How To Have an Effective Staff Meeting (With Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 7 November 2022

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Staff meetings are a necessary part of a healthy company atmosphere because they promote communication, encourage honest employee feedback and motivate team initiative. Your team meetings can keep everyone informed about important news, business changes and exciting clients or prospects. Employees benefit from seeing your transparent decision-making process because it demonstrates that their thoughts matter. In this article, we outline tips you can use for a successful meeting.

Why staff meetings are important

A well-executed staff meeting can help you get to know your employees. Meetings are a space where company news is shared, team members' achievements celebrated and where you can communicate goals. Meetings are important as they provide a non-judgmental atmosphere, where everyone can openly share thoughts and ideas.

Related: First team meeting tips: 12 ways to prepare yourself

How to have an effective and productive meeting

To avoid an ineffective team meeting, you can create a list of meeting objectives to stay on task. There are several steps you can take to have a successful meeting, including:

1. Prepare for meetings in advance

Keep your team focussed by preparing an agenda in advance. Consider your meeting agenda carefully and let your team know what topics you plan to discuss. If you're struggling to find room for some items, you can share general company updates in an email before the meeting takes place. This can give you more time to ask for participation, collaboration and feedback.

Related: Top Strategies To Define Your Team's Roles and Responsibilities

2. Follow your agreed schedule with clear start and end times

Most employees have daily tasks. By respecting their schedule, you and your colleagues can get more out of a meeting. You can compile a list of ideas based on what is most relevant to all attendees and decide the time you want to spend on them. This way, you're respecting employee time and ensure meetings don't over-run.

3. Give all team members a chance to share and participate

Be as accommodating as possible to all of your team members. This demonstrates that their presence, thoughts and opinions are valued by you and the larger team. If some members work from home, you can invite them to meetings virtually. Be sure to consider time zones if your team members are from far-reaching locations. You can also encourage participation following a meeting by including a meeting feedback form or comment section.

You can encourage these to be submitted anonymously to demonstrate an unbiased, non-judgemental approach. Inviting your team to convey their thoughts and implementing changes shows that their feelings matter.

Related: What Are Communication Skills?

4. Designate meeting roles

Team meetings cover a lot of information in a small amount of time, making organisation crucial. If your team doesn't have a clear idea of who's responsible for certain administrative tasks, you can forget important points. Keep your meetings productive by designating responsibilities to team members. Not only can this ensure an effective meeting, but it can engage your team and teach them how to lead.

Your meeting roles can include a leader, a recorder and a timekeeper. Your meeting leader is responsible for creating a schedule for your meeting, including the time and place. They can lead your team through agenda items and keep track of actionable next steps. Your recorder is responsible for writing down important information and any conclusions or decisions. Your timekeeper is responsible for ensuring every meeting item gets the correct amount of time.

5. Lead by example

If you lead by example and promote open discussion, you can encourage your employees to do the same. You can demonstrate the importance of your meetings with your actions. Start meetings on time and be prepared. Be enthusiastic about what you are doing and find personal value in it. Your excitement and engagement can influence and motivate your team.

6. End with a realistic plan of action

Highlight what the meeting has concluded and the actions that have arisen from it. Delegate the next steps for your employees, and decide who can be responsible for each task. You can incorporate a timeline for tasks to be actioned and keep these schedules realistic and achievable. Include your team in these decisions to increase morale. You can allow volunteers to take responsibility and ownership of tasks or suggest who the best person is to complete objectives.

Related: Time-Management Skills: Definition, Examples and Tips for Improvement

Tips for improving meeting engagement

All companies can improve the level and value of engagement in staff meetings. These tips can help boost your meeting engagement and can be adapted to work for any company:

Spend the right amount of time on each meeting item

Serious grievances or problems that may require dedication can take up more time than necessary. When topics best addressed in a smaller group arise, you can redirect your team to your meeting agenda to regain focus. You can increase meeting engagement by focusing on business objectives that affect everyone rather than just a few.

Have regular and timely meetings

Meetings held at regular intervals can help you create a team atmosphere and ritual among employees. They also provide a means for you to instil the idea that the company represents their employees. Meetings can sometimes lack purpose, but the solution isn't just to include less. When a meeting concludes, ask employees how you can improve future meetings.

Related: What are one-on-one meetings? (With benefits and tips)

Set ground rules

Setting a code of conduct for your meetings ensures that team members stay on track. They can also promote a respectful space where your team can share their thoughts without worrying about interruption. You can ask your team to turn off their mobile phones, for example.

Share meeting notes

You can appoint a designated person to take notes of what happens in the meeting. Sharing these notes with your team afterwards helps everyone keep track, boosts engagement and share in the meetings' importance. Ensure that you share your meeting notes to include those who couldn't attend.

Related: How To Take and Distribute Meeting Minutes

Start your meetings the right way

Commence your meetings with a clear direction and objective. You can start with comments that confirm why the meeting's important in the first place and why it's relevant. Adopting the IEEI (Inform, Excite, Empower, Involve) framework if you're having trouble deciding how to start a meeting can be helpful. Here's an outline of how you can use this method:

  • Inform and share the purpose of the meeting.

  • Excite by explaining why the outcome of the meeting is important.

  • Empower your employees by describing the open, sharing atmosphere that has been given to meeting participants.

  • Involve your audience by asking an engaging question or having a round-table discussion that furthers the meeting's goals.

Recognise accomplishments

You can boost employee engagement by recognising and celebrating accomplishments. You can celebrate a team accomplished milestone to help maintain a sense of community, but recognising small wins helps employees feel appreciated individually. You can try pointing out individual employee milestones like work anniversaries or achievements to help employees visualise their value within the company.

Ask questions

Your team's engagement can increase by simply asking for their input and opinions. When a member of your team gives their insight, encourage positive discussion. Try thanking them for their thoughts and asking if they can build on their idea. Or, share this idea with the rest of your group and ask for others' thoughts. Your employees may feel more willing to share their thoughts with a smaller audience. You can try directing questions to your team as a whole or break them into smaller discussion groups to help build teamwork and confidence.

Make meetings more refreshing

Introduce something new into your team meetings to maximise engagement for everyone. This can be something that reinforces a sense of your team's community. You can try highlighting a different cultural snack at each meeting or reshuffling seating arrangements. Starting meetings with a game or round of trivia can also help you refresh outdated meeting expectations.

Present information in a new way

Presenting your important meeting information in a way that is new and dynamic can immediately boost employee engagement. If you know of an important company change occurring, bring in those responsible for implementing it to hold a question and answer session. Or, rather than announcing hires, let new employees give the team an informal introduction to boost communication between colleagues.

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