- Recent reports argue that there is value in having work meetings—that is, if they’re conducted well.
- Meetings can help workers feel included and make them feel like their voices matter.
- Regular meetings can improve accountability, drive creativity, and strengthen culture.
“This meeting could have been an email.”
This is a common thought among modern workers, but there is value in having an actual meeting – whether it be in person or on zoom.
According to Commonsenseleadership, meetings are vitally important if they’re conducted well. Meetings help people feel included and make them feel like their voices matter, as well as give employees the opportunity to contribute to the success of their companies.
A workplace’s organizational culture is critically important and drives the consistency of its success, or lack of.
Why are team meetings beneficial?
Meetings are essential, but they should be purposeful and efficient.
When COVID-19 first entered the world and a huge portion of the workforce was operating remotely, virtual meetings became the glue that held the corporate and working world together.
While everyone was social distancing and self-isolating during the front end of the pandemic, many suffered from a lack of human connection.
Going into the workplace wasn’t safe, and although it’s safer now with the creation and widespread utilization of the COVID-19 vaccine, it still isn’t 100% safe yet.
In-person work meetings become obsolete for a period of time. People are still working remotely, so virtual meetings are still the norm and will continue to be for the foreseeable future.
There is value in meetings even if they aren’t in-person. Rather than being productivity or time killers, weekly team meetings can help increase productivity by helping everyone on the team prioritize their tasks for the upcoming week.
What can meetings bring to the workplace?
Accountability: Weekly meetings that require team members to report their results ensure that workers are making progress and taking responsibility for what is required of them. Consistent team meetings also keep employers accountable and give their employees the space and time to ask them questions.
Ideas and Insights: A weekly meeting can result in the team sharing ideas and insights around what is working, their strategy for winning deals, and how they are handling certain challenges.
Culture: Meetings are an opportunity to share purpose and meaning and values. They’re a chance to tell stories and share knowledge. Meetings can also give a sense of belonging – something which all humans need in order to thrive, and one of the things known to create greater engagement. There is immense value in a positive, optimistic, future-oriented, and empowered work culture.
Problem Solving: There are two kinds of problems in business. The first category of problems requires a decision to be resolved. Oftentimes, that decision is made in a meeting. The second category of problems are systemic challenges that are only resolved with time, energy, and real change. These both are solved in team meetings, and with a lot of conversation, conversation that may not happen without a meeting.
“There is no doubt that a group of people not meeting will get a lot of stuff done. It can be said with equal confidence, however, that by not meeting the stuff that will get done will lack cohesiveness, quality, and a shared set of values,” said Steven Sinofsky, partner at the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
When a team of talented and diverse individuals is brought together, the only way they will come to operate as a team is by spending time talking, listening, and understanding each other’s perspectives. There is no way a group of people can converge to a high-performance team without meeting, sharing, and learning together. No number of emails or shared docs can substitute for a meeting.
For some, the social aspect of work meetings is essential
The five categories in Maslow’s hierarchy of needs include physiological, safety, social, recognition, and self-actualization, and social and professional gathering can satisfy these needs.
In his book High Output Management, Andy Groves says, “The social needs stem from the inherent desire of human beings to belong to some group or other. But people don’t want to belong to just any group; they need to belong to one whose members possess something in common with themselves.”
For managers/bosses, team meetings are beneficial in other ways
By hosting regular team meetings, companies can create a culture of shared values and open communication. These meetings should be a safe space where the team learns about each other’s preferences, discusses new ideas, and develops a sense of belonging.
Even though some updates can be shared via email or communication tools such as Slack, informational meetings can be more effective when communicating controversial ideas.
For managers and bosses, creating consistent team communication through meetings creates the benefits of:
- Building psychological safety
- Setting goals and motivating
- Keeping employees engaged
- Communicating effectively
- Driving accountability
- Unblocking issues.
Paul Axtell, author of Meetings Matter argues that a quality experience meeting leaves attendees feeling connected, valued, and fulfilled, which is exactly how every employee should feel after a weekly team meeting.