Team meeting strategies (plus how to organise team meetings)
By Indeed Editorial Team
Updated 12 September 2022
Published 7 December 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.
Team meetings are a regular activity in the workplace, where colleagues gather to discuss ideas and make decisions. Effective team meetings help professionals make better decisions, save time and coordinate their activities more effectively. Understanding team meeting strategies can help you plan and execute more productive meetings. In this article, we discuss some team meeting strategies and outline how to organise one.
Team meeting strategies
Here are some team meeting strategies you can adopt for better results:
Circulate the agenda before the meeting
The meeting agenda is an overview of how you want the meeting to occur. It includes details regarding the meeting schedule, topics for discussion and the list of presenters. Circulating the plan before the meeting is an effective way to ensure the meeting stays on course. A well-written agenda provides a structure for a meeting and ensures all team members stay within the time limit.
Additionally, circulating the plan before the meeting allows team members to prepare beforehand, saving valuable time during the meeting. This also allows everyone to receive answers to their questions without the pressure of thinking of them in the moment.
Encourage participation from all team members
A team meeting aims to combine all insights, perspectives and talents in the team to reach a well-informed decision. To ensure you achieve this purpose, it's vital you encourage everyone to participate in the meeting. To encourage participation, you can require that everyone provides their opinion on certain topics. You can also observe the meeting and direct questions to members who haven't participated. While using this approach, ensure you don't alienate or embarrass any team member, as that would be counterproductive. Encouraging participation from everyone leads to better ideas and improved employee morale.
Consider changing the environment
Team meetings are routine activities, so they may become monotonous. This can reduce the productivity of the meeting, as team members may be less engaged. To lessen the effects of monotony, you can occasionally change your environment. For example, you can move the meeting to a location outside the workplace, like a coffee shop or park. Alternatively, you can use another room in the office that has better facilities than your regular one. This can lead to greater creativity and focus.
It can be difficult to keep track of all the ideas in a meeting, especially for a large team. This can hinder decision-making as it may be difficult to remember the best ideas and differentiate them from general opinions. An effective strategy to address this challenge is taking notes. You can appoint a secretary to take notes on behalf of the team and use a whiteboard to note ideas. Writing ideas down can make it easier for team members to analyse and modify them. Similarly, it's easier to identify any interactions or patterns between two or more ideas.
Regardless of how minor they are, distractions can slowly impact the meeting and take valuable time from the team. To ensure your meeting follows the schedule, ensure you remove all distractions from the meeting venue. You can do this by securing a quiet environment where team members can communicate effectively. For example, you can request that team members put their phones on silent mode, so they aren't distracted.
Consider remote meetings
Remote meetings are increasing in popularity. This is because they're an effective, time-saving strategy, especially for primarily remote employees. Remote meetings also save costs, as transport and catering costs aren't an issue. You can use remote meetings for less elaborate or important discussions.
Structure meetings around decision-making
Another effective strategy to save time and energy on team meetings is preserving them for decision-making. This allows you to reduce the frequency of meetings, which can aid engagement by team members. You can use other means of communication for other activities like requesting feedback and disseminating information. When team members know that meetings are strictly for making decisions, they're more likely to attend meetings and participate.
Brainstorming is an idea-generation method that involves team members thinking about a problem and suggesting solutions. The aim of brainstorming isn't to generate fully formed ideas but provide a basis for more deliberation. Brainstorming sessions are usually brief and involve rapidly generating and discussing ideas to test their feasibility. Including brainstorming in your team meetings can help you generate better ideas and keep team members engaged.
Delegate to team members
Delegation of meeting responsibilities is an effective way to encourage engagement from team members. It also allows you to reduce your workload as the team lead. For example, you can delegate activities like starting the meeting, ending the meeting, resolving logistics or discussing certain topics. When team members have a duty during the meeting, they're more likely to attend it and be attentive.
Related: 9 essential team leader skills
Make the meeting engaging
It may be difficult for some team members to pay attention throughout the meeting, even for a serious purpose. To improve participation and focus, you can use various tactics to make the meeting more engaging such as encouraging interaction by asking questions frequently. Alternatively, you can incorporate activities requiring team members to move around or reward the best ideas.
Ask for feedback
After each meeting, ensure you ask team members for feedback on it. You might ask them if they enjoyed the meeting, if they felt it achieved its purpose and what their recommendations are to improve future meetings. You can do this individually, at the start of a new meeting or through an anonymous survey. You can also perform a self-review of the meeting to see if you can identify and resolve any issues.
Review and improve your strategy
After getting feedback from team members, you can incorporate the suggestions into your strategy for subsequent meetings. Compare the information from your feedback to your goals, and see if you can make any modifications. Finally, ensure you review your meeting strategy regularly to keep up with the evolving needs of your team members and workplace.
How to organise a team meeting
Here's an overview of steps you can follow to organise a team meeting:
1. Set a goal for the meeting
The first step to organising a team meeting is to decide its purpose. Knowing the goals of the meeting can help you determine how to formulate your agenda and structure the meeting. To determine the goals of the meeting, you can ask yourself why the meeting is necessary, what you hope to achieve and any challenges you plan to address.
2. Schedule the meeting
Scheduling is one of the most important aspects of organising a meeting. It's important you schedule the meeting in a way that's agreeable to all team members to improve participation and engagement. You can discuss this with each team member by asking which time is convenient for them. While team members may have conflicting schedules, try to reach a compromise that works for everyone.
3. Prepare a meeting agenda
After determining your meeting goals, the meeting agenda is a strategy for how you intend to attain those goals. A good meeting agenda includes the meeting duration, a list of topics or issues for discussion and the names of all speakers or contributors. To prepare your meeting agenda, think of the most effective way to attain your goals.
4. Notify all parties
After preparing your schedule and meeting agenda, you can notify all team members and other relevant parties of the meeting. The best approach is to notify them using the team's traditional means of communication. Ensure the notice includes vital details like the meeting date, time, venue and purpose. You can also include a copy of the agenda so team members can prepare before the meeting.
5. Confirm meeting logistics
Depending on the nature of the meeting, there may be certain logistics to consider. For example, you can confirm that your meeting venue is available for use at your meeting time, and make arrangements for snacks, business reports and equipment you may need during the meeting. Managing these matters beforehand ensures your meeting can start as scheduled.
6. Welcome everyone to the meeting
Once everyone is present, you can welcome them to the meeting to demonstrate respect for their time and presence. You may wish to start the meeting with some small talk to ease the atmosphere. If it's a meeting for a new team, you may ask everyone to take turns introducing themselves. Starting the meeting on a positive note can make it more productive.
7. Conclude the meeting
After discussing the agenda for the meeting and deciding on appropriate solutions, you can conclude it. A great way to conclude a meeting is by recapping the meeting's notable points, and you can also take questions to address any concerns team members may have.
8. Follow up
After a meeting is over, it's important to follow up to ensure team members are following your action plan and prioritising their tasks. You can do this by requesting feedback periodically. It also helps you identify team members who may be struggling, so you can provide them with guidance.
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