Measuring Meeting Performance

Measuring Meeting Performance

One of the challenges of trying to systematically improve meeting effectiveness is trying to measure how well you are doing. The typical way we gauge meeting effectiveness is by counting how many participants are either: a) nodding off, b) gripping a cup of coffee, or c) answering emails on their iPhones or other gadget and dividing that by the total number of people in the room.  But those teams serious about continuous improvement will want to seek out better ways to measure productivity.  I would like to suggest three ways of measuring meeting effectiveness.

1.  Satisfaction surveys:  Advances in web-based technology have made the creation of online satisfaction surveys accessible to virtually anyone. Survey tools are cheap (mostly free) easy to use and flexible. Thinking about the questions you need to ask and creating a before and after survey can be done in a couple of hours. Implement the survey  before embarking on a meeting improvement plan, at the midpoint of the plan and perhaps at one or two additional intervals following the implementation of the plan and you will have a sense of meeting improvement.  Ideally a team would come up with measurement questions that would be meaningful to their needs.  While a measurement of “fun” might be important to performance for one team another might choose to measure perceptions of punctuality as a variable. Click here for a list of starter questions.

2. Dashboard Ratings.  A slightly more geeky way to measure performance is to define a narrow range of indicators that are measured at each meeting.  These might include start time, quality of agenda, participation, progress on action items, communication style, facilitation effectiveness.  By creating numerical ratings from 1-4 or 1-5, each meeting could be reduces to a single number rating metric,  By plotting scores over time one can see patterns in trends and averages begin to emerge.  Click here for a sample dashboard rating tool.

3. Videotaping. A third way to measure performance of meetings is to videotape a meeting and review the tape as a group.  By videotaping and reviewing a meeting, it allows each facet of the meeting process can be discussed.  Some teams develop a rubric to help them gauge meeting effectiveness by defining what poor performance, medium performance and high performance looks like.  Doing the video review can also provide opportunity for coaching specific team members and serve as a self-realizing behavioral intervention (“OMG, do I really suck that much air out of the room?”). Click here for a sample Rubric tool.

Whatever method you choose to use to evaluate and measure your meeting performance, the key is to define an objective process where each team member’s input can be valued and aggregated to help you have confidence in the collective judgment of how your meetings work or don’t work for your team.  By introducing measurement into the meeting process it creates yet another way to help your team operate more effectively.



Photo Credit: Unsplash

Mark Fulop
Mark founded Facilitation & Process in 2009 to help organizations and communities bridge the gap between where they are today and where they want to be tomorrow. He’s led dozens of Portland nonprofits, government agencies and philanthropic organizations through complex change initiatives including strategic planning, revenue planning, board development, collaboration, and facilitation.