A great meeting is an outcome of having a great agenda in place. Learn how to create great team meeting agenda. Read on!
Team meeting agenda
An effective team meeting agenda helps participants to use the time judiciously and be prepared for the discussion beforehand. A staff meeting agenda is the purpose of the meeting which is communicated to the participants in advance. The agenda for the meeting helps in achieving a positive outcome.
A team meeting is an essential curricular activity for any purpose-driven group. They bring a lot to the table– planned objectives, valuable inputs from different departments within the team, and help boost the overall productivity of the group.
Owing to the importance of these meetings, it is always necessary to have a definite team meeting agenda for each and every session. You might wonder why is it essential to have an agenda for a meeting?
On paper, the idea of a flexible meeting with no clear plan sounds good and efficient. But it is not practical in real life. I am sure that at some point in your life, you were a participant in a meeting where the team members came unprepared. When there is no effective meeting agenda, you can expect the following,
- Participants tend to veer off-track
- The discussions are anything but productive, wasting the valuable time of the whole team
- Some participants get so complacent that they don’t provide anything constructive. They prefer to just sit through the meetings, contributing nothing. A clear-cut team meeting agenda can eliminate these primary problems effectively.
What is an agenda for team meetings?
Let us see what is an agenda? An agenda is also known as the purpose of staff meetings that participants are hoping to achieve. The team meeting agenda should contain points to be discussed in the team meeting to avoid wasting any time.
Benefits of setting a meeting agenda
We know the problems that the ack of a meeting agenda can cause. But the benefits of having a clear agenda go beyond the scope of merely fixing these problems. A proper agenda for a meeting sets certain boundaries to discussions and sets rigid expectations and goals.
It ensures that the team members prepare their ideas, and come up with effective ways to put forth their views in front of the team. Here’s how having a definite meeting outline can benefit your team,
1. Increases engagement
A team meeting agenda can really kick off the team spirit within the members. It coaxes them to prepare for the meeting and provide their valuable input. When they put forth their ideas, other people contribute in a collective, collaborative effort.
2. A collective sense of purpose
Any business meeting agenda, which properly outlines the expectations from the meeting ensures that all the participants are on the same page. When all the team members share the same programs and goals and participate around them; they tend to understand better the importance of the meeting.
3. Holistic development of the participants
An efficient team meeting agenda can also contribute largely to shape the holistic development of the participants. The facilitator can hone their leadership skills and run the meeting with the goal to increase productivity.
The participants, at the same time, learn a great deal about teamwork, how to put forth their ideas, and how to compromise when needed. Such team meetings are also riddled with challenges here and there, which any participant can take up, thus instilling a sense of accountability in them.
4. Meeting outlines keep discussion on-time and on-topic
The benefits of setting a meeting agenda are to keep participants from straying off-topic. The team meeting agenda helps in focusing on the project at hand. Using an agenda ensures that the time is utilized efficiently and thus leads to more successful staff meetings.
5. Meeting guides act as a reference
The team meeting agenda also provides a brief recap of the entire meeting which can be referred to any time for future use. The benefits of setting a meeting agenda are to have effective team meetings. It also helps in retaining documents and assignments.
Now that we know the importance and the benefits of having a distinct meeting outline, the next step is to know how to facilitate one properly. Creating a meeting agenda is not as simple as it sounds; you have to take into account a lot of factors. But before you start planning a meeting schedule, you need to come up with agenda items for your meetings.
Also Read: Employment History | A comprehensive guide
What are the agenda items?
An agenda item is a separate section of a team meeting agenda that the participants can specify separately from other issues they need to consider during that meeting. The meeting facilitator generally is in charge of setting the agenda items.
1. What are agenda items for a meeting like?
To prepare an allegory, you can compare agenda items for a meeting with a grocery form when you wish to order something. The form would contain a large array of items, and you need to discuss each of them with every member of your family; because their presence or absence will ultimately affect all of them.
At the same time, you will also need to complete the grocery form within a specified time to make it useful. Having distinct and rigid agenda items create a bold outline for the order of the meeting. It ensures that the meeting is constructive and flows in a smooth and streamlined fashion.
It also helps provide a precise measure of the productivity of a meeting, because of its sequential nature. Generally, facilitators time-box their agenda items and hope to check them off the list within a specified amount of time.
Moreover, it instills a sense of purpose within the participants as they come up with effective solutions to tackle all the agenda items. This is why it is important to select efficient agenda items before we move on to the other aspects of planning a business meeting agenda.
