Just how much do useless meetings cost?

Remember my rant last week? I had called it Own the time you DO have.

Well take a look at this: Our inner slacker is flourishing

This article, originally by John Eckberg of the Cincinnati Enquirer was picked up by The Arizona Republic, a copy of which I had grabbed on my recent trip to Phoenix. Turns out I never had time to read the paper then, and I stuffed only their Work & Life section in my laptop case pocket to read later — which ended up to be yesterday.

This was The Arizona Republic headline:

Workplace itself is reason for slacking

And the byline:

Useless meetings share the blame

And the point I was drawn to, having unengaged meeting participants on the brain:

“Seven of 10 Americans believe most meetings are unproductive, if not excruciating, and yet workers average 5.5 hours a week in meetings.”

— from a Microsoft Office survey taken this spring.

Let’s do some very conservative, easy math.

5.5 hours at a nice round figure of $10.00 per hour = $55.00

$55.00 times a modest group of 6 people at the meeting = $330.00 per week

$330.00 times 52 weeks in a year = $17,160.00

Now imagine: what could your business have done with that $17k?
(Personally, I could write another book.)

If your meetings were dynamic, and cranked out even 1 new seed of an idea per week, what would have been your return on investment? How about your ROA and ROR?

I can’t stand the wasted opportunity folks.

7 out of 10 Americans! What is the cost to our economy? What is the cost to our future?

If my math is right, in my state of Hawaii alone we are wasting over $150 million dollars per year in squandered labor attention.

Let’s regroup.

If you are participating in, or running any meetings this week, any at all, reframe your thinking:

—Imagine that you are taking $55.00 out of your own pocket and placing it on the table.
—You can’t get the cash back.

—What return are you expecting from it?

—What are you going to do in that meeting to guarantee that money will pay off for you?

—No looking back, no regrets:

Make a worthwhile investment.

FYI, Eckberg had much more in his original article.
These were the headings:

Blame the bosses

Follow the leaders

And the last line echoes back to my rant:
“Work with them, or remove the actively disengaged.” You can read the whole article here.

Related posts:

July 11 Own the time you DO have. About passive attendance in meetings.

May 12 How to spot unhappy employees. More disengagement red flags to watch for.

March 31 Another take on Meetings: The 5-Point Plan. If you’re the one who facilitates the meeting, this one is for you.

March 21 Lisa Haneberg on Reinvention. Great coaching from Lisa on having Collaboration Meetings.

March 09 The 3 R’s in Business: ROI, ROR, and ROA. About the three types of return you should actively pursue.

February 20 Get into a new habit: Working wide awake. The title pretty much says it all. Links back to a good 43Folders post too.

H2_1Pedometer: 12,702
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