Why Have Meetings?: The Purpose, Benefits, and Importance of Team Discussions

Explore the true purpose, benefits, and importance of participating in team meetings — because receiving an email overview, just isn't going to cut it.

Meetingnotes
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February 8, 2024
Meetings

With over 55 million meetings conducted every day, and between 35-50% of the working week spent in meetings, many people may wonder — what is the point of all this meeting time?

When you’re sitting in a boring meeting, it’s hard not to have thoughts like these. But when your meetings are productive and show progress, they become much more worthwhile. So, to dispel any negative thoughts, we’ve done the research for you. In this article, we’ll be walking through everything there is to know about why meetings are conducted. We’ll be answering:

Let’s get right into it.

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What are the possible purposes of a team meeting?

When a meeting is called, there is usually one of five reasons that it needs to occur. 

1. Information sharing: Whether it's an opportunity to share feedback from your team members to your manager, or the chance for a new team to hear important information, information sharing is a core function of meetings — and they aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. This meeting format helps everyone get on the same page.

2. Problem solving: Everyone runs into trouble at work from time to time. A problem solving team meeting will help your team members feel supported in their role, using every team member as an asset to help others overcome their work related problems.

3. Brainstorming: Gathering with your team members and coming up with ideas for a future project can be one style of effective team meetings. Brainstorming sessions within specific departments also help to boost collaboration.

4. Decision making: This is especially the case in executive meetings, with a team meeting being held to make decisions about how certain aspects of the business or a new project are going to be run.

5. Building relationships: A manager might schedule a one-on-one meeting in order to get to know their new employees. Equally, if they’re just starting out in their position, they might conduct an introductory meeting to say hello to the team and share why they’ve been inducted into that particular management position.

These categories define the type of meeting that it’s going to be. Typically, if you read the meeting agenda, there will be a reason at the top of the sheet that explains the meeting’s purpose. Team meetings, one-on-one meetings, and executive meetings all fall into one of these four.

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Why are team meetings important?

Although we’ve gone through the potential reasons that a person might call a meeting, we haven’t discussed if they’re actually beneficial. Considering that 9 out of 10 employees daydream in meetings instead of paying attention, it’s easy to understand why some people think they are a total waste of time.

Yet, there’s also a reason that 92% of meeting attendees state that they value meetings as an opportunity to gather with their team and focus on a project. Team meetings provide a valuable space where ideas can be shared. But, meetings can also bring you the following benefits:

  • Stronger communication
  • Boost in productivity
  • The ability to build rapport

While there are more reasons to host meetings than just these three, we’ve focused on these as they encompass the most important reasons. Additionally, these three are backed by statistics, making them a whole lot more convincing for disbelievers out there.

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What are the benefits of a meeting?

<span class="h-circle" >1</span> Stronger communication

While a lot of business communication takes place over email, this isn’t actually the most effective method of delivering and receiving messages. This comes back to a study conducted by Dr. Mehrabian in the 1960s. This study looked at different forms of communication and concluded that when exchanging thoughts with another person, only 7% of communication is actually spoken.

That leaves 93% of meaning to non-verbal forms of communication, such as tone and body language. If you’re wondering why team meetings are more effective than just sending an email, this study is a core proponent and argument. While an email would deliver the message instantly, if it’s complicated or has any form of subtlety, a physical meeting acts as a better format.

In a meeting, that 7% of spoken communication increases all the way to 100%, as speakers and attendees are able to listen to the facilitator’s tone and examine the body language that’s being displayed. When hosting a meeting that is face-to-face, whether that be in-person or through virtual meetings, you’ll be able to unlock open communication lines between all your participants.

Understanding how communication works will lead you to host more effective meetings, zooming through your discussion topics and ensuring your whole team understands why the meeting was called.

To put it simply — no, this meeting couldn’t have just been an email.

<span class="h-circle" >2</span> Boost in productivity

Team meetings can help to boost the entire team’s work ethic, increasing their productivity and ensuring that they’re on the right path within their projects. While it’s easy to say something boosts productivity, we’ve brought some statistics to back us up. 

Regular team meetings boost productivity for a few main reasons:

Provides a space for feedback

While often overlooked by managers, positive feedback is actually one of the most effective ways of ensuring that your team stays motivated and productive. A poll run by Gallup saw 67% of employees that receive positive feedback becoming highly involved in their work. By hosting a team meeting every single week, you’ll be able to touch upon what people are doing well, giving everyone feedback on how they’re doing. Although only a small moment in the meeting, this can significantly boost project success, with over 530 teams stating that they link positive feedback and high work ethic.

If you’ve never held a team meeting to brainstorm new ideas, try starting with a meeting template.

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Gets people back on track

Between status updates, aligning new projects, and finding a place to discuss ideas, meetings are a fantastic place to ensure that everyone is on the right track. Instead of leaving a project management key decision up to people that don’t have all the information, a meeting will allow anyone to share updates about their own work. If someone isn’t quite on the right track, regular team meetings will make sure you are aware of this early on in the process. 

Reduces the chance of burnout

Many employees that are working in corporate America will suffer burnout at some point in their working careers. The most common motive for this is the fact that they’ve got too much work on their plates. By having weekly meetings, you’ll be able to increase accountability between your team, ensuring that they can talk to you when they’re starting to feel like they have too much work. Instead of forcing your team to make important decisions when they’re fed up with work, you can intervene at the start of the week and reduce their workload if they need it. Although some see this as a loss of progress, putting the mental health of your employees first should always be a priority.

<span class="h-circle" >3</span>Regular team meetings build rapport

During and after the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people around the globe turned to online working solutions so that they could continue to work while in quarantine. Now, while 74% of workers are more productive from home, that doesn’t always mean that they’re happier.

In fact, 19% of people that work from home report feeling lonely and disconnected from the outside world. Due to this, a regular meeting, especially with remote workers, can ensure that everyone feels like they’re part of the team. 

Rather than sending out a meeting agenda that’s packed with key metrics to discuss, key decisions to take, and ideas moving forward, you should try and schedule some time into the meeting to simply chat with your employees. Rapport is an essential part of any team, as it allows people to work together without feeling awkward or out of place.

When you schedule 5 minutes at the start of the meeting to have a casual conversation about how your week is going, you allow your team to build actual connections. While we’re not saying that team members have to be best friends, this is one effective way to boost the success of your team while making sure everyone is as happy as they can be in the office.

The power of a good team meeting

While a weekly schedule with too many meetings isn’t the most pleasant thing to see, finding a sweet spot should be a work goal for every business. 

Meetings provide a valuable forum for a range of different functions, helping people to share ideas, make decisions, build team relationships, and even feel less lonely at work.

Regardless if your team is working fully remote, hybrid, or in-person, using advanced meeting platforms like Fellow will make your meetings feel more productive than ever. With Fellow, you’ll be able to schedule meetings on your team’s calendars, collaborate on a clear agenda and take meeting notes in real time. Fellow also integrates with video conferencing software such as Zoom and Google Meet so that you can experience all those benefits and features right inside your video call.

If you’re looking to conduct next level meetings and reap all the benefits that they have to offer, it’s time to try out a platform that helps you get there. By following the knowledge and tips we’ve provided in this article, you’ll be able to make your next meeting a success.

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