Many thought leaders in the business world and education world alike have agreed that meetings are one of the biggest time wasters they deal with at work. In fact, according to an infographic created by Atlassian, the average employee spends 31 hours each month in meetings and considers half of that time to be a complete waste.
It goes without saying that all meetings aren’t a waste of time, but over the years many feel that the number and length of meetings in their school district has gotten out of control. After all, if half of all meeting time feels like a waste, think about what you and your team could be accomplishing with an extra 15 hours each month! Follow this guide for a few tips on how to reclaim lost time and use it to accomplish some amazing things in your district.
Implement Collaboration Software
According to the Huffington Post, the number one most effective way to reduce internal meetings is to implement a collaboration software into your organization. If your district is like most, then most of your meetings likely revolve around status updates and check-ins for your school or district wide projects. Collaboration software allows administrators to cut down on these meetings as much of the information they would be seeking is readily available to them. For example, Script allows administrators to have a real time line-of-sight into all of their district processes including how far along the process is toward completion, who is responsible for each step in the process and the progress they have made, and any bottlenecks that may disrupt the process from being carried out successfully. Administrators can even send alerts to employees reminding them of tasks that need their attention, reducing the need for constant check-ins and status update meetings.
If you aren’t quite ready to implement as comprehensive of a workflow automation software as Script, taking advantage of free tools such as Slack and Trello can still help to significantly reduce the time you and your staff spend in meetings. There are a number of smaller steps you can take to reduce meetings in your school district without the use of collaborative technology as well. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective strategies we have seen in across our partner districts.
Require Meeting Agendas
One of the best ways is to require that every meeting has a detailed agenda that has been created and distributed to all meeting participants prior to each meeting. Writing down exactly what you intend to cover in a meeting forces you to consider the importance of each topic and question whether or not it is worth discussing. In addition to giving meeting participants time to read over the agenda in advance and come to the meeting more prepared with notes and questions, having an agenda in place so can help to reduce the time spent in meetings and most likely reduce the total number of meetings overall.
It may also be a good idea to require meeting agendas to be approved by a department head or member of the administration before a meeting is able to be scheduled. Script allows employees and administrators to send and receive approval requests and provide verified e-signatures instantly and track their progress as they move through your administration.
Hold Meetings Only on Specific Days
Another helpful strategy when looking to reduce meetings in your district is designating specific days of each week as “meeting days,” leaving all other days off limits. Only allowing meetings to be scheduled on specific days has a number of benefits. The biggest benefit being that it allows yourself and your staff to better plan your schedule for the week, giving you longer stretches of uninterrupted work time to focus on strategic tasks and projects. For example, you may choose to designate a Monday meeting to plan out the week, a Wednesday meeting to act as a status update, and a Friday meeting to evaluate and reflect on that week’s accomplishments.
With the right technology and strategies in place, your district can free up a great deal of time each week to be used in ways that directly benefit your schools. Don’t let meeting stand in the way of meeting and even exceeding and all of your school district’s strategic initiatives. Schedule a demo with us to learn more about reducing meetings and increasing efficiency across your district today!