No one likes meetings, but we can’t stop having them

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You might think the world doesn’t need yet another survey about social networking and the generation gap. But wait! A recent survey actually has a twist on the well-worn topic. According to a Citrix Online survey, when it comes to workers, Generation X is more likely to use social networking for business than Gen Y.

Yeah, you read that right.

Workers 55 and older are more likely to use social media for work on a daily basis compared to younger workers. And Gen Y workers are less likely to use videoconferencing and web conferencing tools at work.

What gives?

Bing: Tips for effective meetings

Although the survey doesn’t explain why this gap exists, a possibility is that older workers are in higher positions that require more interaction. Go back 25 years and think about an old-fashioned Rolodex. The older worker with the higher ranking was more likely to have a collection of important contacts than the younger worker. Connections can be more important when you’re schmoozing.

The survey, which looked at the behavior and attitudes of workers in several countries, also highlighted another generational difference: Gen Y just doesn’t care about meetings. Gen X cares more, but nobody really thinks they do much good.

  • “Gen Y is least likely to think meetings are efficient. Only 29 percent of Gen Y workers think meetings used to decide on a course of action are very efficient, compared to 45 percent of  older [baby] boomers.”
  • “Gen Y is least likely to pay attention in meetings and barely half (51 percent) believe it’s very important to do so in meetings to decide a course of action.”

Yet, in what seems like a contradiction, Americans have more meetings than any other surveyed country and they believe paying attention is important.

  • “90 percent meet in person to communicate and build relationships, more than any other nationality.”
  • “Of those, 51 percent meet daily, compared to a mere 31% of French.”
  • “75 percent of Americans believe it’s very important to pay attention in meetings to decide on a course of action, compared to 50 percent of the French.”

So, if you’ve ever thought you have too many meetings, you do – compared to the rest of the world. Less than half of surveyed workers view meetings as efficient, but 85 percent of all workers are having them. Force of habit? Gluttons for punishment? Why, workers, are we doing this to ourselves?

And in another odd finding, 75 percent of Germans consider seeing the other attendees in the meeting important, but only 55 percent of Americans do. So Americans have the most in-person meetings of anyone, yet we don’t care that they’re in person.

Making sweeping assessments of any group is dangerous, especially when you’re looking at a survey. Yet, Americans’ attitudes toward meetings and the frequency with which we have them suggest that we’re stuck in a rut. If younger workers aren’t paying attention to meetings that few people consider effective, could the future workplace look much more different? Perhaps when Gen Y is in charge, meetings will be rare and more effective. Although this survey finds older workers using social media to do business, younger workers — who are the ones to usher in the era of Facebook — might rely on technology for business interaction.

What do you make of this survey? Is American begrudgingly married to meetings? Do older workers really use social networking for business more than younger workers? Do you think the workplace of the future will reflect these results?

Bing: How to survive office politics

  1. Older workers are more seasoned than their younger counterparts, they know how to communicate more effectively than their younger counterparts and thus need less face to face interaction with one another.

    • I don’t know where they get off saying Generation X is aged 55 or older. Only 10 years ago they said this generation was people about my brother’s age to maybe 10 years older. This would make the range 35-45.

      Fact one:

      Generation Y (which I widely consider the generation AFTER me, since I’m the same generation as my brother six years older who was generation X) is largely disconnected to people. It’s a growing problem, they value things more than people. Trust me, your iPhone won’t love you back. And no, that whole online dating thing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, because you’ll have to actually get off your computer and meet the person eventually. In general, Generation Y doesn’t believe in social connections (even though it really isn’t what you know it’s who you know).

      Fact two:

      Generation X, and for that matter the baby boomers that raised them, do believe in the need to be with other people. Generation X is a midway generation between the boomers and Generation Y, as the boomers are much more likely to also believe it the necessity of formality and image. The boomer was likely to advocate wearing a tie for any interview, generation X would likely be confused at what to wear depending on the job’s status (and if they are service-oriented like is commonly stated, many jobs wouldn’t require one), and no, the picture there is unrealistic. If a generation Y person could weasel out of wearing the tie, they would.

      Fact three:

      Formal meetings ARE a bore. Formal anything is, except maybe a dance or opera. It’s one thing to want to look good for fun, or for the people you care about. It’s quite another to be forced to wear the same boring clothes every waking day (I’m a gardener btw, I wanted to be as far away from that mentality as possible, even at the sacrifice of spotty work hours). Formal clothes are to impress the CUSTOMER, not your fellow co-workers; in other words, they’re a costume used to generate professional image. They always talk about creativity and “thinking outside the box” (which ironically, is now a cliche), but really, how creative can you get when all around you, everyone is in a suit?


      If the boomers (and generation X) really want to connect with the younger generations, ditch the structured meeting, and look at the Outback or whatever commercials. You can just as easily have an informal meeting, after hours to discuss business plans. The meeting itself really is unproductive in an office setting, but like they say, the best plans run on a full stomach. Except if you’re really needing to manage things, once a week scheduled “meeting” with co-workers is enough. And if you want to meet more, you can always meet more. Just be sure to offer some sort of incentive for the scheduled one, like the department head treats.

      • thomas hooker: just to clarify, if 10 yrs ago generation X was 35-45, that would make the age for generation X now 10 years older…thus 45-55.

        unless your brother was a different age 10 yrs ago, which we have no way of knowing based on your post (we don’t know your brother!)

          • There is a gap in Generation Y. I know generations are every 20 years, but I have to say there is a huge difference in mentality between those born in the 80′s, like me, and those born mid-nineties and on. I happen to think many of those late Generation Y’s are lazy and so crazy violent! But us early Generation Y’s, we work hard, we go to college, we get jobs, we pay our taxes, and we resent being lumped in with all the other Generation Y’s.

            • This just shows how wrong it is to generalize. Techinically I’m a boomer (born 1960) but I prefer to say that I am the little sister of the Baby Boom Generation because I did not follow the me generation hippie attitude. As a boss, as a mother, I try to consider the gerational influences that a person might have experienced, but also look at the actual person in deciding how best to effectively communicate or motivate. We are all individuals, after all.

              • My husband is 52 and the youngest of the Boomers. I am 39 and a complete and total stereotypical Gen Xer. I work with a LOT of Y Geners. I am learning to see their point regarding the uselessness of many meetings, but I still like to attend a meeting occassionally just to say hello to coworkers that I never get to talk with face to face during the course of a regular working day. I also think Boomers have ‘burned me out’ with meetings because they always seem to want to have a meeting to solve everything when a simple email would suffice. So, my point is that we can generally learn a lot from eachother, which I am learning to do. The Gen-Yers have also taught me to complain about the slightest discomfort when I used to keep my mouth shut about everything and just mumble to myself about something. We don’t always teach eachother great habits and norms.

            • hat I don’t understand about these comments about Gen Y being lazy is that if Gen Y was born between 1980 and 2000 That means that the ages of Gen Y is 30-10. How can you make a general assumption on the work attitudes of an entire 20 year generation when almost half of them are still CHILDREN! I was born in 1980 myself and my eldest in 1999. Yes I was only 19, however, I was married and working TWO jobs when I found out I was pregnant. My daughter is now 11 and is by no definition of the word lazy. She is a crossing guard for her school, and she plays the violin, participates in all sorts of extracurricular activities, and I am constantly having to tell her no she can’t add yet another activity to her already full plate, and she’s only in the fifth grade. My baby sister is also Gen Y and she is working her way through college right now. And she was born at the mid-point of the generation. So once again to make blankent assumptions about a generation that has not fully matured,and comparing them to the two previous generations that have fully matured, is asinine.

              • I am just trying to remember back to when I was a 20 something… and if I remember correctly… the Gen X were know to not like meetings at that age too well either.. we wanted to Bulletin board it or once video conferencing came around we were more into that.
                So, I think it is part maturity on the X’ers to now understand the meaning to meetings with a purpose.
                Now if we could like you said keep learning the purpose of stuff and adapt the purpose in the correct context.. I think we all would be less frustrated and more productive.
                just a thought from a Gen X’er

          • Thank you for clarifying dates for Gen X’ers.
            Being of Gen X myself, I gasped at the fact of being put into the same class as someone 55. I couldn’t even finish reading the article. (I’m assuming written by a Gen Y’er). When you have incorrect facts in your opening statements, how accurate is the data that follows it, right? It is very easy to find out the the oldest Gen X’er is now 46. Was there any fact finding done???

        • I can assure everyone, I am first wave Gen X. I am 41. Ages 45-55 are Gen Boom. Gen X is lost in the shuffle between Gen Boom and Gen Y because we are much smaller in numbers. The lettuce between the meat patty and the tomato slice as it were……

          A generation is twenty years, or I’m getting really old, fast. =)

          • I totally agree with you, another anna. I, too, believe I am a Gen X at age 40 (almost 41 myself). Wasn’t aware of a Gen Boom, but I can believe it.

        • Wow.. you guys have a lot to say.. anyway.. We had a secret Santa meeting at work and I got this hilarious politically incorrect cookbook called.. well I can’t tell you the name of it cause some of you will freak out at me, but if you google “whipped and beaten culinary works, you can find it.. but seriously, don’t go if you cant take a good joke. or if you get offended easily.

          • Thanks Rodin! I know this is off topic, but that seems like great book–totally going to go buy it. There’s a funny book called something like Stuff that White people like that had me and my friend laughing so much–also I Hope They Serve Beer in Hell was deliciously humourous!

        • anna,
          The born years don’t change!
          He’s talking about the range of generation x and how some writers change it all the time.
          If you do a little research those years you mention, anna pretty much put anybody as a baby boomer, not a gen xer.

        • Hang on. Ten years ago I was a baby boomer and now I am a Gen Xer? I don’t think so…
          This article is so generic. Meetings can be effective if they’re for a reason, but in my experience, they can be over done. Sometimes a conference call is all that’s needed, rather than a face to face, which usually meant “what’s for lunch?” Other than that, it’s generally the same old rhetoric.
          And to compare Americans with the French? Please!

      • What about Generation Q. Noone ever considers Generation Q. Generation Q likes to drink beer, play horseshoes and tell everyone how last nights cow tipping went. Meetings suck and beer bongs rule. Meet that why dont you!

      • From Wikipedia (with sources cited): Generation X, commonly abbreviated to Gen X, is the generation born after the Western post-World War II baby boom ended. [1] While there is no universally agreed upon time frame, [2] the term generally includes people born in the 1960s and 70s, ending in the late 1970s to early 80s, usually not later than 1982…

        The exact date range that constitutes Generation X is the subject of diverging opinions. Part of the variance comes from slightly differing definitions of what exactly Generation X is. Geography can also influence date ranges. Another problem stems from the difficulty in exactly defining a generation by birth year, as Fran Kick explains, “please understand that there are no hard and fast lines that occur between December 31st of one year and January 1st of the next. More often than not, it’s as shift that occurs over three to five years, maybe more depending on who you ask.” [12]Most sources cite birth years throughout the 1960s and 70s. Some sources cite a start toward the mid 1960s. Some cite an end date before the end of the 1970s. Others cite an end in the early 1980s; 1981 is a common end date, but some sources show slightly later end dates.[5]

        Bottom line: There’s always some overlap in the date ranges of defining “generations” such as gen X and/or gen Y.

      • Good intention for this article, absurd execution (and gen-Y comments!!!)

        I notice hardly any generational gap in the IT service industry. There are personality differences, and character traits, but no discernable difference in “connectedness” between good workers at any age.

        There are definitely difference in job roles, however, and these can be associated with age at times (e.g. management verse developers).

        For example managers that constantly schedule, email, communicate and interrupt for a living tend to be better in the office for in-person meetings.

        Developers and implementators that architect and build with teams dispersed across the world tend to benefit less from the traditional “office”. Being connected is our office – online social networks are an extension of relationship in this regard.

      • WHAT 55 and older is NOT Gen X…That is The Lost Generation.
        …OK…before the backlash…I will admit there is no OFFICIAL designation where one generation starts and another ends.
        …But they should at least be close.

        The Lost generation were BORN between 1945 and 1965…some became hippies some became button up Me conservatives.

        Gen X born between 1965 and 1980…we are called GEN X because our group splits into so many sub groups they can NOT categorize us. Think of the music Gundge rock, Big hair rock, new age pop, Disco, new country, and growing social media.

        Gen Y born between 1980 and 1995…basically little bros and sis to Gen X…take everything and stretch it more now impossible to categorize in social patern…but one thing is know very free spirited. Very media penetrated.

        Gen 2000…still very fragmented…but in a way less sub groups.

        Back to the point…meetings are basically the adult version of peer pressure. Even if you know meetings do have many agenda items…the ones they have are critical in pushing people to do their job or bringing problems into the open or nailing down critical decisions. Older people in general are more determined to do what is needed to protect reputation.

    • In some instances group meetings are merely scheduled opportunities to showtime “power-play”. The agenda is usually preplanned by the group leader and a few loyal subordinates. Since only they know the topics to be discussed, mostly their own pet peeves, interest by others may be lackluster at best. Secondary input by others may be ignored or discredited. Older workers know the routine and may prefer to discuss relevant work topics by interactive media or in individual settings. With interactive media, there’s also less emotional distraction. Younger workers are new to the workforce. New and different group activities, including work meetings, are opportunities to socialize and interact with others. This enthusiasm may diminish once they understand the rules as do older workers.

