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  • Writer's pictureHennie Brittz

Meetings: moving from Madness to Mastery

Meeting overload

Welcome back to our exploration of meeting overload in the post-pandemic world. If you found yourself nodding along to our previous post about the financial and operational impacts of meeting fatigue, you're in for more insightful tips and tools to combat it. 

Now, let's delve into the human side of this equation: the impact on our wellbeing, engagement and performance, and explore practical tools to revitalise your team's meeting culture and overall performance.

The Impact on Wellbeing, Engagement and Performance

As we shake our heads at the meeting madness of our new work life, it’s crucial to acknowledge the serious undercurrent affecting our wellbeing, engagement and performance. Harvard’s research reveals that:

Harvard study on ineffective meetings

So, how can we buck this new trend of more meetings and reclaim our productivity?

Spot the signs of too many meetings:

  1. Lack of a clear agenda or purpose for the meeting

  2. Decreased attention span in meetings

  3. Poor participation or lack of contribution from attendees

  4. Lack of action plans and uncertainty about the next steps 

  5. Physical and mental exhaustion from too much screen time

  6. Cameras consistently turned off

  7. Frustration with (and avoidance of) meetings

  8. Fragmented focus and reduced productivity

  9. Consistently missing deadlines due to time constraints

  10. Increased absenteeism due to health and wellbeing challenges

10 tips for organisations to combat meeting fatigue

  1. Equal focus on performance & culture: Allocate time in meetings to discuss team fitness and culture, going beyond task-oriented agendas to recognise team achievements and challenges.

  2. Clear agendas: Establish a clear purpose for each meeting and circulate agendas in advance to maintain focus.

  3. The right participants: Invite only essential individuals to prevent overcrowding and enhance efficiency and decision-making.

  4. Parking lot: Set aside new agenda items or fresh ideas that don't align with the current meeting's focus into a 'parking lot.' These can be addressed in a later follow-up session or a separate, dedicated meeting.

  5. Actionable takeaways: Post-meeting, ensure that teams focus and work on the actions and deadlines discussed during the meeting. We recommend keeping an updated action list rather than distributing one after each meeting.

  6. Time respect: Adhere strictly to the scheduled start and end times of meetings to honour everyone's time commitments.

  7. Face-to-face interaction: Regularly schedule in-person meetings to foster interpersonal connections and focus on larger initiatives.

  8. Feedback loop: Regularly assess with teams on meeting effectiveness and culture, enabling continuous improvement.

  9. Balance focus and frequency: Ensure a healthy mix of operational, strategic, and tactical meetings, providing a view of the organisation's goals and progress.

  10. Leadership upskilling: Equip leaders, especially new ones, with the skills to facilitate engaging and inclusive meetings that ensure active participation.

So, the next time you attend a team meeting, think about the cost implication and the purpose and evaluate afterward what you could have done differently. Here's to healthy, productive meetings.

TeamConnect®: a powerful team performance and meeting methodology

TeamConnect® (TC) is a tried and tested methodology to combat meeting fatigue and build the desired organisational culture while executing your strategy. It drives a strong focus on performance and behavioural accountability and it equips leaders to engage their teams in setting and executing their goals.

By streamlining the number and duration of meetings and following a clear sequence, TeamConnect® ensures that each interaction is goal-oriented, building team discipline and achieving clear outcomes. The emphasis on engagement and continuous improvement within TeamConnect® creates high levels of ownership, accountability, action-orientation and cross-functional effectiveness.

TeamConnect® at a glance

TeamConnect fundamentals

Ready to take the next step?


For more on how TeamConnect® delivers structured and regular team meetings to peak performance in your business – talk to us.

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About the author

 Hennie Brittz, Managing Director at 2Collaborate

Hennie Brittz

 has spent 15 years in business and consulting conceptualising, designing and implementing large-scale performance improvement processes.

Get to know more about Hennie on LinkedIn 

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