Think back to when you signed your employment contract with your current company. It listed out the things you needed to do in order to fulfill your role with the company and included specific tasks and deliverables. Meetings were most likely not on that list, yet you seem to be attending more of them every year and you’re not alone. There are 25 million meetings every single day in the USA alone.
No matter which industry you work in, your company is averaging spending 15% of it’s collective employee time in unproductive meetings. Think about all the things you, and everyone else in your company, could be doing with that time instead. A company pays each employee either a specified hourly rate or a salary, with the expectation the employee will work a certain amount of time and produce a certain amount of output. And the average company is wasting 15% of that paid time by requiring their employees attend unproductive meetings. If that time were instead freed up for the employee to work on their actual job, just imagine of the quality and quantity of work they could deliver. If an employee is having a hard time fulfilling the expectations of his position, unproductive meetings could be why and just think how much more an employee who is able to do their job could do with those extra hours every single week. These wasted hours are a major cost for any company and a burden for every employee.
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Generally when a company is spending or investing a large sum of money, there is someone who is directly responsible for it and who ensures there is a return. A marketing manager takes responsibility for a company’s marketing budget. An office manager is usually responsible for office supplies. Someone is managing the cost of printer paper and pens but most companies squander away their employees valuable time without any oversight.
To do some very simplified math, if an employee is earning $36/hour and works 40 hours/week for 52 weeks each year, they earn $75,000/year. If 15% of their time is wasted in unproductive meetings, that’s $11,250 of wasted investment. And meetings are never just one employee. Fifty employees at the same pay grade in an unproductive meetings waste $562,500/year. And that is assuming your average employee earns just $75,000/year. Developers and highly skilled employees command a much higher average salary. Having a Meeting Officer who is responsible for such a sizable investment only makes sense.
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That’s all well and good, you say, but what would a Meeting Officer actually do to ensure the company is getting the most bang for its buck when investing so much of its employees time into meetings? It would depend on your company but your Meeting Officer could start by defining standards for the companies meetings, increasing awareness and raising expectations. They should find ways to measure employee performance within this area, and educate employees that need support. Your Meeting Officer could select software and services to help the employees, come up with a way to track overall improvement (putting actual numbers on cost savings and productivity gains), and so on. Anything related to meetings at your company would be under their job description.