      • I disagree. The proper way to conduct an effective meeting is for the host (facilitator) to send out an agenda of the meeting topics and the time frame at least 48 hours the meeting itself so all parties can be prepared or gather their inputs. I truly can be good for something. I am a Gen Y (27 yrs old), engineer and production supervisor and have come to respect and appreciate this process. It’s not all bad.

    • the funny thing is for all you ticked off old people calling generation y lazy… none of them will be reading this except for the ones who actually care and want to be different, and you just put them down to make them feel worthless. maybe if your generation was a better example of role modeling and mentoring we could do something. but you just worry about yourselves. I have read just the opposite of a lot of these comments. generation boom and generation x spent so much time away from their families trying to climb the corporate ladder… generation y is not lazy, they see things and want to spend time on things that are more important. their families and friends and building relationships outside of work, not just getting ahead and brown nosing. i hate the new york jets.

      • They ARE lazy. Lazy and have an overwhelming sense of entitlement due to the fact that they have been raised by a bunch of feel-good hippies who do not believe in disciplining them and think everyone should get a trophy simply for participating.

        They are doomed.

        • I am surprised that you assume to know everyone in generation y! I am not lazy and happen to know a few baby boomers who are! If you want to talk entitlement take a look at these baby boomers and generation xers who are living on social security and never worked a day in their life. Before you go and insult an entire generation better make sure you have personally met all of them to know what you are talking about.

          • Mark: FYI your comment about lazy people never working a day in their lives and living on Social Security doesn’t make sense- in order to qualify for SS payments (unless you are disabled, etc.)- you must have payed into the system through deductions to your paycheck. Take a look at your pay stub: that term FICA refers to the amount you are paying into SS. Just sayin’. If you’re trying to make a point it’s a good idea to research what you are trying to argue beforehand, lest you look like a schmuck.

            • Stephanie: you look like a schmuck… there are many individuals receiving monies from the government without ever contributing. I believe many of those programs fall under the social security umbrella. When the program started, it service retirees with payments from current workers as it does now. Those first benefactors (boomers or older) did not contribute other than through federal taxes.

          • Okay… that’s a little extreme. Every generation has its shortcomings just as each has contributed to the workforce in a positive way. And I don’t think that comments re: generations are intended to include every single person – positive or negative. Glad to know that you’re not part of the ‘norm’ and I’m sure that your company is proud of you.

        • Gotta agree with Demar.

          I’m an HR professional and have seen more of the negative stereotype of Gen Y’ers than the positive. The joke of the office with them is “I want Thursdays off and can I bring my dog to work?” When asked for solutions to improve the work experience, they ask for everything under the moon (popcorn machines, reclining chairs, etc.) . With regards to accountability, they are highly offended when you talk to them about the fact that they’re attendance is poor, everyone else is getting THEIR work done and that they negatively impact morale with their constant griping about what they didn’t get. Last year and after a major layoff, several ‘youngsters’ complained about the amount of the raise they RECEIVED with their annual performance evaluation. It took everything in me to not choke one of them! Talk about entitled! NGDGU – no good deed goes unpunished. This year, we encountered another major layoff and I too was affected. But don’t cry for me Argentina. Some things happen to you and some happen for you. This definitely happened for me and I haven’t been happier. I don’t miss all of the meeting to talk about what we’re going to meet about, then meeting again to talk about what we met about all just to meet again to talk about what we’re going to meet about. And if you’re curious, I’m a Gen X’er.

          • I’m 46… born in 1964, the year that no one really knows whether it’s the last year of the Boomers or first year of Gen X. Really, who cares. But I completely agree on the entitlement issue with too large a majority of Gen Y (NO, I don’t know them all, I’m speaking to a TREND, get it?). I am an executive who has hired and managed many people over the years, and am astounded at attitudes of the Gen Y kids entering the work force. A promotion is expected after 3 months of showing up, bonuses and raises w/in 6-12 months just for sticking around. This comes from the trophies of their youth, awarded just for participating. It is frightening to think these are our future business leaders.

          • I’ve to agree with Gottagree. I work in an office pretty much divided between genX and genY. I’m late genX and I’m sick to death of the whining of the genY employees. They have this sense of entitlement that makes me want to spank them. Two years after graduation they want the title and salary of those that have been working for 7-10 years. When they finally whine enough to get the job, they cannot perform and then they whine because the expectations are too high, or they have to work too many hours, or there is too much work to do. Well, maybe you should have put in your dues like the rest of us before taking on the respinsibility of a position you can’t handle. Managers have more responsibility than assistants and there is a maturity level required to handle the job…genY people dont understand that. All they see is a paycheck and what they can buy with it.

            However, I do work with a few genYer’s that work hard, do a great job, and don’t whine. So I do realize that you are not all the same…but it’s a about a 75/25 split with the higher percentage being whiners.

            And yes…please no more pre-pre meetings to discuss the pre-meeting before the actual meeting followed by a recap meeting and another recap to recap the recap meeting. Seriously, I have actual work to do!

            • I am generation Y – am 29 yrs have a decent job, have my won house, in school again while working full time. And you people calling me lazy…..I see alot of lazy people everyday and they are all older than I am!

      • That is the “old Peoples’” point. You don’t care enough about your profession because you are too busy day dreaming about making love any one of your ithings. Yes your family and friends are important, but so is being professionally responsible and working with your team. Kids these days are so caught up in themselves. Try being a little more professionally responsible while at work. Save the BS,”Oh I want to spend more time with fam and friends, that’s why I don’t pay attention at work and hate meetings…” with your ifriends and make more of contribution.

        Unknowingly, you just proved every “old timer’s” point.

        • To old people that think Gen Y is lazy, it is actually the old people that broke this country, Gen Y has to fix it and pay for it. If the booomers raised Gen X right, then Gen Y might have fit Gen Boom’s image better. But Gen Y has done more in its first years than Gen Boom or X ever did. Gen Boom’s focus on brown nosing and climbing the corporate ladder has destroyed the middle class leaving America in a two class society, putting money before family, making Wall Street god, and banks devouer the middle class in “affordable mortgages” while thier circle jerk of board members in other companies prevents raises equal to the CEO (CEO’s contribute 0% to a company and take 110% of the credit and money) that allow the middle class to pay for their home and keep up with inflation and a middle class lifestyle. So Thank You lazy old timers, that were too lazy to raise their family and so short sighted as to destroy the country at their own personal greed and gain.

          • Gen Y hasn’t done squat. Gen Y will never do squat. Gen Y is so caught up in themselves, always has to be patted on the back, always has an excuse and nothing is ever their fault. Period.

            Everything is NOW NOW NOW ME ME ME, but when it comes to paying the piper with actual work, Gen Y is nowhere to be found.

            God help us when they take the reins.

            • The generation before you was probably saying the same thing about you when you were young.

              I think people who go around talking like this about the younger generations 1) are just scared of becoming irrelevant in their old age; and 2) have forgotten what it’s like to be young.

              Yep — it’s nothing new, young people can be lazy and self-centered.

              And, old people can be rigid and afraid of change.

              • I should also add that these are stereotypes, of course. It’s ridiculous to state that any one generation — young or old — has the same characteristics in common.

                Not all young people are lazy. Not all old people are rigid.

            • I am generation Y – am 29 yrs have a decent job, have my won house, in school again while working full time. And you people calling me lazy…..I see alot of lazy people everyday and they are all older than I am!

          • I concur wholly with your point. The ones complaining about the uselessness of my generation are the ones who put us in such a ditch that it’s easy to be apathetic about. It’s also the same people who chose not to raise us after work when they had some free time because they were “tired”.

            Generation Y has some very intelligent people – movers and shakers that plan on ruling the world some day. Every generation is roughly the same make-up. Some of us have parents that instill morals and values, some instill that the upper class actually ARE better than you, and some instill the urge to bring down the man and establishment. You can’t generalize that Gen Y is lazy because we’re being raised by a bunch of hippie parents. Our hippie parents are your kids.

            Further than that, what about guys like me who didn’t have a hippy parent? I’ve worked my ass off, without any help from my single mom, to put myself through college and open and run two business’. I’m now filling out applications to attend some of the most prestigious law schools in the nation – all coming from a single household making about 40k a year.

            I have brownnosed, I have maintained credibility through intellect, and I’ve shown my intense work ethic. I do find a lot of my competition is miniscule because my fellow classmates don’t have the same social skills, but again we are 20-23 years old. Our working age has increased. I won’t be into the workforce until I’m 25 years old. How can you possibly expect the VAST majority of us to be in apprenticeships by the time we were 16? It’s not the 1930′s anymore.

            • Thanks for proving the point. Gen X was NOT the hippie generation. That is the end of the Boomers. Gen X was their offspring.

              Meetings are done for productivity. Yes, they are boring, but when one does not have a plan, they succeed by accident. But Gen Y isn’t about productivity….they are about going through the motions and always ready with an excuse to blame someone else.

      • Uh…up until now, the only person that called your generation lazy was another person in your generation…

        That said, I work for a university as an assistant teacher and therefore interact with the gen Y age group quite a bit. Bottom line: I don’t see gen Y-ers any lazier than people were in my generation (gen X). They’re young, not lazy…most young people have some tendencies toward laziness. So what? So did I when I was 20.

    • if people with brains want to communicate with gen y or whomever, just text them, “omg, like totally sales are down :(” or hold meetings on facebook since they spend most of their day there anyway. lol!!!

      • and you spend a good portion of your day on a message board typing nasty notes about the future of America (obviously I get the irony that I am doing the same thing but through my hard work I was able to obtain a position in which I am able to spend some time reading online content). These are the same young people who will decide your future in regards to social security, retirement, and whether you end up in a home somewhere or live out your days with the dignity that you deserve.

        Put that in your pipe and smoke it!

        • Not sure if the edit to my comment came through so I will repost:

          I love the fact that someone who is bashing people for their use of social media and iphones and all sorts of new gadgets would end their rant with “LOL”…..

          “I hate that generation but I sure do like their lingo!!”

          so like I said above

    • After a 40 plus year career in sales and sales management, experience tells me that the most compelling reason why employees do not like meetings is that management has no idea how to orchestrate a meaningful, productive meeting that everyone can and will benefit. Meetings should be focused on the individuals within the group, not the person giving the meeting. Generally, meeting should be ten minutes on admin, results and forecasting, and the balance of quality time on goal setting, activity, training and success stories. Sharing new ideas, defining a competitive advantage and how to successfully pursue it relentlessly, should allow personnel to actually look forward to meetings, and may even have some fun.

    • I don’t know if that is true. I’ve worked in too many offices where the Baby Boomers and Generation X employees were simply better at micro-managing and better at forming strict daily work routines. I often found myself annoyed by their die-hard adherence to rules which often made no sense at all. Those of us in the Generation Y workforce age bracket tend to test the waters, seeing if perhaps old policies could use updating and old routines could be exchanged for more efficient ones. I often attended weekly meetings and mentally balanced my checkbook while my bosses rambled.

      The older generation of women are quite good at coming to work every day, doing the same thing, running their meetings the same way, and too often retreating back to their cubicles whenever new idea was presented. I worked in offices where the same task was repeated four or five times merely so that multiple departments could have their own versions of required office information. Instead of just admitting that they didn’t know how to use Word 2007, these ladies just kept up the older systems as if nothing changed, even often using TYPE-WRITERS.

      Often also, they became very comfortable in their jobs. I noticed that physically you could always tell an older generation long-term office worker because she tended to walk with a slight stoop and had gained a considerable amount of weight in her posterior, upper thighs and lower back-the areas upon which she sat all day. The workers would often be found in each others cubicles chatting for hours, assured by their seniority that their position was not at risk.

      Going back to the meetings: those of us who were younger were often generating the highest level of revenue for the company and we each HATED the meetings, which were truly a waste of the company’s resources.

      These older women are not the diligent ladies of the office, often they are so stuck in their ways that they have actually become quite inefficient.

    • Generation X wants to have a meeting for everything even when it is not even necessary.I understand if it is really important and we really have to put our heads together to come up with a plan of action etc. But most things can be done without a meeting that goes on for hours cutting down on the time I need to do my actual work.

    • Gen x, y, z who cares!!!! A waste of time sorting into buckets! Democrat=liberal, Republican=rich. What a waste of time! We ARE individuals…all with many good point sand concerns…but too busy with our labels and buckets!

    • Bottom line is the “top” of the corporate food chain has to have more meetings to justify their inflated salaries while the others bring in the money that pays for those salaries. My company has a committee that meets regularly to decide how to govern the company… And another to decide how to put up a Christmas display…

  2. I remember having a meeting about meetings. That was actually a useful meeting. It highlighted how meetings SHOULD be. It outlined how much time should be spent on an introduction, discuss what should transpire in the meeting, action items, and due dates. The biggest problem is see is people are too afraid of speaking their minds. Very few people have backbone, balls, whatever you want to call it. It seems that too many office politics play a part in meetings too. All too often people who are quiet actually have alot to say, but no one cares enough to tap into that. The ones who talk alot may have confidence but they also may think too highly of themselves too. I wish more managers would have the guts to go back to anonymous suggestion boxes and have meetings on resolutions to the suggestions. Staff needs to know why a suggestion can’t go forward. And if a suggestion is a winner, let it be known it was good and why. Managers are like babysitters and staff are like babies. We all need reassurance, because we’re all insecure. Mgrs need to know their staff are there for them, and mgrs need to have the back of their staff. They should stand side by side on a level of respect. They are equal as humans.

