IDEA: Employees hate long meetings: cut them down to 30 minutes, limit the bodies, keep it fast pace and use a “kitchen timer”.

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Many employees detest going to company meetings because they take too long and little is accomplished in a long time period.  In order to get their attention, try cutting meeting to 30 minutes and use a kitchen timer to cut them off. This means focusing on the most important issues, assigning research projects to people to bring back to the following meeting and forcing everyone to focus and help resolve the issues discussed.

Complaints about meetings;

  • Unplanned meetings do not stay on the subject, wander, lose focus at the top.
  • Call a 30 minute meeting; use a kitchen timer to ensure the cutoff.
  • Everyone hates unfocused long-winded meetings so try this shorter period which speeds things up.
  • Too much talking off the subject will be resolved, all in the room will speed a slow guy up.
  • No one is in charge; no adherence to rules in long meetings; in a 30 minute meeting, someone steps up to lead.
  • Strong moderator needed to stay focused and cover lots of items.  He can stop and assign a troublesome problem if it is bogging down discussion.
  • No guidelines or rules upfront.   Short meetings quickly impose guidelines and structure in order to meet the end of the timer bell.

Benefits of Kitchen Timer meeting:

  • Knowing the meeting is 30 minutes causes everyone to speed up.
  • Limited time means no boredom, fast pace.
  • Important items get addressed.
  • Short does not mean non-productive.
  • Efficient meetings are encouraging to employees.

Suggestions to make meetings more productive:

  • Assign tasks to people to bring completed to the next meeting.
  • Ensure ramifications for those who fail.
  • Terminate or demote those who repeatedly fail to produce or make deadlines.
  • Make terminations known.
  • Make the meeting fit your needs; reset the time if necessary.


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