Team meetings are important activities to keep the team in sync and coordinated: team members resolve issues affecting their work and get updates of the latest news and information about their project. Team meetings should be productive and worthwhile activities.
However, team meetings can become boring and pointless, especially if there is no structure to them. People will dread going into one and will tend to avoid them. Just like any other activity, team meetings need conscious effort and good planning for them to be effective.
- How to Run an Effective Team Meeting Part 1
- Team Meeting Agenda Template Free Download Part 2
- How to Make Meeting Agendas 10x Easier Part 3
- How to Spend Less Time on Meetings? Part 4
- Additional Sources Part 5
Here are some important pointers to consider in running a successful and productive team meeting:
- Look at team meetings positively. It’s all about mindset. If you consider team meetings as activity that are worth your time, your team members will feel the same vibe. Think of team meetings as an opportunity to spend time with the other team members and take this opportunity to coach, motivate, inform, inspire, and collaborate with them.
- Do not forget to prepare an agenda for an upcoming meeting. Most meetings are scheduled, and some people think of these meetings as just a part of work that they need to attend. They also feel that although these meetings take place, most of them do not have a clear agenda and people are there for the sake being there.
1. Involve everyone by letting them contribute into the agenda. Ask team members if there are topics they want to include in the meeting’s agenda.2. Squeeze in a little variety in the format of the meeting to keep it more exciting and interesting.3. Do not pad your agenda with so many topics that it will be impossible to discuss them all in one meeting. Leave some room to discuss other issues that may pop up during the meeting. 4. For more tips on how to write meeting agendas, check out this article.
- Just like any other meeting, document the proceedings of the meeting. Assign someone to take down the minutes of the meeting and try to assign this duty to different people for each meeting. Record action items, person/s assigned, and deadlines using a meeting minutes template. You can choose a template which can be found and downloaded from the Internet or you can customize one, depending on your preferences. There is a great article here about taking down minutes of the meeting.
To reiterate, team meetings are a great venue to help the team accomplish a lot of things in one sitting. The key here is thoughtful and careful planning. However it turns out will depend on you, the manager. Make the team meeting exciting and interesting so your team members have something to look forward to. Otherwise, time spent sitting in these meetings will become wasted time which could be spent more productively somewhere else.
Team Meeting Template: Free Download
Free online tools for work:
1. Fluxes.com — Free Project and Task Management Software
2. Status.net — Software for Daily and Weekly Status Reports
How to Make Meeting Agendas and Minutes 10x Easier
How to configure online meeting agendas and/or meeting minutes:
- Create a “Meeting Agenda” or “Meeting Minutes” applet on status.net — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders
- Configure who will submit it by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill it in and submit it.
- Participants can comment on a meeting agenda in its comments section, which ensures the right context for discussion and further reference.
- Mention those people who you want to take action or pay attention by using @ before their names. These people will receive personal notifications on their status accounts and by email.@mention a team member in your meeting agenda or in its comments section by using “@” and your team member’s name.Example comment: “@Peter and @Mary, do you have any comments regarding the “Metrics” section? @Don, are you coming to the meeting?”
In this case, Peter, Mary, Don will automatically receive an additional personal notification, so they know they’re expected to take action or pay attention and won’t forget to add their input in the meeting agenda’s comments section.
Info such as the date and the name of the person will be added automatically.
As soon as a new meeting agenda/minutes record is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time when they log in to their status.net accounts. They will also automatically receive an email notification.
Step 3 (Optional): Print it.
(Skip this step if you share meeting agendas and minutes online and don’t print them.)
- Choose date
- Click “file” button
- Click “Generate”
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- Make meeting agendas and minutes instantly available to the meeting participants.
- Save time with auto completion:
Fields such as date, name, formatting, etc. are inserted automatically by software.
- For regular meetings:
Configure recurrence and assign people who will receive automatic reminders to create and share upcoming meeting agendas and/or minutes.
- For irregular meetings:
Start your agenda with info about the meeting date, time and place and this will work as mass-notification: status.net will automatically send emails with full text to all participants as soon as you submit it.
- Improve meeting agendas with the option to gather info for the upcoming meeting agenda from participants.
- Draw attention of specific team members by using the “mentions” feature, if you need input or comments from those people. When you @mention your team members, they will receive a separate personal notification by email.
- Easy sharing:
Meeting agendas and minutes can be either
— exported to files and printed;
— shared online with selected people (in this case, an email with the full text of the meeting agenda will be sent automatically to those with “View” permission); or
— shared online company-wide or team-wide (the latest meeting agenda will be available online and a notification email will be sent automatically to each team member).
How to Spend Less Time on Meetings?
How to use status.net for status reports:
- Easily implement daily or weekly status reports for your team members by creating a status feed with questions like “What did you do today?” or “How did you contribute to the team’s goals this week?”.
- Peace of mind:
No one forgets to fill in their status reports because status.net sends timely reminders according to the recurrence schedule you chose.
- Increase workplace satisfaction by improving transparency:
Each status update has a separate section for comments, which is used by team members to clarify information, including upcoming goals, and by leaders to provide feedback and coordinate better without micromanagement.
- Use status reports for future reference and decrease time and efforts spent on monthly, quarterly, and yearly reporting thanks to powerful filtering and export features.
- Optionally, enrich reports with the latest updates automatically added from web apps your team uses (such as free task management software Fluxes.com, and other project management tools, version control systems, support systems, financial applications, etc.) by connecting these apps to your status applet.
- Spend less time on meetings by making them more productive because everyone is on the same page at all times.
- Sharing: Status reports can be either
— exported to files and printed, or sent by email;
— shared with manager online (in this case, an email with the full text of the status report will be sent automatically); or
— shared online as company-wide or team-wide status reports, i.e., all team members share their progress with each other.
How to configure status reports on status.net:
- Create a “Status Report” applet — customize our preset forms or easily create a new form in minutes.
- Setup reminders if you want your team members to receive automatic reminders when their reports are due.
- Configure who will submit reports by choosing the “Participants” tab.
Step 2: Users will click the “Open Submission Form” button to fill in and submit the report.
Data such as the report type, date and name will be added automatically.
As soon as a new status report is added, participants with “View” rights can view it in real time.
- Set the applet as “Team-wide” if you want all team members to view each other’s status reports.
- Alternatively, you can make every participant to view his/her own reports only. Manager/stakeholders will view all reports.
- Add, remove, and assign new team members at any time.
Step 3 (Optional): Generate a report and export it to PDF.
(Skip this step if you share status reports online and don’t print them.)
Click “Generate Report”.