How to Organize your Staff Meeting

Erika Petrelli
Erika Petrelli

It’s a well-known fact that many of spend way too much time each week in meetings that are either a) unnecessary or b) unproductive (or both).

And it doesn’t take more than a few minutes of online scrolling to gain dozens of insights on how to make our meetings better—from having a clear leader, sending the team a written agenda, sticking to a clear start and end time, sending an email follow up, and so much more. So, if we all know what we should be doing, why aren’t we doing it?

Because our weeks are busy and meeting-full, it can be helpful to remember just a few simple things that, when we pause to consider them, will automatically re-energize and refresh our team time. 

Here are five reminders of ways you can keep your team, and your meetings, energized:

Infuse Fun

We get so caught up in the business of our business, that we can easily forget that “fun” is not something to leave for the naturally-occurring moments; rather, it should be intentionally incorporated.  Moments of fun and joy can provide your team comic relief, relaxation, and most importantly—connection.  Can you turn your goals share-out into a game? Can you include pizza at your weekly staff meeting? Can you include music or props in your presentation? Take your joy seriously.

Have a Clear Purpose

This is one we hear over and over, and for good reason.  How many times have you left a meeting and wondered why you were there, or what the meeting was needed for at all.  How many standing weekly meetings do you have, where you meet just because it’s in your schedule to do so? To re-energize your meetings, make sure they matter.  And pause to think about who needs to be present, and why. 

Keep the Agenda Realistic

Often times our meetings go off course because we are unrealistic about what can be accomplished in the time allotted.   What are the one to three things that need to be accomplished in your time together? (More than three items means you should be separating those into more than one meeting). What is your goal by the end of the meeting?

Make It Personal

This is a note especially to those of us who have regular standing meetings – weekly one-on-ones, or monthly goals report-outs.  Any meeting that has a regular schedule and standing agenda can run the risk of becoming robotic and ineffective.   So make sure you are keeping it personal—make sure to check in with your meeting mates, check the mood of the room, and adjust the time according to what’s happening in real life, not just what’s listed on the agenda.

End With Action

When the meeting ends, does everyone just get up and leave, unsure of what to do next? Do your team members leave with confusion over who has what on their to-do list? Make sure to save those last few minutes of your time together to clarify what needs to be done before the next meeting, by when, and by whom. Clarify what the next steps are for the whole team.

A little intentional focus goes a long way when it comes to helping your meetings be more productive, your team feel more valued, and your time together be more worthwhile.

What can you do today?

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Erika Petrelli

By Erika Petrelli

Erika Petrelli is the Senior Vice President of Leadership Development (and self-declared Minister of Mischief) for The Leadership Program, a New York City-based organization. With a Masters degree in Secondary Education, Erika has been in the field of teaching and training for decades, and has been with The Leadership Program since 1999. There she has the opportunity to nurture the individual leadership spirit in both students and adults across the country, through training, coaching, keynotes, and writing. The legacy Erika strives daily to create is to be the runway upon which others take flight. If you enjoy these blogs, you should check out her interactive journal, On Wings & Whimsy: Finding the Extraordinary Within the Ordinary, now available for sale on Amazon. While her work takes her all around the country, Erika calls Indiana home.