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Staff waste 8 days a year doing nothing at meetings

If your firm has regular business meetings, then you are paying staff for eight wasted days a year for attending and not speaking, says a leading business consultant.

Julia Goodman, founder of You Brand, said research by her firm leads her to think business meetings are pointless and dominated by people who can speak the loudest. The research showed that on average, staff wasted 52 minutes every day at meetings – that adds up to more than a week a year doing nothing at the firm’s expense.

"Many people feel isolated and cut out of meetings, with the biggest complaint being shouted down by louder colleagues," said Goodman. 

"Interestingly, more dominant characters say meetings fail because colleagues don't contribute enough. 

"What people don't realise is that speaking in the first five minutes of a meeting will make sure they are listened to later. 

"If people were trained effectively in communication, British businesses could double the effectiveness of meetings and their overall output."

You Brand helps individuals and companies with communication techniques.  The data about meetings was gathered by speaking to staff and managers at some of the UK’s leading FTSE500 companies.

For effective meetings – if you have to hold them at all, then to make sure your staff are heard tell them to:

    * Speak up within the first five minutes of a meeting or others may not view them as a valued contributor.

    * Think before you say anything and only make relevant comments

    * Make sure discussion stays on track

    * Look as if you are paying attention by sitting straight

    * Check out the agenda before you go so you know what’s going on and can add to the discussion

"While the chair of a meeting needs control, everyone is responsible for ensuring discussions run smoothly," says Goodman. 

"People must communicate clearly, and say what they mean to make meetings more effective."

You Brand, a leading coaching and communications company, has worked with top business people like Charles Saatchi, Justin Urquhart Stewart and Guy Hands.


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