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4 Proven Strategies to Execute Flawless Departmental Meetings

Departmental meetings are often heavily attended, and many happen every week. With so much time invested, they can be a considerable expense. Here's how to make sure you're using your time in these team meetings wisely.

The Hugo Team
The Hugo Team
The team transforming meeting productivity
4 Proven Strategies to Execute Flawless Departmental Meetings

As a manager of several teams, there will come a moment in which you need to host a department meeting, getting together all the respective employees for a large-scale team meeting. During a team meeting of this caliber, you'll have to manage lots of people at the same time. However, when run effectively, departmental meetings provide an invaluable way of synergizing your workforce, boosting motivation, and driving the progress of all your teams forward.

In this article, we'll be covering:

Let's get right into it.

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What is a departmental meeting?

A departmental meeting is a form of team meeting, which includes every member of a department coming together to discuss. In these meetings, you'll mainly be touching on things that pertain to the department as a whole, instead of focusing on individual projects.

Typically, a departmental meeting will cover updates, general news, department-wide goals, and obstacles to overcome. Additionally, these meetings can be an excellent forum for sharing opinions and strategizing the next step towards reaching goals.

Suppose there is a communal project that several different teams are working towards. In that case, departmental meetings can provide an ideal space for collaborative problem-solving. With the sheer quantity of people in the same room, you'll be able to brainstorm for new ideas and check in with teams quickly. 

Typically, just due to the size of these meetings, you should aim to have them on a less frequent basis. Once a month or once every quarter will typically be regular enough to get the desired outcome and avoid hosting unproductive meetings. 

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Why should you host departmental meetings?

Generally speaking, departmental meetings are one of the only times in which the whole of your staff will have the opportunity to come together and meet openly. Although these staff meetings can provide an excellent forum for discussion, they simultaneously help colleagues meet and form relationships.

Some of the main benefits you can expect to receive for hosting staff meetings are:

  • Stronger communication
  • Better cross-team alignment
  • The ability to showcase leadership and motivate team members

As a cross-team meeting, these meetings provide essential moments of connection for your department. Especially considering the recent transition to remote work, team meetings that bring everyone together are more valuable than ever before. 

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Stronger Communication

When you work in a large organization or have many people working in your department, more often than not, people very rarely interact with one another. Apart from their adjacent colleagues in their team, they may not know others in the organization. 

A more friendly workplace is a more productive one, with McKinsey & Company revealing that a positive workplace culture can significantly impact how effective individual employees are in their job roles. One of the main ways of creating a happier working environment is creating bonds across different teams.

Departmental meetings allow attendees to meet new people. Discuss things that may lay outside of business, and make new friends in the workplace. Although some may believe that this may be time-wasting, a happier environment is conducive to harder workers. 

Your departmental meetings provide a great opportunity to build stronger lines of connection between your respective teams, boosting your workplace efficiency while also helping your employees feel happier at work. 

Better cross-team alignment

Staff meetings provide your teams the opportunity to get on the same page, be that about a new project or something that has been going on for a more extended period. Instead of working on disparate aspects of the projects, your teams can come together and get a better idea of the bigger picture.

By discussing their progress, ideas, and roadblocks, teams can collaborate to share information that supports everyone's progress. 

Teams will also be able to talk openly about their upcoming responsibilities, helping them develop a more concrete understanding of how long a project will take to complete. With alignment comes efficiency, and your teams will be able to boost their productivity through this open form of discussion. 

Showcase leadership and motivate team members

Staff meetings are also a valuable platform to demonstrate management and leadership skills. You'll be able to discuss openly with all your meeting participants, delivering messages to your whole department at once. This allows you to move through points on your agenda without scheduling several meetings to tell individual teams.

Additionally, you can use these staff meetings to motivate your whole department, giving positive feedback and celebrating their completion of projects. Considering that 82% of survey participants consider recognition an important of happiness at work, taking a moment to celebrate your department's wins this year can be a vital part of positive leadership.

Stats on happiness and morale at work


You'll be able to use a few minutes of your meeting to reward people who have been working hard, as well as congratulate your various teams on their excellent work. Be sure to bring examples of success to your meeting, giving specific members praise for their work.  

Although this will only take a few minutes, it can significantly drive a productive workforce.

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How do I run a successful department meeting?

When looking to run a department meeting, you already have to contend with a larger number of people than you may be accustomed to. Instead of just the team members of one section of the department, you'll be working with absolutely everyone at once.

Here are our four of the best tips for running successful staff meetings:

  1. Have an agenda
  2. Recognize outstanding work
  3. Solicit ideas
  4. Set an action plan at the end of each meeting

Let's break these down further.

The importance of a meeting agenda

Agenda items allow you to stay on track when giving a departmental meeting. Not only do these allow your team members to know which discussion topics will come up in the meeting, but they'll also be able to prepare for the discussion ahead of time. This boosts collaboration as you can jump right into the discussion instead of needing private time for brainstorming. 

When running a meeting with many people, an agenda will also help keep your meeting time to a reasonable level. Without one, you're opening the door for winding conversations that eat into the meeting minutes. 

Always send your planned meeting agenda to attendees before the actual meeting rolls around.

Recognizing your top performers 

Part of staying productive is being recognized for performing well at work. Positive feedback can help to motivate the team, helping everyone from individual members to managers feel valued at work. Providing special recognition to specific team members will also push them to continue working hard throughout the duration of their stay at the company.

Instead of endless discussion, keep your recognition specific and to the point as not to overbear the moment. Currently, 65% of workers want more feedback from their managers. If you begin to give feedback and praise on a regular basis, you’ll help support your team while also boosting their efficiency in the workplace.

Always be sure to celebrate the wins of your team.

Solicit Ideas

If you're calling a departmental meeting, more often than not, you may have run into a larger problem that managers can fix on their own. Luckily, by having the whole department in front of you, you'll be able to use your staff meetings to generate ideas and help overcome problems.

Speak openly about ideas and urge your attendees to participate in the conversation. By working together on a problem, you'll be able to generate better ideas than would have been conjured when working alone. Discuss ideas between the various teams to determine the best course of action.

Finish with Action

The final point on your meeting agenda should always be to create an action plan for the next few weeks. Take what you've discussed in the meeting and start making decisions about what you'll do in the future. Instead of ending by fizzling out, be sure to finish your department meeting with an action plan that everyone can follow.

If you use a meeting platform like Hugo, you'll be able to take notes as the meeting takes place, making your plan easy to generate. You can also write the action plan within the meeting notes and send it out to all the participants after the meeting, just like how you’ve sent out the agenda beforehand.

It's a good practice to start your staff meetings by recapping the plan you generated in the last meeting, showing the team members that you listened to their feedback and incorporated it going forward. 

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Hugo has created a wide range of different agendas for you to follow if you're looking for a meeting template for your specific department. You'll be able to find templates for customer success, design, executive, human resources, marketing, product research, sales, and general department meetings on their platform. 

Here's a sample agenda for an All-Hands Meeting:

All-Hands Departmental Meeting Template

 If you're looking for support in your departmental meetings, Hugo is the tool for you. You'll be able to utilize a variety of customized agendas, a platform for your virtual meetings, note-taking capabilities, and scheduling tools to ensure that everyone in your department can attend and be heard. 

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