Finding the Value of Meetings in a Technology-Driven World
How TEAM Software uses company meetings to connect and drive results.
From instant messaging and emails to phone calls and video conferencing, there are countless ways to connect and interact with our coworkers. One of the most common ways to connect is through meetings. In fact, according to research there are 25 million meetings per day in the U.S. The problem though, is that nearly 67 percent of those are considered to be failures and it’s estimated that more than $37 billion is spent per year on unproductive meetings.
So, why would any company want to continue to invest the time and money on meetings if those stats are the status quo? Because face-to-face communications are 34 times more effective than sending an email and a recent survey showed 95 percent of respondents say in-person meetings are essential to long-term business relationships.
As a mid-sized company with nearly 140 employees and only a few located outside of the Omaha, Nebraska area where TEAM is headquartered, we can get together regularly — in person or virtually — to share information and have open conversations with each other. And, we’re constantly working on perfecting our meetings with agendas, supporting content, q and a, and meeting technology like webcams, video conferencing and recording features to loop in our remote employees.
As we expand globally, like with our recent acquisition of Lighthouse, we know we’re not always going to be able to get everyone together in one room physically. But, with a well-thought out meeting strategy, we can make those in the room — and those outside the room — feel as connected as possible, even with an ocean between us.
“I’ve been here for over four years, and one thing I think that sets TEAM apart from other companies is how inclusive it makes employees feel,” said Adam Shreck, an Instructional Designer. “Even if you’re not able to attend the meeting in person, there’s a way for you to take part in the message with the webinar functionality or the meeting recording. We don’t have meetings to just have meetings — there’s a conscience effort to make sure everyone’s time is used well, and the meetings have purpose.”
Now, we know not every meeting we have is perfect, but when it comes to keeping everyone informed on strategic initiatives, financial health and how individuals are contributing to our collective results — we do a pretty great job.
- We host quarterly all-company meetings to keep everyone on the same page regarding company performance and to share big company news like the Lighthouse announcement.
- There are monthly product release demos and regular sprint demos by the agile development teams to share our latest innovations and get feedback from client-facing coworkers to ensure the features and enhancements we’re developing hit the mark before sharing them with our customers.
- Each department hosts a yearly overview session to share who they are and what they do at TEAM.
- Our TEAM Resources group organizes regular lunch and learn sessions to promote employee engagement and professional development.
- Our executive team hosts a monthly 30-minute Coffee and Conversation session where employees can come to ask questions, give feedback, and enjoy a cup of coffee and good conversation.
Meetings are a way for us to reinforce our culture and company values, to be transparent by sharing information and opening communication between departments, and to celebrate wins, milestones and other accomplishments. And these aren’t typical boring and rigid meetings either. While we share valuable information and progress on our goals, we also joke and laugh, and sometimes shed a happy tear or two. Everyone is encouraged to ask questions, provide feedback and share thoughts. There’s usually snacks and the occasional happy hour, and a unicorn even came to visit once to deliver on a bet when the company exceeded its sales goal.
“There’s something to be said for a company who continuously finds the value in all-company meetings,” explains Brian DeMeo, a TEAM Account Manager and 15-year employee. “Whether it’s reviewing our current or year-over-year financials, sharing the company’s yearly strategy and goals, highlighting new customers or even celebrating employee tenure, TEAM has found a way to make attending these types of meetings worthwhile and something I look forward to. It helps me stay connected to the real reason why we do what we do — to help our customers.”