Meetingsmay not be your
raison d’être, but they’re definitely a means to achieve it. Meetings are where you set strategy, consider new ideas, analyse your talent needs . . . you name it. If you’re working, you’re probably either in a meeting or preparing for one.
Your employees? Not so much. They have other things to do — namely, the tasks you recruited them for.
According to Psychology Today, 70 per cent of employees say status-update meetings don’t help them get any work done. So, how are your employees supposed to grow your business if you keep calling them into meetings that hold them back?
Wharton professor Adam Grant’s advice to be “ruthless” with your time comes to mind. But his and similar strategies apply as much to the executive team as the rank and file.
Software company Asana has another approach: No Meeting Wednesdays. Its policy is exactly as it sounds: Avoid meetings on this particular day of the week (unless absolutely necessary). What sets Asana’s policy apart from others is that it openly acknowledges that “managers” and “makers” prioritise their time differently. Employees, in other words, need time to create, a fact that the executive team acknowledges.
“The gist is that makers suffer greatly from interrupts in their flow time. Managers are generally used to having a schedule-driven day, so it’s easy for them to throw a disruption into somebody else’s calendar,” the memo reads. “Makers also do this to each other.”
There are exceptions, but they generally involve external situations. For example, job candidates who can only make it to Asana on a Wednesday for an interview wouldn’t be told they’re out of luck. However, even in that circumstance, the time demands would come at the expense of managers rather than makers.
Of course, you don’t need to make it Wednesdays or even any set day at all. But your team — and, therefore, your company — may benefit if you give your makers more time to make.
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