6 min

How to Plan Essential & Productive Team Meetings

6 different types of team meetings every organization should regularly run for optimal productivity and success

Meetings are essential for information sharing and decision making. Yet, many employees consider meetings to be too time-consuming and unproductive.

A 2022 study by Zippia revealed that organisations spend about 15% of their time on meetings, with 71% of those meetings considered to be unproductive. Yet, this doesn’t mean that you should cut out meetings completely.

Conversely, too few meetings can lead to misalignment and discontent within the team. In one article, MIT researchers summed up that when meetings are eliminated entirely, a team tends to experience a decline in satisfaction, productivity, engagement, and cooperation.

The solution for optimal business growth is to have the right number of meetings at the right time and with the right purpose.

In this article, we’ll cover six different types of team meetings every organisation should regularly run. We’ll also explain how often to have these team meetings and how to conduct them efficiently for optimal productivity and success.

Create a Healthy Meeting Rhythm Culture

Similar to how the human heart pumps blood to keep the body healthy, team meetings carry the lifeblood of communication throughout your team to keep them aligned and coordinated for maximum efficiency.

And just like the heartbeat, team meetings must also have their rhythm. When your team meetings have a rhythm, the pulse becomes the pace at which your team performs.

How do you create a healthy meeting rhythm in your organisation?

It starts by understanding the types of meetings every company needs to have and how often you should have them.

Here are six essential meetings that should be part of every organisation’s meeting rhythm culture to ensure overall project success and business growth.

Daily Standup Meeting (AKA a Daily Scrum)

What is it?

A daily standup meeting, also known as a daily scrum meeting under the agile methodology, is a short and informal meeting that usually takes 10-20 minutes.

During these meetings, team members talk about what they have completed, what roadblocks they faced for tasks they haven’t been able to complete, and what they plan to work on next.

When should you have it?

As the name suggests, these meetings take place every day. You should ideally conduct these meetings at the beginning of each day to set your team up for a more productive day.

Who needs to be in it?

Standup meetings or scrum teams should ideally be between three to nine people. They should comprise people working towards the same goal, for example, a sales team, and led by a team leader of scrum master.

Big teams should be divided into smaller groups for daily scrums. For example, an international sales team can be divided according to geographical region or product line.

What should be covered?

  • Discuss any problems with their current tasks
  • Share ideas to resolve challenges
  • Plan the day's work
  • Make sure everyone has what they need to complete their tasks

Daily Updates (in writing)

What is it?

Daily updates serve the same purpose as a daily standup meeting or daily scrum, except it is in written form.

Written daily updates are useful for remote teams who could be working in different time zones or with different shift schedules and find it difficult to connect together at the same time every day.

When should you have it?

Ideally, each team member should submit a written update at the beginning of their shift. The tool you use to conduct daily updates should make it easy for team members to discuss any issues.

Who needs to be in it?

Daily update teams should be designed the same way scrum teams are designed.

What should be covered?

Daily updates should cover the same thing as daily standup meetings.

Weekly Meetings

What is it?

Weekly team meetings are longer meetings that typically involve discussing strategy rather than the execution-level discussions of daily scrums. They should ideally take around 30-60 minutes.

Who needs to be in it?

Weekly meetings should involve managers between departments with a common project or scrum team leaders within a large department.

For example, weekly meetings could involve:

  • Team leaders of scrum teams within the sales department
  • The team leader or scrum master from sales, copywriting, design, and technical departments of a project launch.

In short, weekly meetings typically involve the first layer of managers in an organisation, which can vary according to each company’s team organisation.

When should you have it?

Weekly meetings can be conducted at the beginning of each week so you can review the previous week and align everyone for the coming week.

They can also be conducted at the end of each week. However, most employees may not be as focussed on a Friday afternoon meeting because they’re looking forward to the weekend.

What should be covered?

  • Key KPI and performance metrics of the previous weeks
  • Strategies to reach monthly goals
  • Setting or readjusting team goals for the coming week

Monthly Meetings

What is it?

