Why Well-Run Meetings Lead to Company Stability

Monte Wyatt & Brad Sugars, Aug 15, 2019

Meetings have a bad reputation. Did you know that data reveals that 76% of participants are annoyed by meetings they consider a waste of time?

Interestingly, though, there is a split along age-lines. People under 34 are likely to consider face-to-face meetings useful and productive, while those 35 and above mostly find them unnecessary. Perhaps people over 35 have had more experience with badly run meetings.

Regardless of individual preference, though, excellent managers review goals and actions by incorporating a process, a habit, and a rhythm for doing so. This takes the form of regular meetings to dig deep into issues, solve challenges, make decisions, update the status of action plans, and set priorities for specific periods of time.

There are three kinds of meetings that Management should hold on a regular basis with their team or department: weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Let's look at them here.

Weekly Meetings

The thing to remember is that the goals don't change, the actions do. As a result, use weekly meetings to review and assess whether everything is on track to meet quarterly goals or whether actions need to change.

Weekly team meetings. Effective managers hold weekly team meetings that may run from one to two hours. A useful technique to facilitate this is to color-code updates to make them easy to read as follows:

  • Green: I’m on track with timelines and expected results
  • Yellow: I am a little behind or my expected results are a bit behind but here is my plan to correct this
  • Red: There is no way I will hit my deadlines or expected benchmarks; we need to adjust timing, reprioritize, or obtain additional resources to make it happen.

Weekly individual meetings. Effective managers schedule weekly or biweekly face-to-face or one-on-one phone meetings with individual team members to talk about progress on their 90-day action plan.

Effective managers facilitate the process of team members in creating their individual 90-day action plans that outline their actions and important timeframes. The plans are built in reverse, starting with the goal to be achieved in 90 days, and detailing who is responsible for specific outcomes and the metrics or measures that will be used to evaluate progress. This provides clarity about when specific actions will be complete.

Here are benefits of 90-day action plans:

  • They provide clarity about the steps needed to achieve the results we have set;
  • Team members have clear objectives and clear processes to reach them;
  • Team members know when they need to start a task and when they need to complete it;
  • They encourage the team member to anticipate and prepare;
  • They enables planning to accommodate changes in schedules, such as vacations, conferences, trade shows, etc.

Monthly Team Meetings

Another powerful process is a monthly two- to three-hour review session to assess progress: Are we on track for the current 90-day period? This session reviews financials, continually making appropriate adjustments to ensure they achieve the quarterly priorities and committed actions or 90-day action plans.

Quarterly Meetings

A quarterly meeting is a daylong session that typically has these objectives:

  • review the previous quarter's results and action plans concerning the one-year and three-year goals;
  • review the status of the Five Disciplines and how constituents are currently being satisfied;
  • discuss the current priorities (company, department, individual);
  • review the most critical numbers with relevant key performance indicators;
  • identify the new goals and priorities for the upcoming quarter, including who's doing what by when so everyone can develop their new 90-day action plans.

There should also be time for learning in the areas of leadership, management, skill development, the industry, etc., and setting the next quarter's goals, priorities, and critical numbers.

To recap, regular meetings are where managers dig deep into issues, solve challenges, make decisions, update the status of action plans, and set priorities for specific periods of time. They are held regularly with each team and department, weekly, monthly and quarterly.

We'd love to hear from you. What are the meeting schedules and processes like in your organization? Thank you for sharing