    • I am a ‘baby boomer’ – yes, there are too many unproductful meetings. Depending of where you work, there is need for documentation (via minutes of mtg.) for compliance with By-Laws, Governing Rules/Regulations in order to stay in business. Committee Charter should dictate what is discussed. Most productive meetings is when everyone comes prepared with their report and it is presented to the group with discussion. Agree to keep the meeting on time; brief discussions and follow up actions. There are people who are egocentric, believe they have the power to monopolize the mtg, making it boring or right down a personal attack – the Lead needs to stop it and keep it on track. Members who don’t agree w/ the meeting contents, demeanor or how it went should let the Lead know. But also know why they are members and why their contribution is sought. Some members just want to be excluded and don’t participate, but complain loudly of the unfairness of the decisions made by ‘few’. They gave up the opportunity to give input. Personally, I like meetings to be ‘standing’, leave their blackberries and other electronic devices at the door. Leave a message in the electronic device who to call to interrupt the meeting in an emergency. Emergencies should also be rated (their wife/husband or kid needing a ride can wait; kid being kidnapped is an emergency; place on fire is an emergency and may need to evacuate)

  3. Younger people are more for stream-lines efficiency, and doing things correct the first time. The older generation will put something in place, test it, then change as needed… therefore requiring more work

    • the younger generation is NOT more efficient…just lazier. the younger generation wants to cut corners and do things not 100%…they only want to do things to be good enough, but not great. and, I am a part of Gen Y, so I’m not some bitter person talking about the younger generation. Fact is, you aren’t more efficient. Look at the numbers. Our generation has a higher turnover, more prone to firings and confrontations in the office, and have a higher debt/income ratio than ever before. I would say there is nothing efficient in that.

      • Gen Boom and older seem to be of the mind if they dis every new generation, their generation’s faults will be obfuscated.

        Gen X got blistering reviews when I was 18, we were slackers. When I got into the workforce, I found out who the real slackers were. Hint: They were all 8-10 years older than me.

        So, Gen Y, ignore the generation blasters. They work to bring us down so they appear elevated. I see grandparents raising their grandchildren in this manner, it is sad.

        • What really is sad is grandparents HAVING to raise their grandchildren……

          Meetings are only important to set goals and benchmarks. If you don’t know where you are or where you are going……how will you get there? How would you know when you arrive? Fact: Goals change or companies fail………the only constant in life….is change!

          You can only have happy productive employees…..if they are happy at home and this situation can change in one day after 25 years. We “manage” people…not things. Fact: 95% of communication is body language…you can’t see it on the phone or an email. Talking is easy….communication is very hard to do.

          Just a word of encouragement here: If you think you can….you are right. If you think you can’t, ….you are right…….IT’S AMERICA FOLKS!!!……..there is no one to blame for your life and the way you feel about it , except for you!

          • You can only have happy productive employees…..if they are happy at home and this situation can change in one day after 25 years. We “manage” people…not things. Fact: 95% of communication is body language…you can’t see it on the phone or an email. Talking is easy….communication is very hard to do.

            Just a word of encouragement here: If you think you can….you are right. If you think you can’t, ….you are right…….IT’S AMERICA FOLKS!!!……..there is no one to blame for your life and the way you feel about it , except for you!

            I agree and disagree. Paragraph one I believe is wrong. I have a terrible home life. BUT, when I walk through the doors of my business I leave my home problems outside and believe all my employees do the same. The drama of home life shouldn’t ever be brought into a work environment, no matter how bad your home life is. Second paragraph, you are exactly right. If you think you can’t your right and the same for can. That is something I instill in my children. I always say “Can’t never could and never will”.

      • As a person of Gen Y not everyone is lazy. I am sure there have been lazy people in ALL generations, it is just that they focus on next gen so as to make them out to be bad.

        As for cutting corners, hmm let me look at BP for example. The last time I checked the people running that company are not Gen Y but previous generations, and they cut corners and looked at what happened.

        Not everyone in Gen Y likes the concept of everyone gets a trophy. I hate that concept and I think it is a terrible thing. I know that for a fact that I will teach my future children that it is a terrible concept. You can blame Gen X for being that way.

        We do care about our professional lives, it is just that we don’t want to be married to our careers, now that we know that family time important.

        I don’t mind meetings, since most of the ones that I have been in were important for making sure my skills were in check.

        Not everyone is in the entitlement mentality. I have to earn the right to get stuff, not just have stuff given to me. That’s why I don’t like it when my parents get me more expensive things, I don’t feel that I have earned the right to have it.

        • Just in case you don’t know. BP is not at fault for that oil rig blowing up! They didn’t even own the rig! They rented it!!! But, THEY payed the price for something that was not they’re fault AND have gone out of their way to make retrobution to the people and the cities affected by the disaster. Do your research before commenting on such things Gen Y.

          • Even if British Petroleum (BP) did not own that oil rig, they still needed to monitor, maintain, and repair any damages that might have, or in this case did, occur. If they run a potentially dangerous work site, then they should have taken the care to maintain the safety of their employees, and the environment that they were working in. And in case you were wondering, we are Gen Y, from 1993. And we take offense and shame when our own generation, and the generation of our parents, refuse to admit faults and mistakes. Just because BP rented that oil rig, does not mean they are not at fault.

          • BP didn’t rent the rig, the managed it. There is a subtle difference. When you manage a rig you are managing the contracted team that owns and operates the rig and they do exactly what you order them as the contracts dictates. So if they cut corners, you would be responsible because either you told them to do it or you didn’t explicitly forbid them to do it. If the orders are unclear that it your fault because you are the manager of the rig.

            Remember that when a business fails people need to blame the upper management for that. That is why they get the big bucks. Otherwise, if the entire blame is shifted to a the worker bees, then what’s the point of having management? If you want to run a company where management does NOT have any responsibility for the company’s actions then get rid of ALL managers and executives and form an independant contractor group instead of a company.

          • Well let’s see… If you are renting an apartment and your roommates trash it, who is responsible?? Furthermore have you ever been out to an oil rig. Have you ever seen how much crap they dump into the water on a regular basis? I don’t mean actual crap either; I mean chemicals and tons of them. Like any big business it is all about making money at any cost. Maybe that’s what sets the generations apart we have seen the damage of profit driven companies and believe there is a better way. You can turn a profit without damaging people and places to get it.

        • Anthony,

          You are right. I’m late genX (I’m 33) and I work with some genY people in the 23-26yr age and they are great employees that really do care about thier job. Unfortunately the general trend for the age group is an entitled attitude and whining.

          I feel I have some right to judge here because being late genX I am prone to the mentality of both generations. Early in my career I took the entitled, whining approach. I got the early promotion, but once I got into the job I got smacked in the face with the reality stick pretty hard. I went back to working up the ranks like the rest of the genXer’s.

          Maybe that is why I find the entitled attitue of genY people so annoying. I know what the outcome will be and, personally, I don’t feel like picking up thier slack when they can’t to the job they begged for.

          Though, I do agree with one point genY defends. I don’t want to be married to my job. The baby boomers were wrong on this point and so were many of the early genXer’s. Finding balance between work and home life is extremely important, and if you can find that balance and still perform up to standard your golden and leaps ahead of the rest of the workaholics.

          So Andrew, keep up the good work and don’t worry, not all genXer’s are haters. If someone is a good worker then that is more important than their age or generation label.

        • You are assuming people from gen y would do it differently; this is reality, no one knows how people in the future will behave, if we did, all lot of us would be billionaires. A whole argument created on psychic powers? C’mon.

      • One glaring ommission I’ve noticed, in speaking about what was/is the better generation…. FYI the “Greatest Generation” was the people like my father, who fought in WWII. That generation sacrificed more than most people realize. They gave up prospects of college to join the war. They put aside goals of sports, and even in corporate business to support our country. The women went to work in factories, doing the jobs that their husband once did before joing the war. When the war ended, the men came home… the women were ‘told’ they needed to give up their good paying jobs, return to the role of ‘housewife’, so the men could return to work. Their efforts greatly impacted the development and FREEDOM that we all enjoy. AND, this was done without complaints. When the men returned home, they did not have the counseling which supports returning service men today. Truly, they were the greatest generation.

        I often reflect on hte number of hours my parents worked, and desires they sacrificed in order for my sisters & I to have a few things. I am one of three children who are boomers. My sister & I now discuss how amazed we are at their tireless efforts in all they did for us; especially so noted at holiday times. Our folks NEVER complained about ANY type of responsibility. That said, raised as a boomer, in was instilled in us the importance of pride in our work/social ethics, responsibility, accountability, truthfulness. We were raised to celebrate each person’s achievements, to note the importance of EACH person’s birthday, etc. I have carried that principle with me through my whole life, and am now 56 yrs. old. Unfortunately, not all of the people raised in my generation carry the same attitudes. Many do, but not all.
        Our parents instilled the same values with all of us. The family unit was integral. My oldest sister had 2 boys born in the Gen X generation. She did not pass on the same values we learned to her children. They were very much catered to as the “ME” generation. Everything centered around them. Suddenly other family members weren’t important. My other sister who is a few years older than me, adopted a child 14 years ago. I have also heard her lament recently that her daughter only seems to think about ‘herself’ as well. Much to my consternatation, my sister doesn’t understand why her daughter doesn’t show much interest in helping her.
        I can only fault both my sisters, as parents, for allowing their kids to develop a self-centered attitude, since that is not how we were raised. I have never felt that any of my nephews or neice have appreciated ANYTHING to this day, that I have ever given them, or done for them. Sure, their parents ‘make’ them say a curt ‘thank you’… but it’s hollow. They have the atitude it is EXPECTED for others to do for them, and give to them. Yes, I do see attitudes of entitlement.

        Society is always evolving. Technology today may be our own undoing. Today’s society sadly is dependent upon instant gratification, instant communication, etc. Many people of the past several generations are saddling unrealistic debts because they wanted to satisfy the “I want it now” mentaltiy. Why?? Because, everytime they asked for something as a kid, they usually got it. The lesson of working towards a goal, saving for a wanted desire, has been lost.
        Meetings may not hold the same importance today, as in the past. However, knowing how to interact socially in the workplace is just as important today, as years past. Communication is the key, period !! I do agree with seveal comments that the ‘powers that be’ often discount suggestions by the younger employees. Many times , as I’ve experienced, they may disregard a junior’s input because they feel threatened by another intelligent person, Unfortunately, ‘power’ can cloud the original ideals and goals that one started out with. We see that all too often today, in every walk of life.

    • My experience is that using computer email programs are important because you always have it in writing!! CYA. As far as younger workers ( 20 something) , especially in a supervisor position, they are in need of lots of experience before their people skills are honed in. Many times they just think they are correct no matter what!! They can be very quick to judge a situation .

      • You know I have found to be a problem, as a twenty-something, is that we are expected to just know all this stuff about what is proper and not proper. These skills we are just supposed to magically know, but no one will teach us these skills. This experience we are just magically supposed to have but no one will give us a chance to get some. We just get lumped into this “lazy” label and then ignored. So even if we had something to contribute, it’s like talking to a wall.

        • You have a point – sort of. There are some things that you just have to learn as you go. That being said, however, there also seems to be a trend over the last few decades of more businesses not wanting to have to invest in their employees (for various reasons)- they seem to want new employees to walk in the door and already know everything, so they don’t have to tell you what to do. This is part of the reason that in recent years, many college classes have been introduced to attempt to teach students in the classroom, things that used to be learned on the job through their employers.

        • As a newly minted forty-year-old (and a child of parents from the “Greatest Generation” and not hippie baby boomers), I’ll take your points as a 20-something individually:

          “…is that we are expected to just know all this stuff about what is proper and not proper. These skills we are just supposed to magically know, but no one will teach us these skills.”

          Imagine that! Expecting someone to understand common courtesy (i.e. what is proper and not proper). For what is interacting with anyone in business AND life is about, fundamentally? If you want to know what is proper and not proper…read an etiquette book! Hell, they even have ones focused around dealing with business people in other countries. Are you complaining because no one force fed you lessons in common courtesy?! To be fair, however, this does not affect just Gen-Y only but it IS more endemic with them, sorry to type.

          “This experience we are just magically supposed to have but no one will give us a chance to get some.”

          If you think this complaint is something new to you current 20-somethings, I can only chuckle. It’s really, in my opinion, “culling the herd” and it’s been going on since the beginning of time. You’ll figure this one out if you’re smart and if not, then…

          “We just get lumped into this “lazy” label and then ignored. So even if we had something to contribute, it’s like talking to a wall.””

