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5 Key Elements of an Effective Staff Meeting (+Free Agenda)

5 Key Elements of an Effective Staff Meeting (+Free Agenda)

Let’s be real. Most of us aren’t big fans of staff meetings.

They can be dull and drag on for too long, especially when you feel you’re not relevant. But deep down, we understand that staff meetings are essential for keeping our teams aligned.

The bright side is this: staff meetings don’t have to be dreadful. They can actually be productive, engaging, and enjoyable.

In this article, we’ll explain what staff meetings are, the different types, and share 5 essential components of a successful staff meeting. Read till the end for a free staff meeting agenda template! 

Huddles.app, your smart meeting notes

What is a Staff Meeting?

A staff meeting is a planned gathering where team members discuss internal matters. Unlike other meetings, it centers on team issues and includes a particular group of employees. Weekly meetings are a popular form, happening regularly to keep team members informed and on the same page regarding projects and objectives.

Types of Staff Meetings

There are various kinds of staff meetings that occur, each serving different purposes and happening at different times. We can categorize them into three types:

1. Formal Meetings

These meetings are scheduled in advance and occur at regular intervals. They are conducted in an organized manner, with set agendas and strict time limits. They are structured to adhere closely to the allotted time. Examples include creating schedules, establishing rules and regulations, developing curricula, and more.

2. Informal Meetings

Informal meetings are less structured than formal ones. They typically involve discussions on specific issues rather than comprehensive subjects. Attendance of the entire staff is not always necessary, and they can occur in small groups. Time constraints are more flexible in these meetings. Touch-base meetings are a typical example of informal staff meetings.

3. Emergency Meetings

Emergency meetings are called by administrators in response to unforeseen circumstances. They are convened promptly, often with short notice, to address the immediate situation at hand. Examples include responding to emergencies like fires, instances of misconduct, visits by auditors, and other urgent matters.

5 Key Elements of an Effective Staff Meeting

1. Have an Agenda

We all know how disorganized meetings without agendas are, and they tend to drag on forever. So, the first step of an effective staff meeting always starts with having an agenda, which is one of our 9 core principles of effective meetings. Having an agenda ensures everyone knows clearly the purpose of the meeting and what topics need to be addressed for the meeting to conclude.

To have not just an agenda but a good one, your team has to work together to create it and make sure it includes allocated time slots for discussing the most crucial topics.. This ensures you tackle the big issues first, like focusing on the major risks to a project at the beginning of a meeting.

In essence:

  • Make sure there’s an agenda before the meeting.
  • Create the agenda collaboratively; everyone brings the topics they want to discuss. 
  • The agenda must have allotted times, and these should be timed during the meeting.
  • Prioritize the agenda items, discussing the most important matters first.

Does it sound like a lot of hassle? It doesn’t have to be! Huddles.app‘s collaborative features make meeting notes living documents where teammates can build agendas collaboratively and co-create meeting notes while the meeting is happening. You can even set a timer for each discussion topic with our timer feature. 

2. Track Progress

What is the point of having objectives if they are not followed through? That’s why tracking progress is as important, if not more so than setting goals, and should be part of every staff meeting.

Begin your team meeting by reviewing the objectives and goals established in the last meeting. This ensures that everyone is up to speed on the current progress and prepared for further discussion.

With Huddles.app’s action item feature allows you to easily assign tasks to any individual with a specific deadline. After the meeting, these actions are automatically sent to the assignee’s to do list, and these will be automatically tracked in the next meeting.

3. Update Priorities

According to Camden Kelly, if you don’t prioritize effectively, your team never be as productive as you want to be.

As Steve Jobs famously said

“People think focus means saying yes to the thing you’ve got to focus on. But that’s not what it means at all. It means saying no to the hundred other good ideas that there are. You have to pick carefully. I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying no to 1,000 things.”

So, if you aim for your team to be as productive as they can be, it’s crucial to allocate resources to what truly counts and to decline what holds less importance, or what isn’t relevant at this point in time.

Staff meetings provide an excellent chance for your team to talk about and revise priorities since all staff members are present, enabling everyone to be aligned.

4. Discuss External Voices

If you only listen to people from within your organization, it can quickly become an echo chamber. 

According to CMG Consulta, External voices are important because they help validate your ideas and plans, providind feedback on your business plans, identifying any gaps, and providing suggestions for improvement. This validation can help you gain confidence in your ideas and act on them.

Therefore, why not encourage everyone during your team meetings to share external feedback they’ve gathered recently? This way, you can gain valuable insights into what you’re doing well and where improvements are needed.

5. Discuss Challenges

As your staff meeting nears its conclusion, it’s crucial to talk about challenges—be it the current hurdles you’re encountering or any obstacles you anticipate after everything has been planned.

This is a valuable opportunity because, again, staff meetings gather your whole team, allowing you to reach out for assistance or opinions from anyone necessary. This not only aids in overcoming current obstacles hindering progress but also prevents new roadblocks from arising, ensuring a seamless advancement.

Free Staff Meeting Agenda Template

In this article, we’ve discussed key elements to include to make your staff meetings more productive. However, these concepts and ideas might take some time to fully grasp and can be challenging to implement without prior experience.

To get you off to a solid start, give our free staff meeting template a try, which you can access in Huddles’ template gallery. 

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