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🙌  How to Run Team Meetings That Actually Matter [Agenda Sample and Tips]

🙌 How to Run Team Meetings That Actually Matter [Agenda Sample and Tips]

Because team meetings should never be a waste of time.

May 26, 2020
Rob Lennon
Customer Education Lead at Hugo
Marketer and author with experience spanning a diverse 16 years in retail and SaaS startups across healthcare, mar-tech, and ad-tech, and productivity software sectors.

Want to learn how to prepare yourself and your team to run consistently effective team meetings?

In this post, you’ll find team meeting agenda templates, effective meeting best practices, and inspirational agenda examples. 

So whether you run a team of customer success professionals, engineers, procurement specialists, you’ll have everything you need to prepare for, start, and run consistently productive daily, weekly, or monthly staff meetings.

In this post, we'll dig into how to run an effective team meeting with these staff meeting best practices👇

  1. Prepare the agenda and circulate it for review ahead of the meeting
  2. In every agenda, include the meeting: Objective, Topics, Location, Attendees, Action Items (empty)
  3. Establish common ground at the beginning of the meeting
  4. End your staff meetings with action
  5. Seek feedback to improve staff meetings

But before looking at how to run these sessions, here are sample agendas for a few of the more common types of team meetings.

Free, 15-minute guide to shorter, fewer, better meetings.

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"My meetings have transformed."
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Project Check-In Team Meeting Template

Here's a common reason to have a meeting. Projects! 

This staff meeting agenda template is a check-in meeting agenda built for project teams who meet on a regular or semi-regular basis.

Grab it as Google or Word Doc, try it in Hugo, or keep reading to see an example of this agenda in action.

Project Check-In Meeting

Our Objective

Reiterate the objective of the project


Include in the agenda high-level milestones

Project Update Roundtable

  • Name
  • Summarize 1-5 updates here in the agenda
  • Name
  • Summarize 1-5 updates here in the agenda

Roadblocks & Risks

  • Where are you blocked? How can the team help?

Next Steps

  • @name Task by DUE-DATE

Team Meeting Agenda Example (Project Check-In)

Below, you’ll find the same team meeting agenda template as above, except now it’s filled out. This example should give you a more concrete idea of what a good team meeting agenda looks like.

With that said, in some cases, other agenda templates may work better for your purposes. For that reason, we have several staff and team meeting agenda templates for you to choose from on our Team Agenda Templates page.

Project Check-In Meeting

Our Objective

To build a measurement strategy that allows the customer success team to track progress on KPIs and measure that progress against their stated departmental goals.


Strategy must be ready to deploy by Q4 2020.

Project Update Roundtable

  • Rob
    • Spoke with and established agreement among CS team stakeholders on relevant KPIs.
    • Gathered feedback from CS team on current measurement strategies.
  • Christina
    • Mocked up three dashboard options that are circulating internally for feedback.
    • Working through an audit of the current CS data sources.
  • Michelle
    • Just getting back after a four-day illness; catching up.

Roadblocks & Risks

  • Roadblock: Christina needs feedback on the dashboards before she can continue. All team members must provide feedback ASAP.
  • Risk: Christina’s audit may reveal siloed data which may delay our ability to establish a performance baseline.

Next Steps

  • @Michelle review and provide feedback on Christina’s dashboard mockups by June 5th.
  • @Rob summarize and distribute CS team feedback on current measurement strategies by June 7th.
  • @Christina check in on the status of current CS data sources by June 8th.

Staff Meeting Best Practices

The simple act of preparing an agenda itself will immediately make your staff meetings more effective. But if you want to extract every ounce of value out of your team meetings, you need an effective meeting strategy. (You'll also need solid communication skills.)

While your strategy may evolve, it should start with the following best practices:

✅ Prepare the agenda and circulate for review ahead of the meeting.

Running great team meetings begins with having an agenda. Your agenda is your meeting’s roadmap. By preparing the agenda early, there’s more time to circulate it for review which gives attendees a chance to prepare themselves for your talking points. Plus, if there’s any subject you accidentally left out, other meeting attendees can add it to the agenda. 

Since most staff meetings are recurring (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc..) investing in an agenda template will pay dividends down the road.

