Benefit #1: Facilitation improves meeting outcomes. Improving meeting outcomes is one way of increasing the return on investment for meetings. The meeting investment is the sum of the salary per unit-time multiplied by the time for each individual in the meeting. The return on the investment is the monetary value that the results of the meeting enable relative to the meeting investment. Therefore, improving the meeting outcomes so that the results of the meeting enable actions that lead to value for the organization is one way of improving the return on investment.
Benefit #2: Facilitation improves meeting efficiency. Improving meeting efficiency means taking less time to reach a given set of outcomes and reduces the size of the investment needed to get to a certain return.
Benefit #3: Facilitation manages dysfunctional group behavior professionally. Sometimes you don’t have a choice about who needs to be involved in a meeting. Dysfunctional behavior by an individual in a group can drastically increase the meeting time. In addition, dysfunctional behavior by an individual in a meeting can thwart efforts to produce value. In a nutshell, dysfunctional behavior in a meeting is the enemy of return on investment from that meeting.
Benefit #4: Facilitation allows the leader to participate in the group work. Typically, leaders who hire facilitators not only understand the value of collaboration to spark innovation and produce needed change, but they also are great collaborators themselves. Professional facilitators do not engage in group work because they need to stay focused on process leadership in order to achieve the agreed-to meeting outcomes.
Benefit #5: Facilitation drives the group to accountability. Professionally facilitated meetings are highly interactive. The content is generated by the participants themselves. In addition, professionally facilitated meetings have established outcomes that drive informed action following the meeting. By generating content, participants have “skin in the game,” and willingly sign up for next steps associated with the meeting outcomes.