One of my favorite assignments last year was a Team Effectiveness Project for a consumer goods company.

The head of the Consumer Insights team approached me since his team struggled with collaboration. The team was divided between seasoned members and newcomers, leading to low engagement scores and a reluctance from other departments to collaborate.

When interviewing team members, it became clear that they didn’t have common goals, nor did they play by the same rules. We used Team Pro, a structured and well researched method for team development. With an online assessment and a series of workshops we worked on strengthening:

1.      Transitional Processes: The interactions that occur before and after work processes where the team plans and evaluates. (To use a sports analogy: before and after the game)
2.      Action Processes: The interactions in the team where they perform their work duties to achieve their goals. (During the game)
3.      Interpersonal Processes: Activities addressing the team’s emotional climate. (Around the game)

During exercises and simulations, my co-facilitator and I observed the team and gave them feedback on their behaviors. The team then developed an action plan for what they wanted to improve and how.

–         8-percentage-point increase in employee engagement score.
–         27% uptick in internal net promoter score.
–         The team was recognized as a good place to work, with more internal applications for vacancies.

A key reason for the results was the team leader’s willingness to invest in team development over time. This year we are doing another Team Pro check-in with the team 😊.

Interested in how your team can work better together? Let’s talk


Emma Vallin, Organizational & Leadership Consultant

Knowledge workers spend on average 85% of their time in meetings, which studies show negatively affects well-being. Not surprisingly many organizations are opting for meeting-free days.

But how does this effect cooperation and productivity?

A study* of companies who had implementing meeting-free days, found that:

ONE meeting-free day a week resulted in:
✅ Autonomy: +62%
✅ Cooperation: +15%
✅ Engagement: +28%
✅ Productivity: +35%
✅ Stress: -26%

With TWO meeting free days, the numbers jumped to:
✅ Autonomy: +78%
✅ Cooperation: +43%
✅ Engagement: +32%
✅ Productivity: +71%
✅ Stress: -43%

Is there such thing as too few meetings, I hear you ask?

THREE seems to be the optimum number of meeting-free days, according to the study. After that, metrics like productivity and satisfaction start declining and micromanagement starts creeping up again.

❓ What if anything, surprised you about these numbers?

❓ What is your experience of meeting free days?

📈 Take the poll: how many meeting-free days do you prefer:

* The Surprising Impact of Meeting-Free Days. Benjamin Laker, Vijay Pereira, Pawan Budhwar, and Ashish Malik. MIT Sloan Management Review, January 18, 2022

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