✅ Include, at minimum, these 5 items on the team meeting agenda.

  1. Objective of the meeting. 
  2. Topics to be discussed (in order).
  3. Who is attending the meeting.
  4. The location and time of the meeting. 
  5. Space for meeting action items (to fill out during the meeting).

A Note on Agenda Design: Keep in mind that the above items are the minimum requirements for what you should include on a staff meeting agenda. Exactly how you decide to design your meeting agenda will (and should) change based on your requirements. If you’re looking for more agenda design inspiration, check out our 80+ agenda templates. 

✅ Wait. Should this even be a meeting?

If, after looking at your proposed agenda, you feel like something's not quite right, perhaps reevaluate whether to have the staff meeting at all. Here's a quick quiz to make sure it's worth everyone's time:

✅ Start the team meeting to establish common ground.  

The way you start a team meeting sets the tone. The key points to reiterate to start your meeting off are 1) the objective of the meeting, 2) any ground rules for the meeting, and 3) a brief overview of topics to be discussed. 

Once you’ve started, keep it going. Don’t recap for latecomers; they can use their agenda to catch up.

Free, 15-minute guide to shorter, fewer, better meetings.

Thank you! We've sent Vital Meetings to your email.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
"My meetings have transformed."
—Nick Valuri, Zapier

✅ Focus on discussion and decisions, not presentation.

If your meetings are presentation-heavy, it can be mind-numbing for everyone attending (and even whoever is presenting). The best use of your collective time is going to be when everyone is participating, not just one person. Try to provide updates and explanations in advance of the meeting so that you can use your time to discuss next steps and decisions about that information instead.

There is a time and place for a presentation, of course. If you're going to go there, you may as well do it right. Learn how to give a presentation in a meeting.

✅ Take clear, concise notes and share them

A well-run meeting usually results in some decisions and action items being decided on. Rather than leave these key bits of information to fate, jot them down in some brief meeting notes (or meeting minutes, if you prefer).

Circulate these notes to meeting attendees as a follow-up. You might also share them with the broader team, if relevant.

✅ End your staff meetings with action.

In rare cases, you may hold a meeting that’s solely meant to inspire or educate with no specific action items. But generally, your team meetings should always end with action items. 

Ideally, you can immediately incorporate these items into your project management software. But at the very least, you should document everyone’s action items that arose out of the meeting on the agenda. 

✅ Seek feedback to improve meetings and hit the right frequency.

 As long as they’re planned and run by humans, meetings will never be perfect. But that’s certainly no reason not to strive for better meetings. Make sure to periodically check in with meeting attendees for feedback.

 Ask for your team’s opinions on meeting frequency and content, solicit meeting ideas, and find out what is most valuable about the meetings to your team. Their input may surprise you, providing insight that won't just make for better meetings, but improve communication across your team outside of meetings as well.

How to run your first team meeting

The first team meeting is a little bit different from a weekly or monthly meeting. For your first meeting, you'll want to focus on big themes, setting forth a vision and expectations so that the team knows where they are headed. This is also a time to learn about everyone on the team, so that you can help make them as effective as possible.

Here's an agenda template for your first team meeting.

First Team Meeting


Share a story, or tell the group something no one knows about you

About Your Manager

Give a brief overview of your professional experience, communication preferences, and values‍

Team Expectations

Describe team values and communication channels/cadence‍

(Optional) Feedback/Open Discussion

Solicit ideas from the team that would help the teamwork better together‍

Action Items

  • Next steps go here

Where to Find More Agenda Templates

While we’ve focused on templates, examples, and best practices for effective team and staff meetings, we’ve also created more than 80 templates for meetings of all kinds.

Each template comes in three versions: Google Doc, Word Doc (free download), or add it to your Hugo account.

So whether you’re onboarding a new employee or conducting a performance review, you’ll find a free agenda that works for you on our meeting templates page. 👇

Team meeting agenda templates (Google Doc, Word Doc)

Vital Meetings
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Rob Lennon
Customer Education Lead at Hugo
Marketer and author with experience spanning a diverse 16 years in retail and SaaS startups across healthcare, mar-tech, and ad-tech, and productivity software sectors.

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