Holding team meetings is an excellent way to get everybody on the same page and keep everyone updated on important company business. However, holding effective team meetings is easier said than done. If you don’t properly prepare your staff, it could result in a failed meeting. This can happen if:
- The staff meeting doesn’t result in the desired outcome
- Employee engagement is nonexistent during the entire meeting
- You’re unable to cover your meeting agenda because you ran out of time
- Your meeting runs well over schedule
With that in mind, the following are a few tips on how to prepare your staff for your next meeting.
1. Speak With Your Team In Advance
Effective team meetings require teamwork. Before your staff meeting, take a few minutes to speak with everyone individually. Find out if they have any information they need to share, concerns to raise, or questions to ask.
This information can help you make the meeting more productive by helping determine what your meeting goals should be. Additionally, you can determine who among your staff should be included as meeting participants and be given time to speak.
2. Choose A Topic Of Discussion
Once you’ve talked to your staff, identify what the purpose of the meeting should be. This will help keep things focused and on track. Create an action plan that includes all of the agenda items you want to go over. These could include:
- Changes to company policy or procedures: If your company has made any changes to its policies or procedures, this is the time for a meeting to discuss them.
- Project updates: Allow team leaders to provide status updates on milestones, deadlines, roadblocks, and key insights. Be sure to relay any concerns, updates, or requirements from upper management to your team.
- New team members: If you’ve recently added new team members, introduce them and let everyone know what their role is on the team.
- Company news: Anything newsworthy can be shared. For example, company events that your team should be aware of, such as an upcoming tradeshow or a team-building event.
- Recognizing the work of an individual or team: Take the time to recognize an employee who went above and beyond to complete their tasks. Doing so can boost staff morale and set a positive tone for the meeting.
3. Put Together Meeting Materials
You should prepare all of your meeting materials ahead of time. Certain materials can make sharing information easier and help keep you on track, which results in more productive meetings. The following are a few examples of materials you can put together for a team meeting:
- Project overview: If your team is starting on a new project, put together a project overview that includes an introduction to the project, its goals, the team working on it, and a timeline. An overview can be useful as well if you plan to speak about an existing project.
- Company policy update: If your company has made any changes to its policies or procedures, put together a policy update document that includes the changes and how they impact your team.
- Presentation: If you have a lot to cover during a meeting, a visual presentation can help make the meeting more engaging for your staff. For example, you could set up digital signage in your meeting room to outline various points, display charts, graphs, run videos, and more.
- Meeting Notes: Make sure one of your staff members is responsible for taking meeting notes. Consider giving them a meeting note template to use.
4. Send Out An Agenda In Advance
It’s important to be well organized if you want your team meeting to run smoothly. Sending out a clear agenda gives everyone a heads-up on what to expect. The following are a few tips on creating a team meeting agenda:
- Schedule each item on the agenda: To avoid going over the allotted time, schedule a time for each item on the agenda. Be sure to let those who are speaking know how much time they’ll have so they can adequately prepare.
- Set aside time for questions at the end: Make sure you set aside time at the end of the meeting for questions and concerns. Be sure to let everyone know that there will be time for everyone to speak at the end so that they can take notes and prepare their questions.
5. Plan Remote Meetings Carefully
If you plan to hold virtual meetings, then you need to be diligent about getting the necessary information out to your staff. Send out several emails to your staff informing them about the specific meeting time, and give them a link that they can use for check-in. Let them know ahead of time as well as on the day leading up to the meeting as a reminder.
The more carefully you prepare your staff for your team meetings, the more productive and successful they’ll likely be. Use these five tips to prep your staff for your next meeting to ensure the desired outcome.