What is a team meeting?
Team meetings are one of the most essential components of any business. Employees have to know and understand all that’s going on with their project, efforts and the company as a whole. Not just that but they have to be informed of any expectations they have to meet for the company’s future success.
Team meetings are key to ensuring your staff, management and team members are aligned. Not just that but team meetings are also a great way to establish an open forum where everyone can participate in a discussion, provide opinions and contribute to the common goal.
Surely, team meetings have gained a reputation of being tedious, unproductive and basically a major waste of time. According to Booqed, 47% of employees complained that meetings wasted their time the most at work. At their worst, team meetings can definitely cause more problems than they solve. That’s why, running a successful team meeting is extremely important.
Yes, some might say that a productive team meeting is like a unicorn – a mythical creature that nobody has ever seen. Myths aside, there are ways to master the art of running a great team meeting. Stay tuned to find out how!
What is the purpose of a team meeting?
Let’s not over-analyze things and keep it simple. When it comes to the purpose of a team meeting, think of this this way:
- Team meetings are a way to share business-critical information to team members efficiently.
- Team meetings provide a forum for discussion, opinions, ideas and solving issues.
Of course, the purpose of a team meeting can also be determined by the agenda, business needs, sudden company crisis, etc. It can also be a training team meeting, where members are educated on certain new company policies or taught how to operate with a new software, for instance. A team meeting can also be an informal gathering of members where they can eat pizza, have a beer and talk about what’s on their mind.
Ultimately, the key to a successful team meeting is to always have a clear reason for gathering your team. Time is precious and time is money. Don’t waste anyone’s time, it certainly won’t lift your team member’s spirits or productivity levels.
Tips for effective team meetings
When you feel like your organization needs to develop better ways to communicate and your team meetings seem ineffective, it’s time for an upgrade. Check out these tips on leading better, more engaging and productive team meetings.
- Start with a positive attitude
If you’re a leader or a manager, having a positive attitude towards your team gathering is absolutely essential. It’s quite surprising that many managers proudly state that they hate team meetings and hate leading them. Remember, being a team lead doesn’t mean sitting behind closed doors and sending emails with important information. Think of meetings as your stage. It’s showtime and you just have to be positive.
- Own it
This is your meeting. Don’t give all the hard work and agenda planning to your secretary. You are responsible for the agenda and you have to plan and run it.
You should always prepare an agenda. We’ve all experienced being in a meeting and asking ourselves what’s going on and why are we here at all if there’s no agenda. Planning an agenda helps keep the focus and highlights the priority topics for the team meeting.
- Spice things up
Play with the format of your next team meeting. There are no rules, remember? You can invite guest speakers or incorporate some team meeting games. Moreover, you can invite your team to watch a TED talk related to your company or product or bring in some interesting food/drinks to the conference room. Engage your team in brainstorming and break up the monotony by switching chairs. Start with a team meeting icebreaker. Talk about something interesting or funny for a minute or two to lighten up the mood.
Team meetings are about sharing information but they are also about working together towards a common goal. If there’s a problem, solve it collaboratively. Before making a final decision, consult with everyone and hear everyone’s thoughts and opinions.
Be a role model for your employees. Yes, you can lighten things up and make it more casual but at the end of the day you shouldn’t let your guard down. Hold high standards of conduct. Think how your team will remember you one day. You want to be the kind, funny but fair and strict leader.
- Meeting Follow-up
Keep track of action items. Make sure everyone has an assigned task and they are doing what they’re supposed to do. It can definitely be quite frustrating to show up at the next team meeting and discover that half the team didn’t do what they committed to in the last meeting. Follow up before the meeting.
What is a team meeting agenda?
A meeting agenda is a list of activities that will be discussed during the meeting. Your next meeting needs an agenda for the following reasons:
- Provides the attendees with a chance to get informed of what will be discussed during the meeting.
- Sets clear expectations for what’s expected to happen during and after the meeting.
- Keeps attendees focused on the topic at hand.
- Sets the pace of the team meeting.
- Can serve as a time management tool.
Team meeting agendas are similar to meeting minutes, however they are focused on team members involved and the different agenda items to be discussed.
Designing a meeting agenda is crucial as it can boost the productivity of any team gathering, whether it’s a casual discussion, formal event or a large-scale meeting. Ultimately, it’s the best way to make good use of your time.
How to write an effective team meeting agenda?
You may think that writing a meeting agenda is a simple and straightforward task but that’s not always the case. Crafting it up takes time. You can’t just hastily put things together 10 minutes before the meeting. It’s going to be vague, unstructured and will add little to no value to your meeting.
Check out some of our tips on how to plan an effective agenda for your next team meeting:
- Clear meeting objectives.
Before going into specific agenda items, write down a brief overview of what the meeting will cover. Is it a company update? Feedback session? Implementing a new software? Be as clear as possible with the goal of the meeting and then you can divide things into smaller agenda items.
- Agenda topics can be listed as questions and direct tasks.
There shouldn’t be any vagueness. The purpose of the discussion should be made clear immediately. You can also add sub questions or subtasks to make things even clearer.
- Expectations and individual responsibilities should be clarified.
If you want some of your team members to prepare things in advance, put it in the agenda. Make sure you point out who is responsible for what topic. Let your team members know in advance that for the next team meeting they are expected to provide context or explain some information so that they can prepare.
- Realistic time management.
How much time do you have to spend on each topic of discussion? If you add too many items on your meeting agenda, you may underestimate the time it would take to go through all of them. If you want the discussions to be meaningful and reach a decision that won’t be rushed, try to be realistic about how much time each topic needs. Add some extra minutes for questions, solution proposals and voting, for instance.
- Feedback is just as important. Seek their input in a formal or informal way. It can be in the form of a survey or just ask them next time you’re having lunch with your team members. Ask about engagement, topic suggestions, time management, etc.
Team meeting agenda template
Let’s talk about team meeting structure and what to include in your agenda. As previously mentioned, the topics you should include in your team meeting agenda depend on its original purpose. However, regardless of the type of the team meeting there are several things that most agendas include:
- Information items: Company updates, news, etc. – everything you want to share with the group.
- Action Items: The tasks you should complete during or after the meeting.
- Discussion Items: These are topics you need your team to provide feedback on.
Some additional agenda items include:
- Names of presenters.
- Allotted time for each agenda item.
Mombit’s Free Team Meeting Agenda Template
We have prepared a free team meeting agenda template so you don’t need to look any further to get started. Our template is 100% customizable and works great for team collaboration.
Transform your next team meeting into a smooth work session where team members look forward to attending. Click on the picture below and get your free agenda template:
Conclusion and final team meeting tips:
An opportunity to meet and discuss a project with your team is definitely a horrible thing to waste. It’s important to set team meeting rules and follow them consistently. It’s also essential to be a role model and a leader everyone looks up to. Be clear with your expectations and fully transparent with your team members.
Working with a team meeting agenda template is one way to transform your weekly team meetings into productive and focused gatherings. Take some time to outline the agenda and make the most of your next meeting. Think of meetings as the ultimate place where employees can share their concerns, ideas, ask questions, get important information and truly feel like they are part of something big.
In addition to utilizing a team meeting agenda template, there’s another way you can boost the productivity of your next team meeting and that’s by using Mombit – a revolutionary team meeting software that keeps track of action items, calculates meeting ROI and is integrated with your work management apps. It’s absolutely free so you can go ahead and check it out!
Happy future team meetings!