2. Often discussed team meeting topics
Let us have a look into some of the most often discussed team meeting agenda topics,
- Progress on achieving goals for the current quarter
- The financial state of the company, meeting format led by CEO
- Backlog refinement on a weekly or bi-weekly basis
- The meeting agenda format may include learning sessions
- Ongoing projects
- Discussing and setting next quarter goals and objectives
- Recent team performance in various capacities
- Sharing industry news to stay up to date on the latest trend
- Discuss upcoming events such as campaign launch, an upcoming sale, etc
- Product training in case of new products being released soon
Also Read: Team Building | Everything you must know
How to write a meeting agenda?
Now that we know the basics of a team meeting agenda, we can move on to the trickier aspects of the same. In the following section, we will discuss how to write a meeting agenda, with the help of various meeting agenda examples that are simple to design, yet effective in nature.
Here are some basic tips for creating a meeting agenda, to prepare a well-established outline for your next team meeting. The good thing about the points mentioned below is that you can apply them for all your meetings, whether they last a week or even for one day.
1. Take input and opinions of all the team members
The most crucial aspect of any team meeting is its efficiency and engagement. You can only come up with a successful team meeting if all the participants engage actively in the process. As a facilitator, it’s your job to encourage all the participants to put forth their ideas and opinions.
The most effective way of doing this is to continually seek their input, and ask for their suggestions for various agenda items. Create an atmosphere where each and everyone can appreciate the level of communication between the participants and the leader.
You can even take this a step ahead by asking your members to come up with agenda items for future meetings. Another important thing to note is that if you reject any of their ideas, you need to be kind and explain your reasons with care, to not discourage future participation.
2. Make sure the agenda items are favorable for the entire team
Team meetings can sometimes prove to be hectic, and it is difficult to get all the members together in the same place at the same time. Therefore, once they are together, you need to make the most out of the situation.
Come up with agenda items that affect the entire team, and require the presence of the entire team to solve or discuss them. This is where the availability of multiple agenda items for one meeting proves to be advantageous.
Make sure the entire meeting tackles a wide range of issues, to optimize the skills of your entire time. To help you understand better, let us discuss some meeting agenda examples that affect the whole team.
- Ask questions such as ‘what is the best way to allocate shared resources?’. This is a question that will affect the entire team, as they all need and understand where the company resources can prove to be the most beneficial.
- Ask questions such as ‘what can we do to reduce the response time?’.
3. Be clear about the agenda topics for the day
Perhaps the most crucial thing when coming up with a team meeting agenda is to try and enunciate a plan that everyone can understand. It is of utmost importance that all the participants are clear on the agenda items.
Now, to take help from a meeting agenda sample, one way to be clear about your goals is to list your agenda items in the form of a question. For example, your team might not understand if you tell them the agenda for the meeting is ‘office resource allocation’.
They might not question anything but will refrain from participating actively in the discussion. Now string the words together in the form of a question like, ‘what is the best way to allocate resources?’. This would get a much larger response from your team because now they understand the point of the discussion.
Questions can engage your team members in collective thinking and encourage them to participate actively. They will put forth the ideas they deem best for the shared interests of the company, and actively track whether their comments are on point or not.
4. Estimate a realistic time-box for your agenda topics
Now, this is the most essential part of the planning meeting agenda. It requires precise estimation and judgment. It involves two aspects,
- The first aspect is to calculate the amount of time that you need to allocate for the topic. You need to take into account a lot of factors like how much time it will take for the introduction of the topic, for the question-answer session, for resolving conflicts and differences in opinions, coming up with solutions, and then formulating an effective conclusion.
- The second aspect is more flexibility. This rests within the power of your team members. Once you reveal the time you have allocated for a specific topic, the participants can either make efforts to fit their comments and opinions within the given time frame or make suggestions to increase the time.
Ultimately, you have to understand that you don’t set time-frames to limit your discussions but to allocate sufficient times to encourage healthy discussions.
5. Identify the leader of each meeting
There might come a time when the general leader of the group is not fit to lead a particular team meeting agenda. One should be considerate about the skills and proficiency of each and every participant and recognize the most suitable leader for different topics.
At the same time, it is not prudent to run a meeting without any leader. That might lead to confusion and chaos, and the disorganized fashion of the conference will prove to be bad for the entire team.
6. Determine the type of meeting: discussion, announcement, problem-solving
A team meeting agenda can be anything – whether it is to figure out the best way for resource allocation or to brief the participants about an upcoming project. If your team members are not clear on how to participate in these different kinds of meetings, they’ll refrain from engaging. Therefore, you must make your expectations from the participants clear.