          Let me type you al little anecdote. My girlfriend, who is still in college (she is younger than I and not on the 20-year college plan. lol) is an English major. Why is her major important? I hear tales daily about how her classmates can’t even speak correctly and form complete and grammatically correct sentences! They are in college! Did you know there are even remedial classes…IN COLLEGE! Why is this? It’s either stupidity or LAZINESS.

        • Bless you lauren1118. Sometimes you just have to jump in and get information however you can. The fact that a person bears the title ‘manager’ doesn’t mean that they’re proficient at managing. And sometimes you have to manage up which means that you have to teach your manager how to manage you. Let them know what your needs are and give them some indication of what managing style works for you. Caution: be very diplomatic in how you handle this. Also, seek a mentor to help guide your career. Identify several people who are where you want to be, who are on their way to where you want to be (and are doing things right) and a peer mentor who can give you honest feedback when you make a misstep. Good luck!

  4. Managers generate numerous meetings to fill their calendars since they don’t do much useful and have to validate their existence.

    • You are soooo right! Managers which are the baby boomers (getting ready for retirement meeting) and some Gen X are so caught up in meetings that nothing is ever accomplished or resolved, because they have to meet about what the meeting was about. I am training the Gen Y manager on how to not go to so many meetings and learn the job first.

  5. As a 20-something worker, I can honestly say I hate using social media…or even email at work. From my perspective it seems like my older coworkers communicate via email, message, etc… when it’s just plain unnecessary to do so. It’s almost like they’re just trying to find an excuse to use these electronic forms of communication. Rather than sending me an outlook request to meet at 3:00, why not just ask me one of the 10 times you have to walk by my desk each day?

  6. Meetings in general tend to be held simply to get – or force – a collective agreement on a course of action. In other words shared accountability. This leaves no particular person to blame for ineffective management. Both X and Y quietly sign off on this kind of mismanagement that has no time line or fixed process of evaluation. Meetings need to have a fixed agenda, stay focused, and then track the results of whatever actions are implemented. Credit for results – the specifics – should go to individuals and not the group. This gives credit where credit is due, stimulates those that are quiet to speak up, and tosses the chaff to the wind.

    • Well said……
      With the exception of common goal meetings and assigning responsibilities. Managers, of what ever level, should be “accomplishing” the goals and giving credit to individuals.

      By the way….people are different…….some like public approval or recognition and others like it in private. We manage people.

      • Actually, the best way to look at it is from the point of view from a mentor of mine, you should lead people and manage the job. Managment is task oriented, leadership is people oriented. This approach makes a big difference in the work place. It creates a relationship where the manager is taken care of by the people, and manager takes care of the people, regardless of the generation.

  7. I am 55+ and to be honest, I’m on the same page as the young GEN-X). I agree w/them in most part. Not ALL 55+ think the way you have wriitten us up or surveyed..

  8. tax breaks…
    get a meeting in hong kong,
    slide in a golf club game,
    charge it to your business taxes.
    then get a meeting in hawaii,
    charge that to your business taxes.

  9. I thought that I was gen-x (late 20′s/early 30′s)????
    or was that just misconstrued from a Pepsi commercial years ago?
    Generation neXt?!?!?

    whatever… SUMMARY!!!

    Meeting are useful if you are not retarded.
    Electronic communication is efficient if you know how to use it and it applies to your business.
    generalizing senior citizens of any country as people who use “Meeting loving, internet using” business habits is poor at best.
    Someone should have proof read your article because it has horrible type-o’s.
    Other than that it’s interesting that the survey had such a large response.

  10. Men know that real meetings are near the coffee pot where two or three folks feel safer to speak their minds than later at the conference table. The already decided agenda is in the conference room.Women are catching on, but still too many women wait until the conference room meeting to bring up thier ideas. This used to hold women under the proverbial glass celling. Email has filled in for some of the coffee pot meetings. So, if your company relies more on the email and coffee pot meetings than conference room meetings, that may have an affect on how important official meetings are.

  11. Business Meetings= Alot of busy work gathering figures.
    Which equals job Security. Have some new info pass it along in an e-mail. Works just fine and is faster than waiting till you can arrange a meeting.

    Micro Managing too….Means I am insecure and have nothing to do. So I will drive you nuts keeping tabs on your progress of every project you have large or small.

    • The problem with emails is that there are too many of them being sent. In my position, I hardly ever have meeting. Most of my communication, which is compliance and regulation oriented, is via email, and most of my emails always get deleted before they are ever read. So, this proves to be just as inefficient as meetings.

  12. Meetings. I agree with Ron that ‘decision’ meetings often encourage a lack of personal responsibility. Then there are ‘informational’ meetings, which are basically required because managers don’t really believe you read all their emails and/or memos. And we don’t. Another purpose of the face-to-face is to put some things in context. Sometimes emails and memos can come off snarky, which leads to ridiculous speculations around the coffee pot. But I think Ron hit on a major point, which is personal responsibility and accountability. Remember in college when you had one easy professor who barely made you show up for class? Then there was the hard professor who expected you to do your own reading outside of class, and that was only mentioned as a footnote on the syllabus because he actually expected you to read and follow the syllabus. Managers who are tough and set the bar high end up with better employees. Those are the ones who can get away with fewer meetings. I guess what I am saying is that we have meetings because 1) some things have to be said face to face and 2) people want to avoid being labeled the ‘decision-maker’ and 3)the bar is set too low and we’ve become slackers.

  13. In what universe is Gen X over the age of 55? Even generous estimates of where the babyboomers end and Gen X begins puts the oldest of Gen X at 50 (1960). Like them, or not, meetings are a necessary evil and I’m sure when they do this again with Gen Y and their followers they will find the same results.

  14. There’s a point missing.

    US has more meetings. US works more hours. US execs make more money than counterparts elsewhere.

    US execs have more meetings in order to ‘prove’ that they’re indispensible; all the meetings are a sorry attempt to justify the high salaries. Same for the Blackberry: I HAVE to stay in touch because I’m so IMPORTANT!

    About 60% of all meeting time is spent with high-ranking members reciting stuff everyone already knows, because the exec is showing that he’s on top of things.

  15. any meeting should have a clear cut objective and run time. no meeting should exceed one hour, if necessary reschedule another one rather than continuing beyond an hour. meetings should not be used for socializing, that’s what lunch or after work get togethers are all about. efficiency is key and if a manager cannot manage efficiently, makiing optimum use of everyone’s time then that manager needs to be demoted or dismissed. time is money.

  16. Meetings can be frustrating when you have much work to do and want to get it done but oops another meeting! I have been able to accomplish many things via a short phone call, e-mail, etc. We have so many useful tools to communicate with.
    Meetings seem to give the people who hold them a purpose and a reason to have a job. Especially if the people they are holding them for are responsible and capable of doing the job without them:).

  17. This is the most interesting article and commentary I have read on meetings in a long time. I am a boomer aged manager in a not for profit. I generally hold meetings once a week; sometimes less often. I read the article because we have a large age spread and a large number of staff. Many staff are my age and older, and many are young 20′s to 30′s. Most people find meetings tedious, often boring, but also sometimes energizing, depending on topics and what has transpired in the week. I use the meetings as a summarizing mechanism to report what has been happening and to generate minutes from the meeting which I expect all to read. But I also use it as a forum to generate new ideas and encourage individuals to then try out their ideas. The meetings create both less work for me (through the paper trail of minutes) and more work in overseeing staff trying out something new. One of my goals is to keep the program evolving in a manageable way and another is to encourage safety in staff of all ages communicating with me.

    • I agree both the article and the commentary are interesting! I’m an end-of-the-boomer-years at 54, and I find that the generalizations don’t apply all that much in any of the groups being compared. The group I work with is heavily Gen Y, heavily Gen X, and moderately Boomer, for a massive financial giant.

      The meetings have changed over the years, from times where information was exchanged freely and ideas were encouraged, and talking among ourselves sparked creativity as one person’s idea generated another. That’s when there were really teams who worked together.

      The meetings of today are mandatory torture devices used to deliver carefully-worded information from the top, where individual participation is frowned upon and interaction with each other is highly discouraged and punished during one-on-ones with management afterward. Management response to any comment is “let’s take that off-line.” Adding insult to injury, attendance at mandatory meetings is not included in productivity metrics, since you are “non-productive” during the time your manager is directing the meeting. All generations of us hate them! If I had a dollar for every threat of job loss thrown at us over the past three years in these meetings, I could finance a vacation…

      I also agree that emails are over-used. When you have to read hundreds of them every day in order to make sure you incorporate the constant changes into your work, it’s not effective. Plus, I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received which are so poorly worded, misspelled and punctuated that I don’t even know what the person is saying!

      Every generation has its hard workers, its movers and shakers and rainmakers, and its lazy whiners. It’s unfair to any generation to lump them all together, especially to make business decisions! If there is a problem brought to light from all of this, it’s that people are ceasing to matter more and more, and things are being valued over people more and more. People are not machines, and that’s a good thing!

  18. Pingback: Too Many Meetings? Well, DUH! | The Breeze In My Head

  19. Meetings? Committees? Talk, talk, talk – more talk, talk, talk.

    Hate meetings – refuse to be on committees – too many chiefs and not enough Indians – talk a subject to death –

    They say women talk too much, but men seem to run most meetings and committees (except for party plans) and they will circle the subject at hand instead of tackling it head-on.

  20. Excuse me ! Most sources cite the date range of Generation X as 1961 – 1981 so persons of 55 and older are in no way part of that group. Please check your facts before you release your “well researched” surveys to the unsuspecting public.
    Citrix take note.

      • Last time I was in a classroom (early 90′s), The “post-boomer” group was called the “baby-busters”, and their kids were referred to as “generation x”. Now apparently somebody “held a meeting” and the labels and dates have all changed again. Somehow, I’m not surprised.

  21. Meetings are awful. Having been hurt by relationships in the past, I avoid them at every turn. Sure, my career stalled some 20 years ago as a result but I keep my sanity, I do not have to worry about what I say and I do not have to follow the herd. I may feel forgotten at times but all I have to do is recall dealing with narcissists, megalomanics, and sociopaths to feel better. I oft have said, let me win the lottery, I will start a company, and purposely make life hell for types like I just mentioned.

  22. Meetings are only as good as the organizer. If you have attended a lot of badly run meetings, your expectations are like those of a PTA meeting. A rambling agenda, with poor speakers new to the authority game.

    If you go to a meeting and there is no agenda, passed out, before or at the beginning you have just entered the twilight zone. Nothing will get done and most of the comments will be ad hoc, ill prepared, and more opinion than factually based. Such a meeting could be held to evaluate your employees ability to think on their feet and contribute, genuine, non self seeking, input. More than likely it will lead to bickering.

    Webinars are for people that are intimate with all of the information and are ready to absorb information to proceed with a known agenda.

    Communications has many tools but using them correctly and at the appropriate time is the work of the organizer. In the end analysis it gets your employees off the internet and personal pursuits long enough to remind them why they are at work.

  23. Every meeting I’ve held is targeted, lasts no more than an hour, has an agenda that is published before hand and has an expected outcome. Most meetings I’ve attended in my career are an ego trip for the boss yielding little, if anything other than an opportunity to talk with my colleagues before and after…to catch up. This aspect of meetings is important as this is where the action is…through relationship and trust building with your colleagues with whom you must work.

  24. Times have changed. I am not surprised at the resistance to be active and productive in meetings. I am 54. Place whatever label you like X, Y or Boomer.

    When i first started moving up the ladder the big buzz was all about team work. Japan was the country to emulate and people collaborated. We all basked in the glory of team successes.

    Younger people appear to me to want to work alone. The majority prefer to be acknowledged as individuals rather than contributions to a team effort. People from my era learned to collaborate and rely on a peer group for reinforcement and signals of right action.

  25. I can attest to the multiple and pointless meetings where I work. They accomplish little except to show who has the most ideas for improving the company. These ‘ideas’ are not judged on quality, but on quantity (we actually base reviews on how many ideas a person has submitted, regardless of merit).
    It goes beyond the meetings. Management doesn’t think things through before implementing them, so we end up slowing a process down or create new problems to fix one. Management also doesn’t care to have ideas critically looked at before implementing them. I stopped bringing up problems, because I was being told that I wasn’t a team player. So… I disagree, point out a problems and get “NO” pay raise for the year OR I keep my mouth shut while the company loses money and get a small increase in pay. Keep in mind that I used to save this company quite a bit, but got tired of the poor pay (I’m not flirting with the boss like my co-worker did either). I find it odd that management thinks it’s a good thing that we only lost $400k for the month because it’s not as bad as the previous (“we’re trending positive”… no, you’re just not bleeding money as much).
    People are selected for upcoming jobs before the job bids are in and the bosses go through the motions of intervieing (most of the time) so they can give the impression of fairness. What really counts, around here, is being introduced to colleagues outside of our facility that affect our work. I’ve been passed over during introductions in our office to people that I need to know (happens with some other people also). Meetings of real substance are usually among the “friends and family” group (we have close to a thousand people, so it shouldn’t be as blatant as is is).
    Myself and others have to compete with the wife, the brother-in-law, the nephew and his wife (all hired in for more money than what everyone else has to start at). Add some buddies of the manager into the mix and suddenly, you’re in a dead-end job and employment is now held over your head because the market is so bad. Being from gen-x, I’ve come to agree with the gen-y crowd. Why bother putting effort into a job when you’re going to be treated like garbage either way. I shouldn’t have to back-stab to advance.

