Optimizing meeting culture ‒ or: when the buzzer hums!
You all know this: one meeting follows another, there are no agendas, or if there are, they are largely being ignored. Chatterboxes go on forever, and results - if any - are not being written down, making learning almost impossible. Rumour has it that two thirds of employees experience the daily routine of company meetings as frustrating, at least occasionally, with devastating consequences. In this way, meetings become a real cost factor and, on top of that, the number one motivation killer.
We took this as an opportunity to take a closer look at our meeting culture and launch a "Meeting Efficiency" initiative. The aim is to give all employees the opportunity to make our meetings more effective and efficient with useful tips and tricks and with a few supporting tools and aids. We started with the "meeting rules": invite only relevant people, everyone knows the purpose of the meeting, stick to the time schedule, don't interrupt, no side conversations, no distractions, stick to the topic, determine the next steps, give feedback, time to say "thank you"! We printed these rules on posters and posted them in every meeting room for everyone’s reference.
In addition, we have equipped each conference room with meeting cards. This allows us to playfully inform our colleagues and managers that the meeting rules are being adhered to. A buzzer in the meeting rooms also ensures that the meeting cards receive the necessary attention and that the group gets back to the actual topic. The Time Timer, a countdown clock, cleverly visualizes the remaining time and thus ensures that all participants keep an eye on the clock.
"Improving our meeting culture is an important part of our overall change process," says Johanna Krauthauf, Head of Organizational Development and Communication at Kuraray Europe. "Well-structured, lively meetings can be a great platform for cross-functional exchange, promote networked thinking and action and release impulses for innovation - we want to use this opportunity even more in the future," confirms her employee Carmen Mundt, who is one of the driving forces behind corporate change in organizational development.