You Can Either Meet or Work

I haven’t had much time to blog (I know, I know, where are my priorities?!?!?) because I’ve been spending way too much time working.

Well, not “working” but rather being “in meetings.”

Now, we all know that I have a small problem with negativity, but here is Evil HR Lady’s helpful meeting tip:

15 HR people in any room is about 12 too many.

The meeting I have been in have involved the following people: 2 people from staffing, 3 from employee relations, 6 HR business partners, 2 labor and employment lawyers, 1 labor and employment consultant and 1 relocation specialist.

How much do you think gets accomplished at these “meetings”?

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12 thoughts on “You Can Either Meet or Work

  1. Were we in the same meeting yesterday? I was the consultant there trying to get a few critical decisions documented. You have it right, 15 people is 12 too many.

    Frank Roche
    KnowHR Blog

  2. I don’t think anyone has any illusions about the amount of work you got done. Specifically, bubkis!
    Bummer for you. What a colossal waste of time.

  3. You have a relo specialist? Wow. A whole FTE for relo. What is that like??!! It’s just the three of us here in HR – Me, Myself, and I. 😉

    My boss keeps promising to get an invisible and entirely imaginary HR Assistant for me but I think he’s pulling my leg.

  4. Held departmental meeting? Check!

    Talked for hours and got nothing done? Check!

    Had good snacks? Check, check!

  5. I believe C. Northcote Parkinson determined the maximum number of people for a committee to be 7. You can have 9, but two have to be silent observers. Any more than 7, and you have to have subcommittees to get things done; fewer is OK as long as it’s an odd number (to avoid hung decisions).

    Why do you need more than one rep per department, anyway? That’s a waste of everyone’s time…

  6. Meetings and committees are time sinks. I offer this quote from Warren Buffett who manages all of Berkshire Hathaway with a headquarters staff of 19: “One reason that we’re successful is that we don’t have committees.”

    Of course, you can always increase your meeting productivity by holding them while standing up.

  7. Common problem in my experience. Heard a story once about a CEO who used to plug everyone in the rooms salary into a device which would work out the cost of each meeting to the Company. He then published the results in the annual accounts – I bet they had VERY short meetings!

    I’ve been posting over on my blog on another thing similar in some ways to meetings. Numbers counting!

  8. HR Wench–welcome to the Fortune 500 world. The relo guy also does the HR budgets, but yeah. You should ask for an intern. Sometimes you can get those for free!

    just another HR lady–no snacks! So unfair. Our CFO put the kibosh on food at meetings several years ago. It’s so sad.

    rikyu–I agree with you. Haven’t quite figured out why they needed two of everything. The business partners represented different functions, but still…

    Wally–I’d suggest the standing and requiring everyone to wear high heels. That could cut the meeting time down.

    Scott–I think that figure should be posted on the wall in every meeting. It should be a requirement that when you convene a meeting you have to get the “hourly rate” for the meeting. Brilliant.

  9. My theory has always been that the information value of a meeting varies in inverse proportion to the number of attendees.

  10. Nothing of any value could possibly have been accomplished at a meeting that did not include someone from PR!

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