Regular team meetings are a crucial forum for members to share ideas, assess progress, and refine strategies. However, the effectiveness of these gatherings depends on a well-structured agenda that addresses the team's needs and goals.
83% of employees spend up to 33% of their work week in meetings. 71% of those meetings are unproductive.
The last thing you want is to become the subject of a meme about yet another meeting that should have been an email. This is where a structured agenda comes in.
In this article, we’ll dive into essential elements you need to cover in your weekly team meetings. This would help you create a more seamless flow, making meetings more engaging, more productive, and less frustrating.
5 Essential Elements to Cover in Weekly Team Meetings
A clear agenda sets the tone for the meeting and provides a roadmap for discussion. Having a regular meeting flow also prevents meetings from dragging on unnecessarily. After all, time is a valuable resource that cannot be wasted.
To help you make meetings more productive, here are five points you should cover and the order in which they should be discussed.
1. Wins and successes
Starting with your wins and successes sets the tone for the entire meeting, fostering a positive and uplifting atmosphere. Here are some ideas on how you can do this:
- Recognition shout-outs: Begin the meeting by giving individual and team shout-outs for notable achievements, successful projects, or instances where team members went above and beyond.
- Success stories: Use this time for team members to share success stories or personal achievements. This not only recognizes individuals but also provides an opportunity for team bonding and inspiration.
- Rotating recognition: Implement a rotating system where team members take turns recognizing their peers. This promotes a culture of shared appreciation and ensures that everyone has an opportunity to acknowledge others.
Celebrating wins and successes gives team members a sense of pride and validation for their hard work, reinforcing the value of their contributions to the team's objectives.
2. Progress on deliverables
Discuss the progress made on ongoing projects and individual deliverables. Team members can provide updates on their tasks, highlighting achievements, milestones reached, and any challenges encountered.
To make sure everyone is on the same page, make sure each team member does the following:
- Provide context: Briefly remind the team of the task, goals, timelines, and any relevant background information discussed in the last meeting.
- Discuss the actions taken: Provide a detailed description of the actions taken on each task. Let the team know which deliverables are completed, which are still in progress, and which are delayed.
- Mention roadblocks: Share issues faced in each deliverable and what problems are causing the delays on some deliverables.
- Discuss timelines: Give an estimate of how much time is needed to complete the remaining deliverables. Adjust the timeline on any delayed projects based on the roadblocks discussed.
Aside from keeping everyone informed about the status of various projects, this also allows team members to collaborate and support each other in overcoming obstacles.
3. Goals and Objectives
Review and reaffirm the team's goals and objectives for the week. Discuss any changes or adjustments to the overarching strategy and ensure everyone is aligned with the team's mission.
To make sure your team sets the right goals and objectives, here are some tips:
- Use the SMART criteria: Utilize the SMART criteria when defining goals—Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This framework provides clarity and ensures that goals are well-defined and achievable.
- Prioritize: Identify which goals are most critical for the current week to help the team focus on high-impact activities.
- Break down larger goals: If the goals are substantial, break them down into smaller, more manageable tasks. This makes it easier for the team to track progress.
- Assign responsibilities: Designate team members who will lead each task and specify any collaborative efforts required to achieve the goals.
This agenda item allows the team to establish clear goals during your weekly meetings, fostering a proactive and results-driven team culture. It also ensures that individual and team efforts consistently contribute to the organization's objectives.
4. Problems and solutions
Create a space for team members to discuss any challenges or roadblocks. Here are some best practices that would help you address problems and discuss solutions in your weekly meetings:
- Define the problem clearly: Clearly articulate the problem and provide context to ensure everyone understands the nature and scope of the issue.
- Analyze the root cause: Conduct a thorough analysis to identify the root causes of the problem. Understanding the underlying issues enables the team to develop effective and lasting solutions.
- Collaborate: Approach problem-solving as a collaborative effort. Involve team members in generating solutions and value diverse perspectives.
- Come up with actionable solutions: Ensure the solutions generated are actionable and feasible within the given constraints.
Team meetings are the perfect avenue for collaboration, so encourage team members to share insights, seek advice, or offer solutions. This fosters a culture of transparency and teamwork and provides a platform for addressing issues before they escalate.
5. General announcements
End the meeting by sharing any general announcements relevant to the entire team. This could include updates on company-wide initiatives, changes in policies or procedures, upcoming events, or any information that impacts the team.
Because you’re nearing the end of the meeting, keep in mind that team members would either be tired from the discussion or eager to go back to work. These best practices would help cover this part of the meeting:
- Be concise: Keep announcements brief and to the point. Avoid unnecessary details and provide only the essential information to prevent overwhelming the team with unnecessary information.
- Use clear and simple language: Communicate using clear and straightforward language to enhance understanding. Avoid jargon or technical terms that might be confusing to team members who are not familiar with the topic.
- Allow time for questions: Allocate time for questions and clarifications after delivering the announcements. This ensures everyone clearly understands all the print discussed.
By incorporating these best practices, you can streamline your weekly meetings and ensure that information is effectively communicated and well-received by the team.
Other Ways to Make Team Meetings Interesting
Traditionally, work meetings were seen as boring, stressful affairs. But over time, meetings have evolved into enjoyable experiences. While work matters are discussed and taken seriously, that doesn’t mean the entire discussion should be tense and overly formal.
Here are a few ideas on how you can make team meetings more fun and engaging:
1. Start with a poll
Polls or surveys are a great way to engage your team members before the meeting starts. Microsoft Teams has an in-app survey tool that allows you to collect responses from everyone in the channel.
What should your poll be about? Anything! You can do a version of “This or That” and let them choose between burgers or pizza, coffee or tea, or dogs or cats. You can even have a quick discussion about each person’s choice.
If you want to keep it work-related, you can also create surveys about the theme of the next meeting or the venue of your next team-building event.
2. Add a theme
Speaking of themes, what about having a different one at each meeting? It could be as elaborate as coming in as your favorite superhero or something simple like wearing crazy hats.
You can even end each meeting by spinning an online picker wheel to decide the next meeting’s theme. While it could be fun to do this weekly, you could also do this once a month in case it feels too overwhelming to dress up every week.
3. Insert an icebreaker
Icebreakers don’t just add fun to every meeting; they also allow team members to connect and build relationships.
The great thing about icebreakers is that they don’t need to be elaborate, and they don’t need to take up a lot of time. There are a lot of five-minute icebreaker activities that you can use in your team meetings, like 2 Truths and a Lie or a 5-minute trivia challenge.
4. Rotate the role of the facilitator
Rotate the responsibility of leading meetings among team members. This not only gives everyone a chance to contribute in a different way but also adds variety to the meeting dynamics.
Each facilitator can bring their unique style and incorporate a unique, fun element into the agenda.
5. Share thoughts on thought-provoking questions
Ask thought-provoking questions like, “If you had a superpower, what would it be?” or “What’s the one thing you’d want to have with you if you were on a deserted island?” Then, have everyone share their answers quickly.
You can also use the Coffee Maker feature in CoffeePals, the virtual coffee break platform, to come up with these questions. Coffee Maker automatically asks these random questions on your team channels, which you can discuss during that week’s meeting.
Interested in running Coffee Maker for your team? Download CoffeePals now and enjoy incorporating it into your meetings and your general employee engagement initiatives.