Gresham Ard
Gresham Ard

Meetings can be very powerful forums for delivering important information and training to your team; however, if executed ineffectively, they can be a huge waste of time and money. Consider this quick calculation demonstrating the total cost, both labor and lost revenue, of a typical one-hour meeting in a shop with eight technicians. Assuming per-tech cost with burden is $31 per hour, the labor cost of a one-hour meeting is $248 dollars. But let’s be honest, if you have a one-hour meeting are the guys really out the door and on the road one hour after the meeting starts? If you’re like most shops I talk to then probably not. By the time the techs make their “office rounds” and enjoy sharing the latest gossip with one another, you’re lucky to get them out the door 20-to-30 minutes after the meeting ends. Considering your one-hour meeting is really an hour and half, your cost is now up to $372 dollars.

But we’re still not done. If you chose not to have a meeting, your techs could be out running calls and generating revenue. If your average ticket is $350 and all eight techs close a call, your potential lost revenue is valued at $2,800. Add it all up and you’ve got a meeting that’s valued at over $3,100! Now ask yourself, “Is the content I’m providing and the manner in which I provide it, producing a good return on this investment?” Here are a few tips to ensure it does:

Consider the Content — Meetings are often bogged down with multiple messages so that the truly important pieces of information can’t be clearly identified and captured. Keep your meetings streamlined and focused on one high-impact topic, preferably training. Utilize other channels to deliver less impactful housekeeping messages and updates, such as email, text, or verbal relay through your dispatchers.

Consider the Delivery — Use techniques that promote engagement and retention. Mornings are rough for most people and the last thing they want to do is sit in a room for an hour and listen to a lecture. Limit your lecture to no more than eight minutes and use brief videos and group activities to stimulate learning. The more you can get your audience engaged, the higher the learning and retention rate will be.

Be Consistent — All too often I see meetings happen haphazardly and often on a whim when the owner or manager feels he has to “set things straight.” Set a firm day and time for your weekly meetings and stick to it. There’s no better way to send the message that investing in your people is important than to adhere to the schedule.

Be Prepared — Great meetings are intentional and don’t come together five minutes before the meeting starts. Take the time to prepare the content, practice your delivery, and develop good engagement activities. Remember, failing to prepare is preparing to fail.

Get Feedback — Don’t be afraid to ask your team to anonymously grade the meeting on a scale of 1-10 before they leave. Your objective is to maximize the return by delivering the best meeting possible, so welcome feedback with open arms.