    • Perhaps you are having problems because you are seen as negative and a trouble maker. The fact that you are not introduced to people whom you think you should be is a cause for loud alarms.

      One of my best friends is like you…she thinks she is the voice of all the poor, oppressed workers at her job. Imagine her surprise when I pointed out that she seemed like a trouble maker to me and I didn’t even work with her.

      • I agree that I’m a problem now, but maybe they should have been fair to begin with. I’ve survived four lay-offs and if I’m fired, I’ll just draw unemployment. Funny thing is… if I were the only one, then this would be on my, but I’m not. There are a lot of us here that are in the same boat; we aren’t included in e-mails, conference calls, meetings or introduced to colleauges from other facilities; we are given information after the fact or at the last minute; and we’ve seen friends and family members hired and promoted when they were not the best person for the job. The people I work with go to the doctor for every percieved injury to get out of work or restrict their work. I had started getting headaches like some of the people I work with, so I just stopped caring so I wouldn’t stress out and keep getting them. We have quite the rotation of temps, because even they walk out during shifts because of how they’re treated. They know that they’ll just be moved to another site making the same money with less hassle.

        • E-Wishes, I agree with Demar in that you do sound like a trouble maker. And not necessarily because you speak your mind or make suggestions. But rather because of HOW you speak your mind and make suggestions. Here’s advice that I gave employees who talked to me about similar concerns. If you’re looking to advance your career, understand that the interview process starts the moment you leave your home – not when you arrive at the meeting. Those that you want to impress have already observed your daily behavior. And if you’re viewed as a sour puss, they will not waste time dealing with you. NO ONE is going to hire a person, regardless of talent, that they are going to have personality conflicts with. They’ll take two moderately performing employees over one ‘brilliant’ one if it saves them from having to deal with someone who’s viewed as negative and argumentative. You may not like it but it’s the truth.

          You mentioned that there are others in the same boat. My recommendation for you is to get out of the boat. Rather than chime in with the nay-sayers, be an advocate for changing and building the morale. Be tactful and savvy and get close to those who can truly help your career. And be willing to receive criticism ant act on it. Consider it a blessing if someone takes the time to pull your coat tail -v- letting you fall. The decision makers will eventually take notice of the good in you and not sigh when they hear your name. Good luck!

  26. Middle management has always used meetings to convince senior management that they are doing something about whatever problem the business is having – BUT NOW no one knows how to solve business problems created by the massive amount of jobs and goods produced in China and not here.
    The problems of American business can only be solved by making trade with China “fair”. Who would play a game of Monopoly with someone who counts the money only “their” way.The previous administrations (i.e. Paulson) encouraged global companies based in America to sell and give away our technology by the boatload to China at the nation’s expense.
    No amount of “meetings” can solve that.

  27. As a business consultant, speaker, coach, facilitator or whatever other titles I been given over the last 35 years, I see two major problems in business. First, managers need to stop managing and start leading. We desperately need leaders. Second, organizations need to stop focusing on problems, issues and “things” and start focusing on results. This helps prevent ineffective and inefficient meetings, processes, procedures, paperwork, etc. Each generation has something special to offer and this should be our focus. Stop focusing on differences. Let’s just get the job done!

  28. The rate of “meetings” is simply a conduit for some workers to maintain their work empires. Once in while, they are necessary, but in general, the meeting format is so overused and abused. The progress that comes out of so many meetings rarely justifies to minimal progress made. They are a waste of vauable time, and usually the same things are discussed over and over again. Look at congress, the meet, and meet, and meet…and we’re not better off now than we were 10 years ago. The idea of the constant meetings is something that is engrained in the business and/or professional culture and it won’t change. Once in a while they are necessary and things can be accomplished, but it is s severly overused process.

  29. it is not lony gen x,y,z that doesn’t like meetings i am 60+ and i REALLY hate them. they are worthless things that could be done away with to increase productivity 100%
    down all all meetings just use email


  31. It doesn’t matter what your age is. Large companies need to have a Team Concept, where everyone is in the same page. I own a smaller company 100 people, where we meet weekly to discuss things. Everyone in the company puts their 2 cents worth in and as a group we decide which direction we shall go.

  32. Well, let’s think about this survey for a minute. It was done by Citrix Online. You know them… These are the “Go To Meeting Online” software providers. It would be in their best interest to make the “face-to-face” meeting look as useless and nonproductive as possible. After all, their software is made specifically to eliminate the traditional meeting. As you know, a survey can be designed to give almost any desired result.Citrix received their desired result…

      • My company does on-line meetings so people can listen to the meeting on their head-sets, (or pretend to listen) while they do their work on their computers. You are expected to know what is going on in the meeting while doing the work on your computer without errors, and this is called “multi-tasking.”

  33. *grumble*grumble* “Kids these days…” *grumble*

    Yep, just like your parents used to say about you, and like your kids will say about their kids and so on…

    Slow news day, TWB?

    p.s. – Fix your tab order. Hitting -tab- after typing my name shouldn’t send me to the job search box.

  34. I am older than those surveyed but it has always been my opinion that meetings are a complete waste of time. They either devolve into “bitch” sessions, were called to bawl out the workforce (often for the sins of ONE worker) or to notify the workers of cut-backs, layoffs, down-grading, etc. In all my years in the workforce I have only attended one meeting that I thought had any real value – and what was accomplished at that meeting was done by the small committees we divided into. For some reason the healthcare industry seems to be required to have semi-regular meetings. I have seen several people sleep through them because they were so boring (almost guilty of that one myself) and the meetings never accomplish anything. In work situations where there are shifts to cover 24 hour periods and “mandatory” meetings are called, there is always at least one shift that either misses the meeting, goes without sleep to attend the meeting, or abandons the work place for the length of the meeting. Why the administrative staff fails to realize this and find a way to adequately address this problem is beyond me. Guess since they work their 8 hour day and go home they don’t care how everybody else manages.

  35. Where I work only about 20% of generation X supports meetings and they are the people in control of the meetings. When meetings were “TEAM” meetings they were extremely productive and informative and involved all members of a team. Now we have COI (Continuous Operational Improvement) meetings in which the 20% (who most have never produced anything but some form of degree) tells the 80% how to do their jobs.

    Bottom line… Meetings are good if they have a purpose other than to occupy someones time so they had a reason to get out of bed. Generation X and Y will support meetings that have purpose and involve the people affected by the outcome of the meeting. Also, people (20% pro-meeting) need to be held acountable for their decisions and not blame other (80%) for their failures. This needs to happen from the top management in an organization all the way down.

  36. wow this article really makes a story out of nothing…heres a news flash my generation doesnt work or communicate the same or have exactly the same value system as the generation before it. and that generation didnt agree with the one before it. Its called human nature people, as we age we tend to value and try and hold on to the things that are a struggle or that we have to work towards. when the next generation isnt fighting the same battle we feel like they have it easier….even though they are dealing with their own problems. call it what you want….just how it always has been and always will be. Older and Younger Americans must embrace CHANGE. the american workplace always was and always will be a fluid, dynamic place. you want to make better meetings, stop trying to survey us all into ONE BIG GENERIC GROUP, we cant draw lines between old vs. young we need to find out what older workers are doing well and what younger workers are doing well and find the truth is…as usual…happily in the middle

    • I support change. If we didn’t change we’d still be rubbing sticks together to start a fire. However, change just for the sake of changing something to take up time is usually a bad thing. Change to make a productive improvement is worth every effort.

      I feel most of Generation X embraces useful and productive change. They don’t always embrace change as they have already tried the change and it failed. Call it knowledge and experience.

  37. I’m a boomer and absolutely hate meetings. They cut my day into pieces and I get little done. Fortunately, I run my own projects and just report project status to my boss in our “one on one” Monday meetings then I generally have the rest of the week to get things done.

    However, sometimes meetings are necessary to get everyone working a project on the same page. These meetings are productive and actually end up saving time in the end.

    So I guess meetings are a necessary evil and as long as the number of meetings during a normal work week are kept to a bare minimum and are productive that works for me.

  38. I’m barely over 50 and always refered to as Gen Boomer, but always felt a shirttail Boomer, being too young for the Woodstock era although I was really into it as a “tweener”.

    I did my best as a role model to my kids & coaching others to work hard for their goals but to make sure they all understood that they were important. None of that mamby pamby coddling, letting kids wander aimlessly on the field as free spirits, although some tolerance had to be taken with some & their parents.

    But back to meetings, they are mostly totally worthless.

    Most of those small meetings people schedule with me is to solicate my doing their work, even after I’ve tried to provide some direction, basically they want to set me up as the fall guy when their poorly executed task that was their responsibility fails.

    I hate those group meetings or should I say “group hug” meetings, especially round tables where everyone gets to bore everyone else with their own lack of self esteem agenda.

    Outside consultants like to use meetings as a CYA, always infering an internal employee is holding them back while they get their agenda escalated and internal employees have no priority in similar tasks of importance.

    My concerns & recommendations have been acknowledged but later ignored, then used later by the person blowing off my comments to get credit for resolving their own mistakes.

    Does any of this sound familiar?

    We have meeting guidelines posted in each conference room that everyone praises but forgets when scheduling ans conducting a meeting.

    Where do we go from here? I hope to use this so called social networking b.s., but restructure the user presentation & function towards what real meetings should accomplish, otherwise it will become just another form of time-sucking meeting.

    • In my interpersonal relationships class,
      I beleive we call this “loafing”. Where everyone agrees and no new ideas are produced or someone taking credit and still no new ideas are produced.

  39. Albeit, I am not a “GenXer”, I agree! Too many meetings is a drag. How can anyone accomplish assigned tasks when they are in a meeting. On top of that, I’m a “meeting planner”. Reduce the number of meetings and our workplaces will become more effective and successful.

  40. The awesome thing is that this collection of comments actually remind me of being in meetings. I can’t really speak to the age-gap difference and how that affects one’s personal view on meeting worth or effectiveness, but I can say that most businesses should probably cut the number of meetings in half. If a company mandates daily meetings, then the meeting should last no longer than 15 minutes. Weekly meetings should last no longer than an hour, and any meeting over 2 hours is just plain ridiculous. I do personally feel that probably every generation handles the management of meetings equally poorly, and thank goodness for those out there who know how to do it well.

  41. Meetings at Hospitals

    True it’s good to have it writing but at the same time in a hospital I can’t be checking emails every 3 seconds or to find the answer to a patients problem. Further more some media devices actually interfere with people’s metal inside them such as pacemakers.Technology is now advanced enough to even “plug in” people with pacemakers much like you do a cellphone to recharge a pacers battery. Now I don’t know about you but I don’t want to be a terminator! By the way staring at computer screens or tvs will make you go blind (I’ve already lost a bit of my vision).

    As for the meetings themselves, it’s sad to think that even after taking a college level interpersonal relationship class- no one can communicate with eachother still. Judging people, whipping out the phones, even cheating on tests using media,
    and what REALLY BAKES MY NOODLE IS WHEN PEOPLE CAN’T SPELL! Grammar is one thing, but spelling like” th1$ “, reuly? You can’t spell reuly as really because you’re so caught up in hollywood? Or in some people when they speak, people are so rude now a days to customers(vice versa sometimes). Whatever happened to the good old days when my mom was growing up where babies would be left in carriages all lined up while all the women are in the store and no one had to worry about a thing? Honestly, whatever happened to hard work and perseverance, no wonder china out does us because we don’t have any back bone. I’ve always said this to myself, I don’t want no white collared job because of sitting behind some desk doing nothing but paperwork. I mean really, how is that really accomplishing anything? I’d rather be the one to find a cure to HIV, rather than just talking to a bunch of uptight procrastinators or “number” men as they used to say back in the day.

    Now I am only 22 studying to be a CNA in a classroom full of RNS and LPNS, I find that having meetings aka classes is just hopeless. Instead of talking about medical terminology, how about we find solutions instead of just another term and a statistic?

    • Let me rephrase that last sentence,

      “Instead of talking about it endlessly,
      why don’t we figure out a solution
      rather than just another statistic
      of teenagers/young persons in car
      wrecks trying to get to meetings
      then end up hitting older persons
      who were also trying to get to meetings
      because the young person was on the cellphone
      trying to see how much time they had
      before it began.”

  42. Most importantly, it is vital that people send out the meeting materials or subject prior to the meeting, and that the attendees read this material and prepare their input or questions. Otherwise, meetings are like a study period where nothing gets done and you waste a large amount of time on background info that people need to get up to date with themselves. Lateness and expect to be brought up to speed is also a no-no. I’ve run several meetings where I’ve locked the door at the start of the meeting and no one is allowed to enter or leave unless it’s a necessary, as well as turning off all cell phones and no rehashing old comments/points/blame. The meetings suddenly become much more productive.

  43. Has anyoned considered that in these times, with so many unemployed, it might be a valued privilege to have a workplace and a meeting to attend, no matter the efficiency or the generation?