Monthly meetings typically involve discussing strategy rather than the execution-level discussions of daily scrums. These meetings typically take 1-3 hours or may require an entire day if you have a large organisation.

Who needs to be in it?

Weekly meetings should involve mid-level managers who manage teams at the ground level and upper-level managers who report to senior management.

When should you have it?

Monthly meetings should be conducted in the final week of every month to review the current month and plan for the upcoming month.

What should be covered?

  • Key KPI and performance metrics of each team for the current month
  • Reviewing overall progress towards quarterly goals
  • Setting or readjusting goals for each team for the upcoming month
  • Reviewing backlogs
  • Discussing issues or roadblocks
  • Scheduling sprints for the upcoming month, if needed

Quarterly Meetings

What is it?

Like monthly meetings, quarterly meetings involve discussing strategy. Quarterly meetings zoom out to review strategy per quarter rather than per month.
The length of quarterly meetings can range from a couple of hours to a couple of days, depending on how big or complex your organisation is.

Who needs to be in it?

Quarterly meetings tend to involve upper-level managers and the C-level managers they report to.

When should you have it?

Quarterly meetings should be conducted in the final two weeks of every quarter to review the current quarter and plan for the upcoming quarter.

What should be covered?

  • Key KPI and performance metrics of each department for the current quarter
  • Reviewing progress towards annual goals
  • Setting or readjusting goals for each department for the coming quarter
  • Reviewing backlogs
  • Discussing issues or roadblocks
  • Discussing funding and budgets for departments

Company Meeting

Annual meetings

What is it?

Annual meetings discuss high-level strategies to help the organisation achieve their business mission and vision.
The annual meetings we are talking about involve internal parties and should not be confused with Annual General Meetings (AGM), which is a yearly meeting involving external parties such as investors, stockholders, or shareholders.

Who needs to be in it?

Annual meetings tend to involve C-level managers and business owners.

When should youhave it?

Annual meetings should be conducted in the final month of every year, or latest, in the first two weeks of every year, to review the past year and plan for the upcoming year.

What should be covered?

  • The company’s overall performance for the past year
  • Reviewing last year’s annual goals
  • Reviewing last year’s profit and loss
  • Discussing funding and budgets for departments
  • Discussing growth strategies
  • Setting or readjusting goals for the coming year

How to Overcome Resistance Towards Meetings

The six types of meetings we’ve covered each play a necessary role for project success and business growth.

But how can you convince your employees that these meetings are necessary and lower their resistance towards meetings? Especially if you already have many employees complaining about having too many meetings.

The key lies in making your meetings productive. What does this actually mean, though?

Well, think about meetings like watching a movie. You could sit through a 3-hour movie without complaining if the movie is entertaining. Yet a 1.5-hour movie feels like a waste of time if it’s bad.

Similarly, if meetings bring value to your employees, gives them clear direction, and help them complete their tasks at work, then they won’t feel like they’ve just wasted their time.

In short, productive meetings have a clear, results-oriented agenda that sets out to achieve them.

Essential Components of a Results-Oriented Agenda

Creating a productive meeting culture in an organisation involves numerous steps. One of the most critical stepping stones is making it a policy that every meeting must start with a results-oriented agenda.

A results-oriented agenda needs to:

  • Have a clear meeting purpose
  • When the meeting will be
  • List out each discussion topic
  • Include the right people for each type of meeting
  • Have a clear time frame for each discussion topic
  • Keep a record of meeting discussions and outcomes
  • Make sure everyone knows their tasks after the meeting

Create a Time-Saving Agenda for Every Type of Meeting

In summary, understanding the purpose of each meeting type, creating a meeting rhythm for each type, and starting every meeting with an effective agenda can help your organisation:

  • Save time in meetings
  • Stay on track with your goals
  • Scale and reach your next level of success

Contact us or explore our blog to learn more about how using AgendaLink can improve the results you get from any type of meeting.

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