Sometimes, you might just need them to concentrate and listen intently. During other times, it would be vital for them to contribute with their ideas and inputs. If their part in the discussion is not clear, participants might get extremely frustrated and lose their morale by the end of the meeting.
The best way to tackle this problem is to hand out brief instructions about the meeting beforehand. Make sure that you send these instructions with plenty of spare time before the meetings so that the participants can acquaint themselves with the topics and prepare amiably.
7. Be open to modify the meeting agenda if needed
Meetings are pre-planned, and a lot can happen between the time when you send out instructions about the meeting and when the meeting actually takes place. You have to keep in mind that the time-space between the two is large and certain, more important agendas might come up during this interval.
So, in order to facilitate a successful session, be mindful to prepare yourself to change or modify your team meeting agenda if need be. The healthiest way to do this is to start the session by encouraging the participants to speak their minds. Take a minute off and ask them if they would want to make any changes to the list of agendas due to late-breaking events.
Usually, the need for changing the agenda will be minimal. But in case a member speaks up, it will only prove that they have something important or constructive to address, which is definitely a plus point for the team.
8. Lastly, review all your meetings at the end
You must allocate a certain amount of time at the end of each of your meetings for reviewing the session. Looking back at the discussions and progress you made during a meeting can help refresh the events of the team meeting for the participants.
It will also help them remember the necessary steps that they are supposed to take after the meeting. Based on an effective meeting agenda sample, you can use these questions to help evaluate your meetings,
- Were the team members prepared for the meeting?
- Did we allocate enough time for each agenda item?
- How well did we engage in productive discussions to optimize all agenda items?
- How effective was the process for each agenda item?
Asking yourselves and your team, these questions will increase accountability and ensure smoother processes in the future. It will also help you track productivity and performance at the end of each meeting.
Moreover, it will also be a solid base for self-evaluation, wherein you can judge your team meeting plan based on the success of the session. All of this combined can boost the productivity of any team.
Also Read: Disgruntled Employee | A complete guide
Meeting agenda template and examples
Team meeting agendas are useful to prepare you for your next meeting. Draft agenda that helps in promoting engagement and participation in the meeting. Using a meeting agenda template helps in keeping meetings on track and on time.
The two basic things to discuss at a staff meeting are – the role each attendee plays in the meeting, the purpose of the meeting, and each attendee. Let us discuss few common sample agenda templates below,
1. Office staff meetings agenda template
A staff meeting template is created to discuss accomplishments and projects across the team. The team meeting agenda is set to help the team members to support each other. Here is a sample staff meeting agenda template,
- Previous meeting review
- Employee or team recognition
- Highlight recently completed projects to celebrate success
- Client or new project focus and related expectations or goals
- Decisions and actions with due dates
- Questions and Feedback
2. Large team meeting agenda template
Large team meetings usually occur once a quarter or once a year. They consist of teams from different departments. Let us have a look into a sample large team meeting agenda template,
- Welcome, news and announcements
- Employee or team recognition
- Review of policies and procedures in place
- Discuss revised administrative report
- Housekeeping items
- Presentation 1
- Presentation 2
- Discuss key takeaways and action points
- End meeting with a thank-you note
3. Weekly meeting agenda template
Let us look into a sample meeting agenda usually for meeting that occurs every week,
- Updates – Discuss company announcements or major industry trends
- Big Picture – Review team goals, objectives, metrics, etc.
- Priorities – Set clear priorities for the next sprint
- Roadblocks – Ask the team about potential roadblocks
- Shoutouts – Acknowledge team members for the good work done. This creates a positive environment
- Action Items – End the meeting with clear actions and takeaways
4. Sample business meeting agenda
The usual team meeting agenda of having a business meeting is to discuss the various issues arriving due to the new and upcoming projects. The meeting agenda template is created to highlight the different issues one by one.