  44. I thought the article was more about the effectiveness of having meetings and how that was viewed by different generations. To me it seems that all the comments (debate) is about defending or blaming the different generations on their personal and profession effectiveness or ineffectiveness.

    So, back to the article, “No one likes meetings, but we can’t stop having them”
    If meetings work well in your organization, wonderful. If meetings do not work well in your organization, find a different strategy.

  45. If you want long pointless meetings then be a member of the Board of Directors for a retirement community. All of our members are RETIRED and have time on their hands.

    Some like to talk, talk and talk about an issue. Then when it comes to decision point they attempt to delay any action waiting for more information. I have never seen such a poorly organized group.

    The sad part is these are the leaders of the community that held very responsible jobs in major companies.

    I think that a meeting with no CHAIRS is the only solution. When people have to stand they make decisions rapidly.

    • A meeting with no chairs? Now there’s a brilliant idea. Thanks for that, Wayne. If ever I find myself in a corporate job again — God, I hope not, but if I do — I’ll make that proposal for every meeting.

  46. I am no boom generation or X or Y… All I know is we have created an immense problem that all generations still alive must fix. If not we then whom.. It must begin by electing sensible people to the congress that understand that we can not borrow our way out of debt.

    The size of govt needs to be reduced. Pay needs to be more merit oriented. We all need to be more of a community. Taking care of each other as best we can. That does not mean doling out tons of money but being more concerned about each others welfare. Not being nosy so we have something to gossip about.

    There was a thread running thru this country before the 70′s that was a very strong glue that held the society together. We need to find that common bond again and become the great nation that we are. There is no reason, save personal greed, that we can not become the shining light and example to the world which we once were.

    No gov’t is perfect but the ones of late have not even come close to being good let alone attempting perfection. Although they, the politicians, are so full of themselves they have no clue they are unable to walk on water… Give me a break.. Give this Country a break… Congress needs to get a backbone.

    The Supreme court needs to go back to interpreting the Constitution and leave law making to the congress. The president needs to be farsighted and understand the needs of the country and that is what should be foremost on his mind. It is not our lot to take care of the rest of the world if we are not able to take care of ourselves…

    Do we need another gentle revolution. Which I think we are permitted to have because of the constitution. Perhaps it is time to rethink how long elected officials can stay in office. The public should have more input on how much they make and how large their expense accts are… After all, It is “We The Peopel” that Pay the bills…..

    So it is not a matter of which generation is what.. cursing each other just gives the gov’t what they want.. A smoke screen to continue to screw us to death.

    Tis done

    • What?

      This article isn’t about the Supreme Court our our elected officials.

      Why don’t you go post your opinion on an article that is relevant to your political agenda.


  47. From years of experience, here’s the conclusion I’ve reached about meetings: “The only thing that comes out of meetings is the people that go into them.”

    Meetings at my place of employment were held daily, whether or not there was a realistic need. The bottom line is that we were having meetings for the sake of having meetings rather than for some stated practical purpose. As a result, a lot of meeting attendees started grandstanding, getting face time before the boss, and discussing inconsequential events and contrived problems. In that sense, meetings became a colossal waste of time. However, meetings made the bosses “look good” because the bosses were perceived (by their bosses) as being in touch with the workforce.

    Meetings should only be held when there is a real need and the attendees have something relevant to contribute. Also, no meetings should last more than an hour; if you can’t get to the point, don’t monopolize everyone’s time with worthless drivel and hidden agendas.

  48. Reading several of these posts shows pretty clearly, to me at least, what’s wrong today, whether there’s a meeting or not. Everyone is blaming everyone else! Stop blaming, focus on solutions instead of pointing fingers, and LEARN TO SPELL! No one has credibility in my book, I don’t care how old they are or what generation they’re from, if they can’t spell or write a grammatically correct sentence.

  49. I am 51 and work with generation y adn x mixed. I am the lone ranger here. I am a contract employee contracted through another contract firm to help gen y who contacted the other contract firm. Now politics in this is very frustrating. All my ideas and experience go through the contract firm and they get the credit from generation y. The end users is from France and in the meetings I now sit quiet when I am invited. I find that generation y does not know how to take advantage of the experience we have to offer and think they know it all. However when it comes to back bone, they have none. Generation x,y,z, etc. now days are so afraid of loosing their jobs that all would rather let thigs go wrong and extend schedules, waiste money and even risk safety for their own self since of security. I am being pushed out slowley here, because I do not play the game. I am concerned about the safety of the people and now day who cares, just take a look at BP. They knew that this could happen, but because of fear of loosing job the CEO said do and no one stood up and said no we will not kill 11 people. SO as for meetings, generation Y watch your back, learn from the ones who care and did raise their childern with values. I do not see generation Y as lazy just fear of the unknown, yes the country is screwed up, but not because of just generation x but all generation throughout history, just pick up a BIBLE and read about all nations and you will see the future of this nation!!!

  50. Boomers, stop bashing the younger generation. Young people, stop bashing boomers. Every generation has its good and bad points.
    I am a boomer and recently retired. When I was working, meetings were the bane of my existence.
    Some were necessary and some were short and sweet but the majority were worthless.

  51. Actually, I can tell you exactly why we have meetings. Because VERY few people (regardless of their generation) will volunteer via email or other social media to do anything. Unfortunately, you need them in a meeting to put them on the hook. It’s just like the psychology experiment where a person was being attacked on the street, but no one in the surrounding buidings called the police because they thought someone else was doing it.

  52. all this x,y stuff is crap…i am 56..a Korean war baby…what do i think ?? all of you are frigging lazy..and do not know the meaning of HARD work..and most of the “boomers” my age are screwed in the head…

  53. Are conference calls considered meetings? What about webinars? We spend the majority of time ironing out technical glitches and hearing “Hello?” , ambient noise, and coughing.

  54. I am a boomer, and I hate ties, but believe that some meetings are a necessary evil or else coordination and role assignment with attached responsiblity goes out the window. It is much easier to blend into the woodwork or duck and cover when it is time to hand out the assignments if your face is not seen and you don’t have to speak up.

  55. First off, Gen X isn’t people 55 and older. That’s the baby boomers. Gen X is typically the first children of older baby boomers and those currently in their 30s or perhaps early 40s. Gen Y is typically those born 1980 or later and came of age in the early 2000s…

    • This point has been made at least a dozen times in these comments. Obviously, you read the article and give your opinion without at least checking to see what people before you have said.

  56. Of course most people don’t like meetings. Most people aren’t going to be the ones presenting useful ideas in the meetings. For most people a meeting is a depressing reminder of why they are not getting a raise – because they aren’t the one with useful ideas or feedback in the meeting. They would rather performance evaluation be based solely on the daily grind which they perceive themselves to be better at than the hotshot genius whose “work smarter not harder” mentality they perceive as laziness.

    They say it’s important to pay attention though just in case they do have something valuable to say or can think of a way to discredit their peer with good feedback or ideas.

    Of course those ideas from hotshot geniuses are probably what make all the difference.

  57. It’s because it is not about having the meetings but the quality of the presentation. The presenter has to keep the audience engaged with well thought out objectives and goals, otherwise he looses the audience … forever. Not everyone has the talent.

  58. The next generation has been going to hell in a handbasket for thousands of years. Who is to say that the next generation is going to get us there. Maybe it is change that makes us all a little nervous.
    Meetings of some sort are needed. Do we need martini meetings? How about the meetings about how to meet. Meetings are an art form. All generations will need to meet but maybe not the same way our parents did. Or shall we sit around the peace pipe as was done 300 years ago. Ebe and flow. Take it in stride, mention the obvious and make changes till it works. Quit bitching and evolve. Change can be good if… well what ever.

  59. I am a Gen X’er and I am 43. I would say that I feel the same way about many meetings as Gen Y folks but not for the reason the article points out, but because often meetings do not drive specific results. The idea of “meetings are a way to network” is why many find them ineffective. As a Leader, I do a few simple things to ensure meetings have purpose:

    1. An agenda. Each meeting should have specific topics of discussion, and a target to hit at the end of each discussion.
    2. The right audience. If you do not have the right people there to discuss the details of a topic, as well as the “decision-makers” to drive the discussion to an aligned closure, then you will not be effective.
    3. Set time, but a realistic amount of time for each topic. The Facilitator and Timekeeper need to focus on making sure this is adhered to, or you will end up on endless tangents that take the meeting, and it’s effectiveness, off course. If something tangential, but important comes up, then have a parking lot for it to be discussed at another time, and outside of your meeting.
    4. Action items. Any topic does not have “closure”, should have some action to be taken to get it to closure. Even some “closed” topics require further action. Action items should be assigned to a specific person, when they are expected to get their action item done, and who they need to report that back to when they are finished. This type of follow-up and assigned ownership is what drives results.

    I think many meetings lack these characteristics and when they do, everyone spins their wheels. It then makes future meetings less effective because people will multi-task during the meeting and the purpose as well as participation are lost. I know I cancel or decline any meeting where I see these types of gaps. I do not have time to waste and “social networking” is something you can do at lunch, or at larger gathering specified for that purpose. Business meetings should be specific in topic, in attendance, and in expected outcome, or everyone walks away frustrated.

  60. An occasional meeting is a good idea but 1 or more everyday is a huge waste of time. I’ve lost so much valuble work time and experienced serious setbacks due to ceaseless meetings. I mean really how much could have changed between the morning meeting and the afternoon meeting? We just discussed all that stuff an hour ago!

  61. In my experience (as well as hearing “stories” from others that I know), one of the major “issues” about meetings seems to be their lack of effectiveness. It seems that every week a meeting is held to discuss the same things as last week, while little, if anything has changed, and in the back of our heads there’s this little voice saying, “and next week will be the same thing again.” – almost as if (in many cases at least) the meeting is held so that even though very little real progress is made, by attending the meeting we have the illusion that we’re actually doing something, or simply to justify somebody’s job.
    Case in point: attending weekly safety meetings where the same issues are brought up every week, and people are told specifically not to do certain things or told things that they should be doing, and as soon as the meeting breaks up all that talk goes right out the window and things continue “as usual”. The next week the same issues get brought up again and are ignored, and the management doesn’t seem to mind. They just hold another meeting.
    The same process happens in regards to projects as well – a meeting is held, new techniques, processes, rules, etc. are put out, the meeting breaks up and people go back to doing things “the way they’re used to doing them”, and the next week another meeting is held to discuss the same things again.
    I once ordered a part from a supplier and after a few months of hearing the shipping guys, “It’ll get sent out in a couple of days.” every week. I finally called to talk to the supervisor and when I asked, “Yes or no – Do you have the part in stock?”, I got told, “we’re having a team meeting about that this morning and I’ll call you as soon as we’re done.” I asked, “why in the world does it require holding a meeting, when all someone needs to do is get on the computer or go out to the racks and check the inventory and say ‘Yes, we have it or no we do not have it in stock’?” Apparently for months their answer to the apparent problem was to “hold another meeting”.
    While they are important and do have their place, meetings can be, and often are an excuse for not getting any real work done.

  62. I worked for a company in route sales and we had a meeting almost every week,that began with reveiwing our sales figures the previous week. One time we asked our manager why the review of our sales,after all we were there doing the selling and knew what we done. He said the company required it’s managers to have so many meetings with us a year,I guess needed or not. As a sales rep I and others found most meeting boring and redundit and just a thing for the managers to keep themselves busy. And another thing,of course having these meeting during our normal working hours only kept us behind on our routes and of course we had to make the sales stops up,something which seem to bother the Company or our Managers.

  63. We got the label “Generation X” because we were hard to define and easily missed in the shuffle between the Boomers and “Generation WHY”. Generally speaking, we quietly put our noses to the grindstone and work without a lot of complaining or trumpet blowing. Our generation made the Nike slogan”JUST DO IT”

    • Agreed. I was once asked how I was able to turn companies around that were notoriously unproductive and inefficient and I simply said, “I don’t sit around talking about what needs to be done, I make sure it gets done.” I’ve always viewed meetings as a monumental waste of time. I’m an x’er and I believe there’s no such thing as one generation being better or worse than another. I think it all depends on how you manage people. That said, you can’t manage Boomers the same as you manage Gen X and Gen Y people. Know your audience and adapt…simple, really. :)

  64. I get so sick of every generation blaming the others. Each generation has had its lazy people, as well as its movers and shakers. I was born in 1985, so I’m a gen y’er. I had good parents and grandparents who instilled wonderful values, morals, and a great work ethic. I graduated from college a while ago, I own a home (On which I do my own repairs and upgrades – my own work), and I have a steady job. I was never given any handouts, as my parents believed that if I wanted something, I had to work to receive it. I plan on teaching my children the same principles. There is no better feeling of accomplishment than a job well done. When sweeping generalizations are made that my generation is lazy, it discredits the people making those comments. Sure, there are lazy members of this generation, but there have been in every other generation as well. It all comes down to what the person wants in life. If they strive for mediocrity, they will attain it. I myself make it a point to do well in everything I do, not only because that is what will help me in the corporate world, but because I like the feeling of accomplishment I get when I can look at a project and put my name on it with pride.

