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For many, meetings feel like a necessary evil. If your meetings suck, then chances are the employees on your team won't really care about them or get value out of that time.
But if your staff meetings are short, efficient, and on point, they can began enjoyable and dynamic events that spur the team into action and decision-making.
To transform your staff meetings for the better, start with the agenda.
A staff meeting is a time when all the employees in your department or team gather together to talk your work or project. Often this is a recurring meeting, such as a weekly team meeting.
In smaller organizations, a staff meeting might include every employee, whereas in larger companies, the term is often used to describe a team meeting with someone's immediate working group.
The purpose of a staff meeting is to make sure that people understand what they need to do, and how they can do it. This requires being aligned with the work that others are doing around them, and being able to take advantage to the help, resources, and skills in their organization to overcome any challenges they might be facing.
In order to build a great staff meeting agenda, you'll need to do the following:
1) Get everyone involved in setting up the meeting by determining objectives and participating in designing the agenda themselves. Even if it's just adding two bullet points summarizing their update, this kind of team collaboration will help keep people invested and ensure that attendees feel like their input was listened to.
2) Make sure that the agenda doesn't take more than an hour to get through. Too many meetings run past their allotted time because there is too much input and not enough evaluation or prioritization. That's why you need to set a timer for each segment of your meeting. Or, if the agenda looks long, prune some agenda items before you start the meeting (or at the start as a team).
3) Have an open-door policy. If there is a problem or longer conversation to be had with only a select few, let team members know that you are open to discussing it after the meeting.
4) Establish a consistent format for each meeting. If there is a predictable structure, this will help attendees be more productive and use their time more wisely.
5) End with a clear action plan. Make sure you leave everybody in the room ready to take the next step and that they know exactly what it is they're supposed to be doing before the next meeting begins.
Keep your meetings short enough to be interesting, but long enough to be effective.
You know the staff meeting agenda works when people want to come back to work the next day!
Now that you know that basics, it's time to work on building your own staff meeting agenda.
Below we have multiple examples of various types of team meetings and agenda templates for each. Within each template you'll notice some common types of agenda items, such as:
Goals: Setting goals and reviewing objectives is a great way to make sure that everybody is on the same page, and that everyone knows what they should be doing going forward.
Data: Prefacing discussions with real numbers helps root everyone in the same reality about how the business is doing.
Status updates: Try to keep these brief and to the point, summarizing only the high-level details. Follow-up later individually if more information is required.
Discussions and decisions: List out specific questions that need to be answered or decisions that need to be made in your agenda. That way, everyone showing up to the meeting will have a change to organize their thoughts.
Action items: Always document any next steps in your meeting notes / meeting minutes, including what the action item is and who is responsible. Almost every decision comes with an accompanying action item, so it's critical to keep track of what needs to be done.
Below you'll find five great examples of staff meeting agenda templates for each common type of staff meeting. Use these as inspiration for building your own agenda template, or adapt them to fit your needs and culture.
1) Stand-up meetings: A super-quick standing meeting occurs daily for some teams, helping everyone stay across each other's work when progress and changes occur rapidly.
2) Weekly team meetings: A weekly team meeting is a perfect format for a quick, focused session that checks on the status of the team and their progress.
3) Monthly team meetings: A monthly meeting is a more general meeting that focuses on longer-term planning, as well as any major issues that are affecting the team, such as with this monthly meeting for managers.
4) Quarterly strategy meetings: You got me. This isn't technically a staff meeting. It's often a leadership meeting that proceeds one. In order to guide an organization to success, managers need to be aligned on the strategy and priorities that will take it there.
5) All-hands meetings: Often held quarterly, bi-annually, or annually, this all-staff meeting is a time for leadership to reiterate the company vision and lay out a path for the future.
Better staff meetings = a better workplace. Learn the dos and don'ts. Plus, grab 3 FREE agenda templates for team meetings. 🙌
How to run effective team meetings — including agenda examples, best practices, and other critical meeting tips.