- Meeting Name – Title of the meeting
- Location – Provide meeting location
- Date – Provide proper date
- Time – Provide starting time
- Facilitator – Provide the coordinator name
- Agenda Items – Item 1, Item 2, Item 3, so on
5. Departmental meetings
Department heads usually have busy schedules hence a clear team meeting agenda template must be used,
- Name of the department meeting
- Date along with the time of the meeting
- Facilitator of the meeting
- Welcoming comments
- Introduction of members attending the meeting
- Approval of minutes from the previous meeting
- Review of ongoing and upcoming projects
- Status update from different departments based on previous meeting’s action items
- Summary of recommendations made during the meeting
- Thank you note
6. Simple meeting agenda
If you are looking for a simple meeting agenda template, then you can check out the below team meeting agenda template that lets you plan a list of meeting activities,
- Meeting Title – Give a name to the meeting
- Conducted By – Name of the person in charge
- Location – Location and instructions on how to reach can be provided
- Meeting Objectives – Goals, Objectives
- Agenda of the meeting – Brief about the agenda for the meeting
7. Conference agenda template
A conference, unlike team meeting agenda, usually needs a full-day meeting agenda template. It runs throughout the day and holds different panel discussions, speeches, etc. Below is a sample conference agendas template,
- Registration Process
- Welcome Address
- Topic 1 – Company Head/ President
- Topic 2 – Guest Speaker
- Coffee Break
- Topic 3 – Share the Experience
- Topic 4 – Share the Experience
- Lunch Break
- Round Table Discussion
- Q&A – The audience can ask questions to the panel members
8. Employees meeting template
Employee meetings can help to get team updates. Check out the following meeting template agenda for employees meeting,
- Meeting date and time
- Welcome note
- Discuss items from the last meeting
- The present report on action items
- Review previous week and discuss the achievements and lessons learned
- Administrative items
- Discuss issues and roadblocks faced by employees
- Future action items based on the discussion
- Summarize the minutes of the meeting
- Thank you note
9. Example of an agenda for a committee meeting
Here is a meeting agenda example for a committee meeting,
- Establish fundraising target revenue
- Determine the different ways to reach the set target
- Decide how to approach donors – direct solicitation, or fundraising events.
- Set budget – Expenses
- Pick event format – Breakfast, Lunch, Reception
- Determine logistics – Date, Location, Catering
- Event Committee assignments – Assign specific tasks to the members, review the prospective donor list, and set agenda for the next meeting.
10. Management executive meeting agenda
Team meeting agenda for management executives can be represented through management executive meeting agenda template. Let us have a look at the management meeting agenda template,
Start by highlighting these three points at the top,
- Date of Meeting
- Place of Meeting
- Time of Meeting
List down the following,
- Welcome Address
- Meeting Procedures
- Minutes of Previous Meeting held
- Follow up action items of previous meetings
- New Agenda items
- Thank you note
11. First team meeting agenda
When you are a new manager, this first team meeting agenda template will help you with your first team meeting,
- Icebreaker – Get to know each other
- How can I best support the team as a Manager
- What is the best way for us to communicate as a team
- Meeting – when, how, how often – How often should the team meet
- Expectations – Expectations for working with a team
- Q&A – Wrap up with Q&A
12. Fun meeting agenda template
A fun meeting may be called to have team bonding exercises, recreational activities, etc. Fun meeting agenda may have several purposes such as having fun, team building, taking a break, relaxation, etc. Here is a sample fun meeting agenda template you can use,
- Meeting called by
- Date and Time
- Duration of the meeting
- Type of meeting
- What to bring
- Facilitator name
- Agenda Items
- Activity 1
- Activity 2
- Activity 3
- … so on
13. Project meeting agenda
Example of an agenda template used to check-in on ongoing project status,
- Updates – Celebrate any recent success and let everyone speak about what they are working on, one by one.
- Roadblocks – Review the challenges faced by the team which is preventing them to finish up the work. Discuss and identify the potential solution.
- Open action Items – End the meeting by reviewing the next steps, adjusting deadlines, and setting up future milestones.
14. All staff meeting agenda template
The meeting agenda template for an all-hands meeting is generally different from the team meeting agenda template. Here is an all-staff meeting agenda template,
- Business Updates – Present key numbers and statistics and compare them with company goals
- Shoutouts – Congratulate different teams for successful project completion
- Team Spotlight – Ask different departments to present at the team meetings
- Q&A session – Answer burning questions from the employees
- Reminders – End meeting with important reminders
15. Engineering meeting agenda template
Effective team meeting agenda helps the entire team to work better together. Here is an engineering meeting agenda template,
- Team meeting title
- Small wins -Celebrate small victories that any of the team members had
- Demos – Project ready for release, new tools, and codes that team must be aware of
- Discussion topics – Anything that the team members would like to discuss?
- Action Items – Key takeaways from the meeting
Concluding thoughts on team meeting agenda
In this article, we covered the basics of how we can conduct productive team meetings by setting up clear-cut agenda items. At the same time, we dove deeper into the mechanics of the same and came up with several simple tricks and techniques to optimize these meetings.
The article will also help you set distinct and clear outlines for all your team meetings, no matter the variations of the agenda items. A team meeting is an integral part of the growth process of any company, and you must make the most of it with minimal effort.