  65. To clarify something I didn’t make clear in the post–this is how the survey breaks down the demographics:
    Gen Y is 18-30
    Gen X is 31-44
    Younger boomers are 45-54
    Older boomers are 55+

    I didn’t mean to imply that 55+ workers are Gen X. Those two juxtaposed sentences in the introduction erroneously suggest that.

  66. Well is it really a surprise that generation X is using more social media to conference. For one most entry level jobs that Y’s currently hold don’t hold their own long distance meetings amongst their peers. The nature of our jobs are repetitive and for the most part mind numbing. While gramps lumbers around showing us how he can video conference on the internet, something Y learned how to do about 5 years ago. I think meetings are only as effective as the person running them, incompetency shows.

  67. LOL!!!!!!!!!!! Breathe people! EVERY generation said (and says) the same thing about those that follow; lazy, entitled, etc. The Silent generation said it about the Boomers. The Boomers said/say it about the X’ers and so on. There’s validity in all of it but lets not discount everyone’s contributions. It’s all about appreciating each other. Gen Y’ers, you’ve got some hard work ahead and like it or not, that includes taking care of the generations before you. That means being respectful and patient. The road you’ll travel is the one that they paved for you. The success that you’ve achieved thus far is, in part, due to the support you received from the Boomers and X’ers – including your family.

  68. The US is fast becoming the nation of idiots. Have as many meetings as you want. If your company doesn’t make money thean the meetings will stop because you can’t pay the people in those meetings. As far as Gen X, Y, Boomer, Late boomer, ka-boomer, nooner, etc. what are you gonna do after Gen Z? are we back to gen A? Some people got it together and some people don’t. Good luck all you lazy ones. LOng live the ka-booers!

  69. Today is supposed to be a snow day for us at my day job. But they’ve scheduled a conference call right smack-dab in the middle of the day. We were planning to go and pick up a few toys for the kids….. so yes, I especiially feel the general disdain for meetings …I’m not sure whether I am generation X or Y- but the back and forth about the classifcation kinda feels reminiscent of the 3:00 p.m. meeting after lunch in which everyone is trying to stay awake while someone defends a postiion that no one else really cares about….lololol- just kiding. But as a 33 year old full time employee / college student/ business owner/ wife and mother of 4 children under 7 years old….. I ‘ll say it loud, “Meetings are GENERALLY unproductive!” Happy Snow day everyone :)

  70. I’m reading these comments and laughing. Its like being in elementary school – “Girls are better than boys!!” “No boys are better than girls!!” Get over it!! There are people in both generations who are lazy, and who are hard workers. Thats the way it is. Shut up about it already!!

  71. there’s another category for those born between 1954 – 1965 called Generation Jones. i was born in 1963 and do not consider myself to be a baby boomer. Aside from that, I do think we Americans hold too many meetings. My calendar is full of meetings where we gather to regroup about everything we just emailed about smh lol….

  72. Just because you don’t like meetings, doesn’t mean they aren’t useful. Project assignments necessitate a meeting. Unless you want a dictator arbitrarily assigning things, it’s nice to be given the opportunity to speak up if you’d prefer to have a project or decline it and give someone else a shot. For those of you thinking an email would take care of that business, if you prefer having 25 emails that transpire over 3 days over a conversation that lasts 5 minutes in a meeting with a concluding decision, well, then there you have it, inefficiency abounds.

  73. As a Baby boomer, I can tell you there are probably too many meetings but the bigger problem is inefficient, poorly organized and poorly run meetings. Too many Managers, especially middle managers, have no idea how to properly conduct a meeting. Most meeting run far too long and actually reduce productivity as they leave more questions than they answer. Start a meeting by stating what you are going to talk about, talk about it and then say what you just talked about. Assign specific duties and state expected results by specific deadlines. Then go to work. That should take about 30 minutes. If the meeting actually does something to move things forward, people respond.

  74. Whiny GEN Y bitches. A place of employment is where you go to achieve goals, produce revenue, and EARN a living. Not an amusement park or day care center to wipe your ass and cater to your every whim. Shut up, show some respect, pay attention, and GET TO WORK. And turn your freaking cell phone off for 5 minutes too!!

  75. As a generation Y member, I definitely agree with the comment that older gen Yers are completely different that younger gen Yers. We didn’t have cell phones and computers as kids like the younger ones. We developed our communication skills much like the gen Xers.

    Yet, we still embrace new technology and ideas because the world is changing everyday and so will technology. I work with all baby boomers and Gen Xers at my work place. I’ll be the first to tell you that whenever we get new computers or programs, they all come running to me because they don’t want to teach themselves the new stuff. Yet, you’re calling me the lazy one? I don’t think so.

    I do understand that not all generation xers or baby boomers are this way. But don’t generalize that all gen Yers are lazy and spoiled either.

  76. Everything we do is a “meeting” of some sort. The important question to ask ourselves and to keep in mind is… “who are we being?”
    Almost any meeting requires some sort of balance between “the task” and “the relationship.” people don’t seem to get this. We need to get a better handle on human performance and “where we are at” and “where we want to go” and “how are we going to get there?”
    Improve our listening skills, our processess, and our frame of mind, only then will we see much more fruit / productivity from the many meetings we participate in.

  77. Just curious, how many of you bashing baboons are on the clock right now??? Hmmmmmm. Get to work people and stop complaining. I’ ll go back to my finals because in the world today associate degrees are worthless and bachelor’s degrees say you might know something, master degrees are better but a doctorates you are educated and worthy of a “GOOD” job. So I’ll keep learning and being grateful I found a paid internship even though its minimum wage, and I still work waiting tables, and I will be grateful I had this opportunity challenge myself and become something I can be proud of.

    • well said!
      I’ll work hard on my masters degree as well, hoping to one day get a phd. And no I did not have my parents pay for my schooling. I worked jobs just like everyone else.

  78. My experience, as a Gen Y former Senior Business Consultant for one of the largest, most prestigious companies in the world, of working with Baby Boomers and Gen Xers:

    • They come to you with work they claim will take a long time, perhaps two weeks. You get it done in a day or two, and they’re flabbergasted. How can this be?
    • You use innovation, technological savvy, and pure efficiency to get your work done extraordinarily quickly, thoroughly, and accurately, because you like doing a good job but you hate wasting time.
    • You then ask for more work, but they tell you you’ve done everything that needed to be done. Perhaps they give you some of their workload, but you get that done in an hour too.
    • Meanwhile, the Baby Boomers and Gen Xers spend the week diligently working on stuff that would take you maybe a few hours.
    • They then catch you surfing the Internet / falling asleep, since you’ve just done a week’s worth of work in half a day, but are obligated by outdated company policies / traditions to stay in the office and “put in the work” — a focus on the appearance of busyness rather than actual productivity and results — and, seeing you not appearing busy, they accuse you of being lazy.

    Cultural differences, I suppose. Baby Boomers and Gen Xers tend to define themselves by their careers, so spending a lot of time and giving the appearance of diligence and hard work is of utmost importance to them. Gen Yers tend to define themselves by a wider range of measures outside the traditional “job-nuclear family” continuum, so efficiency is of the utmost importance to them — can’t get a lot done if you’re stuck at work doing menial tasks all day. They focus on optimizing work so as not to waste time, but sacrifice the appearance of busyness and diligence in so doing.

    • Arrogance is unbecoming… many would hire two less qualified people to do the work you describe because they are personable and team-oriented, which you’ll have a tough time convincing folks you are with the attitude you are taking on this forum.

      That said, there are all kinds of jobs for all kinds of people, and you sound like somebody who needs to be in a different role to maximize your potential and be happy and fulfilled doing so. There will always be whiz-kids; eventually your ability to be ahead of the curve will flatline, and we’ll see where your diplomacy gets you then.

      See you in the meeting!

  79. Most meetings are done so the “boss” will see these people putting the meeting on as doing “something”. Most meetings could be reduced, but then it would not be as important sounding if it only took 10 mins.

    Say it, show it, & move on. Once the boss sees you run a meeting, let everyone get back to work. To much or too long lets every one drift off & avoid future meetings. Get some thing done or don’t do it.

  80. Generation Y created the now dominating all life social network Facebook. It always goes that the older generation will discount everything the younger generation does because “it’s not how it’s been done for years”. Well that is what’s called evolution. I’m a Gen-X and embrace both the old world techniques and practices yet recognize inefficiency and embrace new technology like a Gen-Y and will continue to keep up because you have to. I feel lucky to be from the Gen-X because I know a deeper history and past from my parents and grandparents where Gen-Y seems to know little of things from the 60′s. Yet I also know who Justin Bieber is. It’s also great fun to do what any teen something can do on a computer while showing them an analog way that they’ve never even seen.

  81. Meetigs are mainly BS, but big on EGO. There are too damn many self appointed chiefs and not enough Indians! People today are into “anal-nasal retention” with every detail in life to an excess….being right is not a matter of trying to contribute tothe group as it is displaying some type of genetic superioroty. Heaven forbid that you are wrong, ever, we simply cannot have that occur.

    Just tackle the job….win, lose or draw and keep the Mickey Mouse down to the minimum.

  82. Let me get this straight–there are 156 “comments” so far, it’s 10:40 monday am, it’s obviously not ‘lunch’ YET, break should be over already, SO WHAT ARE YOU PLEOPLE DOING WASTING YOUR EMPLOYER’S TIME AND RESOURCES BITCHING ABOUT YOUR JOBS ??? AT LEAST –YOU HAVE A JOB. If you will be so kind to send me your business address I would like to apply for your job–and as my daddy used to say– give a day’s work for a day’s pay.

    • Okay… lighten up John. You’re clearly very passionate about this but no need to get mean about it. Some of us aren’t at work, work other shifts, live in different time zones, etc. So you can’t presume that all are wasting time on this site.

      Would have loved to make a recommendation on a job for you but since you only get one chance to make a first impression, kinda doubt that the hateful/aggressive approach will work for ya.

  83. I would like to suggest that everyone keep in mind that these are statistics it’s dealt with large groups of the populations. It’s Quantitative study…. if it was a case by case it would be Qualitative. Just because the majority tests one way, doesn’t mean the whole group does.

  84. A well know university years ago did a study on business meetings and concluded that most of them were staged for people who would rather talk than work, with people who would rather listen than work.

  85. Most here who want to put people in groups of generations in the job, probably are not the ones making the money for the company (they have too much time on their hands). Also the meeting should only be called a couple of times a year, except for news editors and the like; in engineering only have a meeting with the ones actually doing the engineering in groups usually about 2-3 people, and that is required. The only other meeting should be held when a major customer has filed a major complaint, so instead of using FACE BOOK time to write about the hair do, they should all be called on the floor and asked to explain anything they know instead of waisting time. I was in charge of education in IBM and I have never had any problem with teaching computer chip manufacturing to young, old and in between, that is truely up to how I manage it, but if anyone is sleeping in my class they wil be the center of attention now and in the future, to be sure they do not loose attention span–into La-La Land.
    And if they text, or look at movie in/on phone or e mail from company computers, they get fired, that is how simple it is and should be, –I regret sometimes what my education of chips has done to the world, and yes, they are lazy at times, they look at those of us who actually know something like if we were their parrents.
    And a baby boomer is a very sad description of generations parents who were actually responsible (without pills) when the food source was low–should we start saying” Nigger” again–why not same level!(I am after all from the whitest country in the world)
    And finally after visting hundreds of universities in (US CDN) I find that the BS and MS do learn something from the past usually not very much for the future, Thus the reason you should listen to real “now” “at the moment ideas”, I do not mean twitter when someone is going to the bathroom again in 6 hours!!!!

  86. Hey folks, this crap about GENs and their stereotypes is just that. I have known many people of different ages that could fit interchangeably into the GENs that have been conjured up by popular media. Instead of allowing yourselves to be categorized and seperated by labels, how about concentrating on how you can be a more effective and productive individual. I can think of no other more effective means of division than general labels and stereotypes assigned to people. Know your strengths and use them. Know your weaknesses and own up to them and correct them. Instead of complaining about others’ percieved shortcomings, exemplify and demonstrate what you believe are positive traits by living them in your personal and professional lives. Everybody knows what a winner looks like and wants to emulate them. Do you possess or portray the characteristics and abilities of a winner? If not, don’t blame a label; blame yourself and do what it takes to be successful and to inspire others to do the same. There is a great song out there called “Signs”. Listen to it sometime and decide for yourself instead of others making the decision for you.

  87. A survey done in a vacuum means nothing. There are a lot of things I don’t want to do but are necessary. What if you take a survey that says American get more flu shots than the rest of the world but most American don’t like them? Do you surmise we take too many flu shots? Does it matter that maybe fewer persons get the flu? Outcome is relevant.
    Social networking is fine if used appropriately but too many people get off track and use it for entertainment. Meetings because they are formal bring more state holders to the table. Organizations are so complex today that often important info is widespread thus larger groups are unfortunately necessary. A meetings forces more focus that sociall networking might otherwise. Better run meetings are the answer because I doubt as a tool they are going away.

