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How To Host a Compelling Introductory Meeting as a New Manager [+Free Sample Agenda]

Stepping into a new company as a manager can be quite intimidating. Learn how to conduct a killer introductory meeting that makes a lasting impression on your new employees.

The Hugo Team
The Hugo Team
The team transforming meeting productivity
How To Host a Compelling Introductory Meeting as a New Manager [+Free Sample Agenda]

When discussing the topic of meetings, most people tend to think of team meetings, one-on-ones, performance meetings, and departmental meetings. Very few people, we imagine, would have thought about introductory meetings. While these meetings are less known than other types, that doesn’t mean that they’re any less important.

In fact, introductory meetings are vital — especially when you’re beginning a new manager position. It’s important that the first meeting is successful, as a failed introduction can lead to unproductive meetings in the long run. Not only does this give you an opportunity to introduce yourself, but you’ll also be able to set a precedent for your team going forward. 

In this article, we will answer the following questions:

By reading through this article, you’ll be able to avoid being uncomfortable communicating with your employees. With these best examples, you’ll eventually secure your spot as an excellent managing director. 

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What is an introductory meeting?

An introductory meeting is the very first team meeting that you’ll hold with a new team that you’re working with. Think of this session as a get-to-know-you discussion, where you’ll be able to share a little about yourself and answer any of your attendees’ questions.

Becoming the manager of a new team, especially if you’re an external candidate, can be an overwhelming process. To get the entire team on board with you as their new leader, you need to make a stellar first impression. That’s where these first team meetings come in.

While some introductory meetings can be a little cliche, we’ll use this article to help you create an introductory team meeting agenda that you can follow along easily. 

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What are the benefits of introductory meetings?

Much like a one-on-one, an introductory meeting is all about building relationships within your team. As the new manager, you might not have even met the people that are now meant to follow your guidance. Not having an introductory meeting can cause everyone to feel out of place. It’s best to put a social foot forward and conduct this discussion as early on as you can.

Some of the benefits you can expect after an introductory meeting are:

  • A boost in teamwork
  • Employees’ heightened knowledge of what they’re expected to accomplish
  • Structured common standards and practices
  • Elimination of awkwardness and tension

Let’s break these down further.

Teamwork

No matter how excellent you may be at your own job, no one can do absolutely everything on their own. The leadership team needs to be supported by each person in the department to make sure that everything goes well at work. One of the best ways to ensure that your team is ready to work with you is to introduce yourself.

A change in management structure, be it the adding or changing of a manager, is a disruptive process. This period of change can lead to frustration within the company, as employees may feel unsettled. In fact, change like this is one of the leading reasons why businesses fail.

To get over this as quickly as possible and make sure that your team stays on the right track, you’ll want to schedule your introductory team meeting as soon as possible. With this short introduction, you’ll be able to walk through your main talking points, giving a brief overview of who you are and then moving straight on to how you’re going to help the team succeed.

An introductory meeting ensures that no one wastes time and that you stay on track towards success. When each team member is knowledgeable about your genuine interest and intentions, they will be more likely to feel focused and motivated to work together and with you. 

Heightened knowledge 

The definition of success for one manager may be thoroughly different to that of another. In fact, perhaps you were brought in to replace the old manager as they just weren’t achieving promising results. Whatever the reason for your new position, you’re going to have your sights set on several goals that you want to accomplish. 

Make sure to write into your introductory meeting a section that covers what success means to you. Do you intend to change how the company does something? Are you there with the hope that your management will boost productivity? Whatever it is, make sure that your team knows ahead of time.

With this knowledge and any general tips you have, your team will be alerted on how you want them to act at work. Specific tasks should be given to those of respective departments. If there is a focus that you’re working towards, bringing your meeting attendees into the loop and making sure they’re on the same page will ensure that everyone is prepared for this new working period. 

