How to Write Effective Staff Meeting Agendas
Most businesses prepare staff meeting agendas for purposes of brainstorming ideas, communicating to their team, as well as strengthening and reinforcing team focus. If you have the responsibility of preparing agenda for a staff meeting, it is wise to plan how to execute such a task carefully. Read on to learn how to achieve this goal.
Outline Discussion Points for Staff Meeting Agendas
To start with, you want to outline the discussion points for your organization’s staff meeting in advance. The beauty of this approach is it helps you allocate time for each agenda item. Remember to focus your outline on the big 3 – Time, Purpose and Outcome. Excessive detail does not help. List agenda items from the most important to the least important and be clear on the purpose of the conversation. Avoid being vague – be clear about the expected outcomes. Are you planning to define 3 alternatives or define an action plan.
Know when you want an Icebreaker for Staff Meeting Agendas
In some cases, a company may call employees for a meeting without any prior notice. This can create tension because no one has any idea what the meeting is about. Sharing the purpose helps here. To make staff feel at ease, we advise you to consider an icebreaker as part of your meeting agenda. This can be an inspirational quote, an activity that primes your team, or a thought-provoking question. An icebreaker comes in handy if you have new team members who may feel intimidated, uncomfortable, or simply afraid of other long serving employees.
Focus Everyone’s Time
For each agenda item, allocate enough time. Remember that some agenda items may require more time than the rest. It is up to you to choose how much time team members have to discuss a particular agenda item. By having a clear Outcome, you will be able to determine if a conversation is 10 minutes to gather ideas, 30 minutes for ideas & sorting into 3 options, 45 minutes to choose a course of action or an hour to create a plan to implement. The Outcome determines the length of time required. When you fail to clearly define the OUtcome, no one will know when they’ve achieved the outcome. The meeting may end before staff members have a chance to achieve the outcome. And participants LOVE meetings where they achieve the outcomes.
Some leaders include an “Open” or “Questions” item in their staff meeting agenda. This gives your staff members an opportunity to comment and give you their feedback on the entire meeting. You can also consider asking for Time, Purpose and Outcomes in advance to compile similar topics and outcomes. This ensures open time is put to the best use. Time to discuss the meeting can also provide employees with opportunities to air their views if they feel that they have been aggrieved in any way. You do not want to end a meeting and receive protest letters in your inbox the moment you enter your office.
The term “meeting agendas” should not intimidate you at all. In order to come up with effective meeting agendas, start by outlining the Purpose and Outcomes of the conversation. Secondly, create an icebreaker to help set staff members feel at ease and get started into the topics. Thirdly, focus on managing time to ensure that employees achieve all the meeting outcomes. Finally, consider how your team gets to share feedback. This makes it easy to gauge the success or failure of your staff meeting agendas.
For a deep-dive into agenda setting, facilitating and achieving results in meetings, check out Meeting Effectiveness Training.
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