  88. We don’t make anything anymore in the US. There are not only fewer blue collar jobs, but also there are fewer management jobs that require “in the field” or “on the factory floor” contact. Some people who are lucky enough to have a job, regardless of generation, may spend twenty to thirty percent of their time in meetings. If meetings were abolished, only to be replaced by more “efficient” emails , tweets etc, the need for employers to hire people might decline another ten to fifteen percent. Is that what americans want?
    We need to drastically alter our tax structure to encourage manufacturing,
    e. g. place a much higher tax on the super rich in exchange for a serious reduction in the corporate income tax and a commitment to infrastructure investment. If you think we meet a lot, become an expat worker a country like The Netherlands where life and work is one big meeting. People are generally happier than Americans, and their country appears to be much more modern in outlook and appearance. Workforce productivity is higher than in the US, and civility is more pronounced than it is here in the land of extremes.

  89. Have to agree that meetings in general are a complete waste of time. They normally involve one “leader” blabbing about topics that need to be addressed, and then one or two loud-mouths in the group who voice their unabashed opinions on the subject. Fortunately, I work for a company where most communication & suggestions are done through email. It works wonderfully, and each person is able to thoroughly explain their thoughts. It’s a highly effective way of getting feedback from coworkers and bosses – much more so than meetings. It also allows for multi-tasking. The entire company doesn’t need to stop production for some long meeting where half of the employees are daydreaming. The topic at hand can be addressed over a period of a day, when each individual has the chance to reply to the emails in between completing other tasks. I’m a much bigger fan of the e-meeting, rather than the live meeting.

  90. good day,happy new year,dont eat at work,drink only founten water or tap water and leave it running for 1 minute,be home before night time,going out night time is only for emargency. and make it a law for the loved ones. do your own work as much as possible. dont make a person belive that he have to wear eye wear, never wear sunglasses. mettings are allways hellpfull if you try to brine storm words wich are said in the meeting.
    civil eng,
    fwaz f a a alfhd
    فواز فيصل احمد عبداللة الفهد

  91. Meetings can be very valuable if they are conducted correctly. Always have a written point by point agenda. The meeting leader is responsible moving the meeting to the next topic when the current discussion becomes repetitive. When the meeting is over, it’s over, even if it’s not at the end of the hour; an hour long meeting that takes only 20 minutes is fine.

    Email is great for a lot of things, but not necessarily for discussions. I receive somewhere between 200-300 rmails a day and out of that there are maybe 10 ongoing discussion threads. I can’t keep up with all of them so I skim and hope that I’ve skimmed enough and read the right parts to understand the discussion. I’ve had Gen Y’ers proudly and somewhat arrogantly tell me that they can handle large amounts of information because they can “multitask”, but their claim just isn’t backed up by the scientific findings about the way that the brain works. To have a fully engaged discussion with all of the nuances of voice, body language and group dynamics you have to be in a meeting. (I’ve used Video Teleconferencing, but it just isn’t the same).

    I don’t know about th work ethic of “all” Gen Y; there are always exceptions to a general statement made about a group of people. What I have noticed in the Gen Y folks I’ve been around is that they remind me of myself and my classmates when I was in high school and college. There were kids at the school I went to who were entitled because their parents were rich. Now I meet a lot of Gen Y’s who feel they are entitled even though their parents are just basic middle class and definitely not rich.

    Are the parents at blame? I’m a childless boomer generation bachelor, but from what I’ve seen of my friend’s families, the parents need to at least share the blame. Too many middle class parents used their home equity to buy the fiction of being rich for their children. Now that the Gen Y kids are adults and on their own they can’t figure out why they shouldn’t still be living the coddled lifestyle. That’s not to say that the Gen Y’ers are blameless, once they realized that being an adult isn’t like living at home with mom and dad they should have stopped whining and started learning what their parents didn’t teach them.

    I for one don’t mind too much that there are a lot of Gen Y’ers who won’t be able to make the grade in the workplace. It just makes me all the more valuable and able to run political, social and psychological rings around the Gen Y’er who might be my boss. I’ll be glad to be their surrogate parent and make everything alright as long as they’re willing to pay me big for all of the years of hard work it took me to gain experience in my job.

  92. What most of you are saying and what we hear in most meetings is much like the kids in the Charlie Brown comic strip.


  93. Most meetings are just a lot of brown nosing, and dog and pony shows for managers. Most meetings are for idiots. Yes, I am in mangement.

  94. I think it is funny that anyone would criticize Gen Y, exactly who raised that generation again…? Right. You ever stop and wonder why they are that way? Paren’ts always want better for their children, want them to have the best opportunities and it just seems like some took it to the extreme. The world has changed, much so during when Gen Y were growing up. Technology advances and “change” happens much quicker now, so that is what Gen Y is used to. I would never call an entire generation lazy :)

  95. I stumbled upon this article and discussion this morning. I’m retired, so I have the time to read and analyze it without costing anyone else. My first reaction to the comments is why are you people involved in this discussion? If you are gainfully employed, you are doing this chit-chat on company time. If you worked for me, you’d get a reprimand at least and possibly fired. Not only is your generation narcissic, it is lazy, lacking in motivation, and hypocritical to say the least. Get off your buns, get away from the keyboard, and earn your pay. Or take your trivial pursuits elsewhere. And teach those bratty kids of yours some manners and how to respect others and their elders. Dispense with most of the ego-seeking after-school and full-weekend activities that have them hyper, on meds, and otherwise screwed up. Let them be kids, not mini-adults with all of the guilt trips.

  96. I’m a 28 year old male programmer…meetings are stupid. They waste time that could be spent developing or doing other work. All I need is someone to outline what they want and then they can allow me to figure out the best action to take. I’m in meetings so much I never get anything done.

  97. Oh…and old people need them because they are so out of touch that they never know what is going on…so they need things spoon fed to them.

  98. I always just thought of meetings as a necessary means to understand that the person on the other end of the computer was a human being from time to time.

    Once you have met e-mail contacts, it’s harder to just get frustrated at things that might be poorly communicated via various faceless media with its lack of nonverbal context.

  99. What’s with this “Y” and “X” crap? They have meetings because they don’t have a clue how to do their jobs, period! A “meeting” makes the person giving it feel important. I worked for 17 years in a family owned company that made millionaires out of 7 separate families. THEY NEVER HAD A SINGLE “MEETING”! Not one. This country is finished. I’ve never seen so many fools that can’t do their jobs anymore. Service isn’t lacking, it’s non existent.

    • I love your response!

      I learned so much from my disaster of job that I used to have. They were so focused on appearances and meetings, that the owners didn’t have a clue what licenses they needed to run the business, what state did the most sales, even how much the bottles cost to produce.

      Those of us who weren’t “important” enough to attend the multiple weekly meetings (I was invited to only 1 a week, thank God), left, and the company is now almost out of business because they don’t know how to run it.

      Perfect lessons in what not to do from there…

  100. Gen X’ers are older than 55? That’s baby boomer range and not a Gen X. Gen X is at the center of the social media, not Gen Y. Facebook was began by a Gen Y kid but he doesn’t solely represent the vast media sites, social networks and search engines created by Gen X’ers. Google was begun by Gen X’ers. Gen X is still the generation that accomplishes a lot but receives very little credit. Ignored and overlooked. Stuck in-between the new entitled generation and the loud baby boomer generation and they continue to quietly develop new social media.

  101. Since when does an opinion poll decide what is important? I dislike meetings more than anyone. Given the high pace and volume of workload in our do more with less mentality is seems like just another time killer from getting the work done.
    That said it is sort of like asking football fans what their football strategy should be. Many (most?) say pass on every play because those plays make the most yards. Running the ball is boring and for losers.
    What most fans fail to understand that a running play for say six yards makes the play action pass (fake to a runner)on second down more effective. I makes the defense hesitate to watch out for the run at the line of scrimmage (where the ball was hiked), it gives the receivers more time to get down field, a delayed pass rush and more time for the QB to find and complete that long exciting pass play the fans so dearly love. But is was the run before that made that possible. Fans are not coaches and surveys should not run business unless they are about comsumer preference or they are linked to defined outcomes such as meetings are causing failure in the workplace. Just not liking them is sort of telling us the obvious.

  102. We don’t need too many meeting, once a week it’s okay, just depend of what kind of business line we are. Sometimes once a month it’s good, sometimes not. Anyway the new generation is loosing communication skills, now is better to hit the computers o cell phone buttons than shaking hands, making good relationships in person and look to the eyes or talk to someone directly on the phone, the technology is separating us and cutting the beauty of the relationships.

  103. For me, I’m on the high end of Generation Y, and I think most meetings are poorly planned and a waste of time.

    A meeting can be an effective place to ensure everyone is on the same page when it comes to budget, campaigns, and results we’re getting, etc. However, in my experience, meetings have become a place where people create unnecessary dialogues documenting who they know and why they’re more important than another employee instead of building a team.

    We had weekly Monday meetings at my last position – and just 1 example of why I left – we were woefully short on meeting bills many months, and needed to decide who got paid priority in our grape purchase (winery), and what we were going to do. One entire meeting focused on our Vice President (we had 3 owners, 1 VP, and 2 employees) telling us he had dinner at a small restaurant, and he’s playing golf with the chef, so we’ll be fine. We were already on that restaurants wine list, and already sold regularly to them … why did I need to spend 45 minutes in a meeting to hear about our VP’s upcoming golf game?

    The winery is now out of business, and the owners are being sued like crazy – hah!

  104. I’m 58 and have been in middle management for 10 yrs. We have a ” production” meeting once a week at the same time on the same day.
    Nothing new ever comes from it.It is generaly a rehash of everything that has been said before.If something new is introduced,no one follows through to implement the decision.We have meetings because:we always had meetings.
    The ISO 9000 book say’s we’re suppose to have meetings! Even if they are useless!
    By the way; the company is about to go under.Maybe they can meet and discuss why and where the inefficiencies are. MAYBE THE MEETINGS!!!!DUHHH!

  105. Meeting Owners: If you don’t need everyone, don’t invite them. If you are not communicating what’s important to the team, or if you are not enabling the team to be effective as a group, than you are failing at holding meetings. If you only need status, then you may be wasting everyone’s time (except for the person that is currently presenting their status).

    Attendees: If you don’t find the meeting productive, make sure you let the organizer know what you would consider productive. Passive compliance is a lead weight and will not help move the team forward.

    This problem doesn’t sound like a generational “thing”. This sounds like a problem that could arise anywhere that isolated members gather to figure out how to look productive.

    We are all in the same boat, and we are all here to help keep it afloat and moving forward. Something is wrong if time is not being spent with this result, so clean house whatever your generational category may be.

    • Gen x, y, z who cares!!!! A waste of time sorting into buckets! Democrat=liberal, Republican=rich. What a waste of time! We ARE individuals…all with many good points and concerns…but too busy with our labels and buckets!Guess we all need to feel we belong to something, even if it doesn’t get us anywhere?!?!?

  106. Meetings Meetings Meetings…..I’ve been to thousands and know for a fact that product difference, location and even the decade doesn’t matter. They can be long or short…..doesn’t matter. You see they all boil down to the same same no matter who is giving them. They all touch on 3 things:
    1. Sell more stuff
    2. Make more gross
    3.Quit fucking up
    And there you have it…..every meeting you’ve been to and every one you are going to in a nutshell. Meetings are nothing nore than the ILLUSION of doing work……and exercise in ass covering by the meeting giver.

  107. The meetings need to be quality not quantity, if you arein a very competitive work enviroment there needs to be goals clarified, successes acknowledged and negative habits and trends fxed or “brain-stormed” then meetings are vital.
    As far as the “generations” there seems to be about 5 year blurs between the dates. For example, I’m supposed to be a Baby Boomer but my interests and point of view is Gen X, accross the board.
    As for the Gen Y = lazy topic, I’ve seen it and had to work with it and it makes me want to barf but for the people i work directly with, I try to let them know how certain actions might be seen. Usually, if i do a goood enough job communcating it helps, but if its rejected I’m more than happy to” let the train come”….
    I also believe there is an age correlationship here..I think its called an AGE SLOPE or GRID, the ages at approximately 18-25+ to 45-70+ (especially for men)
    are consistantly the guys who seemed to be DEMANDING attention and respect. The younger guys are mostly driven by attention from girls and the old guys are driven by a need to continue to be respected, hence younger showing off and getting into trouble with the law and older guys consistantly being the ones who are rude, grouchy and the bane of much of the people in retail and food service industries..ok-ok I think what Im saying here is guys in this age bracket are more likely to want immediate gratification because of their fear they are missing out. ok enough rambling…

  108. No one ever disputes the Baby Boomers were born between ’46-’64. That means Generation X’ers were born starting in 1965.

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  110. Hate ‘em. Hate ‘em. Hate ‘em. Just tell me what needs to be done and turn me loose. Should take about 60 seconds.

    I don’t need a committee to lean on. I don’t need to chat. I don’t need someone else to tell me what’s a good idea and what isn’t.

    I’m a Boomer (62) and have never liked meetings, although the older I get, the less I like them.

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  122. This is really interesting data. I never would have guessed that Americans value in-person meetings more than any other country. I find myself judging my own values against these to compare, and I think in-person meetings are important because they’re an indication of how invested you are in the relationship, whether it be personal or for business. How do these stats relate to business training video and clips used by companies today? Food for thought! Thanks for posting this.

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