7 Steps to Running a Successful Staff Meeting
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7 Steps to Running a Successful Staff Meeting

Jan 26, 2022

Effective staff meetings are productive, collaborative, and action-oriented, while poorly run staff meetings waste working hours, derail staff morale, and lead to workplace burnout. We know which we prefer! ?

Have you ever attended a meeting where you had absolutely no idea why you were invited? Have you ever reached the end of a day full of back-to-back-to-back meetings only to realize nothing was accomplished? Have you ever made progress in a meeting only to forget everything that happened the moment you left for lunch?

We get it! Meetings are complicated, and they sometimes have a bad reputation for wasting time. But it doesn’t have to be that way. The keys to running a successful staff meeting are careful planning, collaborative agendas, and action item follow-up.

Follow our seven-step guide to turn regular staff meetings into productive and engaging sessions every time.

Does your team work remotely? We covered 8 Tips for Running Smooth, Effective Virtual Meetings in another article.

Types of staff meetings and what they might include

There are many, many different types of staff meetings, and what you choose to cover will depend on the type of meeting you are holding and the specific objectives of the meeting. Below, we’ll cover a few of the most common types of staff meetings and what you might choose to discuss during each one:

All-hands meetings

  • Run engaging icebreakers
  • Review company vision and goals
  • Provide customer updates
  • Provide employee updates and introduce any new staff members
  • Celebrate recent wins
  • Allow questions for management
  • Gather meeting feedback

Team meetings

  • Run engaging icebreakers
  • Review team goals
  • Provide updates on progress and setbacks
  • Celebrate recent wins
  • Allow each person or each sub-team to give an update
  • Review actions items
  • Gather meeting feedback

Brainstorming meetings

  • Run engaging icebreakers
  • Review brainstorming session rules
  • Take any questions about the process
  • Run brainstorming activities
  • Narrow options and make decisions
  • Ensure everything from the session was recorded
  • Gather meeting feedback

How to run a successful staff meeting in 7 steps

Woman speaking at a staff meeting

Effective meetings don’t just happen. They take careful planning and hard work to execute, and that begins with setting a clear meeting purpose. We’ve outlined seven essential steps to take when planning and running a successful team meeting:

1. Set clear meeting objectives

Whether you’re planning an all-staff meeting, a one-on-one meeting, a brainstorming meeting, a team-building meeting, or any other type of meeting, it must have a clear objective.

Let’s say that again: Your meeting needs a clear objective.

What is the purpose of the meeting? What do you hope to accomplish? If you don't know what you are trying to accomplish, how will you know if the meeting was a success?

Clearly define your meeting objective before you do anything else. Strong decision-making up front will set the stage for the entire meeting.

2. Decide who needs an invite

Once you have your meeting objective, you can decide who needs to attend the meeting. It’s important to consider a new invite list for each new meeting instead of relying on a repeat list.

Different types of meetings require different attendees, and you don’t want to waste anyone’s valuable time by having them sit for a meeting that doesn’t relate to them.

If you’ve ever spent a meeting twiddling your thumbs while your colleagues discuss projects that don’t relate to you, someone didn’t carefully consider the meeting invite list.

Inviting people to a meeting they don’t need to attend is a huge waste of time. This costs a business money, detracts from that employee’s productivity, and adds to their workload, which can contribute to workplace burnout.

On the other hand, not inviting the right people disrupts a meeting and prevents progress from being made. If key decision-makers aren’t present, you’ll have to schedule yet another meeting to get their input and sign-off.

Start by looking at the meeting’s objective. Who needs to be present in order to meet that objective? Is attending this meeting the best use of someone’s time?

3. Build the meeting agenda

The meeting agenda is where the action happens. It keeps everything organized and ensures every attendee is on the same page. The meeting agenda should include the meeting purpose, discussion topics, talking points, and any additional relevant information attendees need to have before the meeting.

Everyone who needs to speak should know what’s expected of them. What meeting topics need to be covered in order to reach the meeting’s main goals? Do you need to share information, instructions, or materials before the meeting? Note this in the meeting agenda as well.

It can help to begin with a staff meeting agenda template to save yourself time and to ensure nothing is missed.

4. Collaborate and refine

A successful meeting agenda is all about teamwork! Multiple staff members should provide feedback and refine the meeting agenda.

By working together, you can ensure the meeting agenda is accurate, up-to-date, and isn’t missing any essential details. If the meeting is small, share the agenda with everyone involved so that you can all collaborate on it. If the meeting has a lot of attendees, like at an all-hands meeting, select a few key team members to review the agenda, including anyone who is expected to speak.

5. Follow the agenda and monitor timing

You made it! It’s time for the meeting to begin. ⏱

But don’t toss your meeting agenda away just yet. During the meeting, use the agenda to keep everything on track. For example, an all-hands meeting may benefit from a small-group ice breaker at the beginning to, well, break the ice. ? However, make time in the meeting agenda for this so you can cover all your planned topics the meeting lasting too long.

Keep a close eye on the clock as you move through the agenda items so that you don’t get carried away with any one section of the meeting. You can even ask someone to help the meeting stay on track and within your time frame.

6. Track action items as they occur

Track action items throughout the meeting. If something comes up that needs to be completed outside of the meeting, make a note of it and decide who is responsible for this task.

Creating action items as you go will ensure any and all next steps are clear once the meeting is over. What is everyone responsible for after the meeting ends? Who will follow up on these action items? When will you discuss them again? Being clear about action items will help you avoid misunderstandings, and it will ensure the hard work accomplished during the meeting isn’t lost the moment everyone leaves.

7. Seek feedback to improve your process

At the end of the meeting, take a few moments to gather feedback from meeting attendees. Gathering feedback can be as simple as asking:

  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go so well?
  • What could we improve upon for next time?

The insights you gather will help you continually improve your meeting processes. Make sure you utilize the feedback and incorporate what you learned as you plan the next staff meeting.

Let’s go over those important steps one more time:

  1. Set clear meeting objectives.
  2. Decide who needs an invite.
  3. Build the meeting agenda.
  4. Collaborate as you refine the topics.
  5. Follow the agenda and monitor timing.
  6. Track action items as they occur.
  7. Seek feedback to improve your process.

Simplified staff meeting minutes

The better prepared you are for a meeting, the better it will go. Use a meeting agenda to make sure you ALWAYS have a clear objective, know who is responsible for what, understand what topics will be covered, and share all relevant meeting information with attendees ahead of time. The more you use and refine your agenda, the easier it will get. Hello, effective meetings! ?

Focus on your meeting objective and leave the meeting notes to AI technology. Anchor AI seamlessly records full transcripts while separating all action items, keywords, speakers, and important decisions. Sign up for Anchor AI to make your next staff meeting amazing!

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