Company time is precious and getting the most out of your workday does require a set of special skills. Some of those include discipline, organizational skills and constant efforts to pursue the greatest value for your company.
Unfortunately, team leaders, managers and directors spend a lot of time in unproductive meetings, leading to nothing but losses. That one hour you lost in an inefficient team meeting that ended with nothing but even more questions with no clear answers can’t really be brought back. So, what to do when your meetings are simply unproductive?
Meetings can be viewed as an instrument to achieve company goals. Without them, it will be quite impossible to coordinate teams, assign tasks and progress with achieving success. Therefore, it’s of extreme importance to know how to prepare for them and run them if you want to get the best results. There are some great tips and tricks on how to run team meetings effectively, so if you’re not a pro and you think you’re doing something wrong, you can always learn and improve.
Team meetings have doubled, even tripled in number and duration over the last 20-50 years. In fact, managers and directors spend on average around 23 hours a week attending meetings. If you’re going to spend that much time in meetings, you surely have to know how many resources you’re actually investing in your weekly meetings. Knowing that can tell you whether you have to adjust your team meeting leading style.
In this article I will talk about meeting ROI (return on investment) and how you can calculate it. In addition, I will also provide you with tips and tricks on how to improve your ROI. Let’s go!
What is meeting ROI?
Return on investment is a comprehensive measurement approach that aims at assessing the financial impact results for business meetings. There are many benefits associated with implementing ROI methodology. For starters, team leaders and managers would be able to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the meetings they organize. Not just that but they will also discover which meeting investments should be expanded and which should be discontinued. Last but not least, ROI will provide them with specific knowledge and data that can enhance their role, function and relationship with clients and executives.
As mentioned, the ROI measurement process focuses on financial results. The methodology is not about measuring participant reactions to the meeting and what information or knowledge was gained during the meeting. Rather, it showcases how the meeting will affect the actual on-the-task behavior which directly correlates with the business performance of the entire company or organization.
How to calculate meeting ROI?
To be able to calculate your event/meeting ROI, you have to analyze three things:
What are the indirect, fixed and variable costs of the meeting/event or conference?
Send attendees a post-meeting survey to know their thoughts and experience with the meeting or conference.
Evaluate the value and relevance of the meeting to your team members. Again, use surveys or polls to determine whether you’re going in the right direction.
Use a meeting management platform that can calculate ROI
One such tool is Mombit. Mombit is a meeting management software that has a built-in meeting cost calculator. Once the meeting has started, you can see in real time how much value your meeting is adding. You can also pause the meeting which will also stop the calculator. This is quite useful as it doesn’t really require you to spend time after the meeting to analyze the value of the event. Moreover, since it’s happening in real-time you will inevitably me more cautious of how much time you’re designating for that meeting.
In addition to the real-time meeting ROI calculator, Mombit has built-in meeting minutes and with it you can keep track of action items and tasks which are all directly related to improved meeting efficiency and productivity. In addition, it’s compatible with project management platforms such as Jira and Asana.
Ways to improve the ROI of your business meeting?
Schedule a meeting only when necessary. If you can send an email instead, do it. You may be one of those managers that really believes in direct verbal communication but sometimes the information you might want to convey or receive from your team members might not require for you to spend some time in a virtual or physical meeting room. Don’t spend additional resources to your meeting if you can send the information through email or chat.
Start on time and end on time. Don’t go beyond the scheduled ending time. It’s not only unpleasant and can damage the work day flow but it will also lead to losses. You have to make it clear to the team members that the meetings should start on time and absolutely end on time. Be consistent and let everyone know in advance of the length of the meeting. If the designated time is not enough and you couldn’t cover everything you wanted to, schedule another meeting or analyze what went wrong during the gathering that went overtime.
Preparation is key. If you want to improve your meeting ROI, prepare for them accordingly. This is not just for ROI improvement but also for the overall effectiveness of the meeting. Prepare a meeting room, questions, discussion topics, agendas, etc.
Set a meeting agenda. You will definitely need an agenda even if it’s just a routine daily meeting. A meeting agenda will serve as the foundation for the meeting. It represents a list of points to be addressed during the course of the meeting. The main purpose for setting up an agenda is to make sure no time will be wasted in talking about things which are not relevant at the moment. There are many business meeting agenda templates online to help you with outlining your next company gathering.
Develop your leadership skills. Own your meeting. You’re the one who’s responsible for it and you have to make sure it doesn’t turn into a waste of time and money. The meeting is your stage and what you bring to the table is directly related to the ROI of the meeting.
Positive attitude is just as important. Yes, you have to take into consideration many things that can affect the ROI of the meeting and this might turn you into an annoying manager or team leader. That’s why it’s important to remember that you have to keep a positive attitude. If you showcase how much you hate team meetings and how much you think they are a waste of time and money, you will definitely lose more than you gain.
Meeting follow-up. Keep track of action items and make sure that everyone left the meeting with an assigned task and know what they’re supposed to do. Surely, you don’t wnt team members showing at the next meeting unprepared. This will turn into a total waste of time and money and will definitely affect the meeting ROI.
Know your ROI. If you’re the one responsible for the meeting, make sure you know what’s the cost and the expected deliverables. What’s the type of meeting you are running? Is it a decision-making meeting or analysis of an ongoing problem. Always think whether the investment of staff time was worth it and you’re earning what you want.
There are many ways to calculate ROI and yours should be unique to the type of meeting you are running. Ultimately, think of ROI as a simple formula that tells you what’s the relationship between revenue and cost.
Determine what is important for your company and set expectations. If all the hard work you put into the meeting paid off that means you’re doing something right. If not, follow the above-mentioned tips to improve the ROI of your meeting.