It is no secret that most employees don’t just dislike excessive status meetings: they dread them. A Clarizen-Harris poll of more than 2,000 employees revealed that:
- 60 percent spend more time preparing for status meetings, than they do attending the actual meetings.
- 46 percent would rather do any other unpleasant activity vs. endure yet another status meeting — with 18 percent opting for a trip to the DMV, and 17 percent choosing to watch paint dry.
- 35 percent consider status meetings “a waste of time.”
However, despite being scheduled with the best of intentions, these blights on the workplace landscape continue to endure day after day, month after month…year after year. It’s as if everyone knows the problem, but nobody can solve it. What’s going on?
Digging Up the Roots
The issue here is one that gardeners can easily (and unfortunately) relate to. Just as getting rid of suffocating weeds means digging below the surface and pulling up the roots, enterprises can’t just identify that excessive status meetings are a problem in their environment: they need to understand why they’re taking place, so they can prevent them from happening.
In this light, here are three common factors that trigger an epidemic of status meetings, and create waves of disengagement and unproductivity:
- Employees are unaware of business objectives.
Business objectives aren’t the same things as strategic objectives. The latter is what links and aligns the broad work portfolio to organizational decisions and direction. The former, however, directly concerns employees because they want, need, and frankly deserve to know how their contribution (at both individual and team levels) relates to the purpose of their respective projects. Without this information, excessive status meetings are inevitable — and painful.
- Employees lack visibility of performance and progress.
In addition to knowing why they’re doing something (as discussed above), employees also need to know how they’re performing and progressing along the work journey. Otherwise, they’re either forced to take educated guesses — which get much less educational as projects unfold — or they’re obliged to brace for impact and wait until something goes wrong before they’re thrust into a jarring course-correction. Excessive status meetings and lack of visibility come in pairs. Where one exists, the other does, too.
- Remote workers are out of the loop.
When distributed workers are left out of the loop — which is even more likely when they’re working in different time zones — then they become disconnected workers who cannot efficiently collaborate or effectively contribute. Once again, this is fertile ground for excessive status meetings to grow (and grow and grow).
Enterprises that suffer from and struggle with one, both or likely all of the above — and are losing ground to an invading status meeting army — shouldn’t despair. As the old saying goes: “acknowledging the problem is half the battle.”
The other and more inspiring half — the ones that leads to full, lasting victory — requires intelligent action. To that triumphant end, enterprises need to equip their employees with a cloud-based portfolio and project management (PPM) solution like Clarizen that:
- Automatically puts communication in context with tasks, resourcing, deadlines and other business priorities.
- Delivers a 360-degree view of each project, which makes it fast and easy to monitor performance, progress, goals and objectives.
- Enables a level of collaboration that keeps projects on track, on budget, and on time.
- Nurtures connection among and across dispersed workers and teams by trying communication to work on a day-to-day basis.
The Bottom Line
As noted above, status meetings are usually scheduled with the best of intentions. But that doesn’t change the fact that they block vs. enhance engagement, performance, progress and results. Clarizen is the award-winning antidote to this unwelcome aspect of “touch base” work culture. Because on today’s relentlessly competitive landscape, the only thing that enterprises should have in excess is success. Not status meetings!
Discover the measurable rewards of collaborative work management, automated demand management, and advanced resource planning tools in your enterprise. Launch you fully-fledged 30-days trial of Clarizen today, or schedule your live guided demo.