential to their job. Set ground rules to help staff stay focused. Ground rules include banning or limiting phone use during the meeting and offering light refreshments at the start of the meeting. Also, make it clear when questions and feedback are welcomed. End each meeting with an action plan by defining takeaways and assigning follow-up actions. Last, after each meeting, share any relevant documents via email.

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