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Structured standards and practices

Although perhaps the most boring part of this process, one that cannot be skipped over, is setting ground rules. Now, don’t take this too far — remember that you’re working with colleagues, not children.

That being said, some basic ground rules will help your employees understand what you expect from them. For example, one known way to increase the productivity of meetings is to include a meeting agenda with action items. 

Knowing this, one of your ground rules could be to state that all members calling a team meeting must send meeting agendas out ahead of time. Not only does this make sure that team meetings are more productive, but the team meeting agenda will help people prepare beforehand. This even extends to recurring meetings, as a solid agenda can help mitigate the chances of hosting unproductive meetings in the future.

Whatever rules or ideas you want to set as the norm under your management, it’s always best to talk about them as early as possible.

Break down the awkwardness barrier

One of the reasons that introductory meetings fail, when done incorrectly, is that there is tension or awkwardness in the room that makes everyone feel uncomfortable. When introductory meetings go downhill, it becomes more difficult to host better meetings in the long run. 

To combat this, a great tip is to begin with some small talk. Don’t jump into the core of your discussion straight away. Rather, take some time to chat with your attendees and get to know them.

Of course, the extent to which you can do this depends on how many people are in your discussion. If you have a very large team, it’s best to keep this part as short as possible. With larger teams, we recommend getting to know each person on your team in one-on-one meetings. 

These discussions should be conducted as soon as possible when you become a manager as they’ll allow you to better manage your teams and ensure that conversation lines between the group remain open. One of the biggest benefits of an introductory team meeting is that you’ll be able to feel welcome in your new position.

If you haven’t run a one-on-one before, here’s a sample meeting agenda template by Hugo Hugo also offers tens of free agenda templates to be inspired by and customized to your liking. Feel free to take any agenda topics and add your own agenda items as needed. 

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Introductory team meeting agenda template to follow

Now that you know the benefits of an introductory meeting, let's go through a sample team meeting agenda that you can follow.

Keep things simple. There are three main steps that you should incorporate into your introductory meeting agenda:

  • Introduce yourself: Take a moment to present to your team who you are. What is your name, where did you work before this, and how long have you been in the industry? Is there anything interesting they should know about you?
  • Set expectations: After taking some time to introduce yourself and let others give a short overview of themselves, it’s time to explain your goals. What do you expect to achieve on this team? Do you want to improve content strategy? Or have you been selected to improve the company using your expertise? If you’ve started in the team for a particular reason, you should explain that to the people in the room. Let them know the meeting goal, give examples of strategies and action items you want to discuss, and share your long term vision for the team.
  • Open the floor to questions: Before you let everyone get to their next meeting, give them the opportunity to ask questions. Sending out meeting agendas before this introductory session will allow attendees to prepare a few questions they may have ahead of time. Show your employees that you have a genuine interest to support them. Be sure to be open, honest, and completely transparent in your answers. 

Although you can add more to your team meeting agenda if you'd like, these three parts are the must-dos. These three work together to give your team an insight into how you work, as well as more information about who you are and what you expect.

Follow this introductory meeting sample agenda, and you’ll be well on your way to a productive and successful new role in your company.

Make your next introductory meeting a success

Before your next meeting with a new team, make sure to schedule some time for an introductory meeting. Not only will these team meetings ensure that your whole team has met you and knows more about you, but they’ll also get your team to support your goals and expectations. 

By being prepared for a compelling introduction, you’ll be able to explain your industry background in more detail while showing support for your employees. A lasting first impression at the beginning of your stay will lead to more effective meetings in the future. 

When your colleagues actually know who you are and why you’re leading them, they are more likely to stay focused, productive, and driven. Be sure to schedule a short introduction as soon as you arrive in your new role. 

Using Hugo’s meeting agenda templates and examples, you’ll be able to create a customized version for yourself. Whether you are hosting your next introductory meeting in-person or in a virtual setting, our sample meeting agendas will ensure that you’ll be off to a flying start.

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