Nobody loves meetings. Most of the time they’re beneficial, but are they necessary? Sometimes, sure. But everytime? Hardly.
Having an overall theme or topic to the meeting helps it to stay on track while giving people an idea of what it’s about so they don’t just ramble on about things that aren’t relevant or productive to the meeting. A little banter is never a bad thing but on a busy day, is it worth holding an hour-long meeting just because that’s how it’s always done? Get your point across. If it doesn’t take the entire allotted time, shut it down early!
A solid alternative to calling a full blown meeting is to have a department stand-up. Get your direct group together weekly or monthly or however often is necessary to go over a list of points that you have pre-determined to be relevant and important enough to go over in person. This is still a meeting obviously, but it’s a lot more direct, likely smaller depending on the layout of your business, and it’s more of a quick update among everyone rather than having that official meeting feel.
What’s important here is to know when not to have a meeting.
Do you just have a few workflow updates to give the team? Product updates? Send it in an email.
Blow up the microwave heating up Thanksgiving leftovers? Maybe just pretend it wasn’t you.
New employee starting in your department? Have a quick stand-up to introduce them.
I’m not saying that meetings are never necessary. I am saying that not everything needs to be a meeting. Your employees and coworkers are busy, they have important things to get done that can’t get done while they are tied up in meetings. Make sure you’re using that time wisely and communicating through the most efficient ways to get those points across (and, try to not blow up the microwave, either).