A well-crafted team meeting agenda can serve as a valuable tool for your team or department by offering a glimpse into the topics that will be discussed. However, developing a good agenda can be a challenging task. You might find yourself wondering about the ideal content and level of detail required.
A comprehensive meeting agenda can bring clarity to the discussion, aid in the preparation of all participants, and ultimately optimize the team meeting process. Here’s some data to back us up:
- Harvard Business Review, employees spend an average of 23 hours per week in meetings. Out of this, about 15% of the time is considered unproductive due to poorly planned or no agendas at all
- A study conducted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln found that meetings with a structured agenda are 127% more effective
What is a meeting agenda?
A meeting agenda is a crucial document that serves as a roadmap for a meeting. It outlines the meeting’s goal, objectives, and action items. This way, it helps ensure that everyone is on the same page and that the discussion stays relevant.
In addition, using a meeting agenda can help participants prepare in advance and arrive at the meeting ready to contribute. By prioritizing items and allocating time effectively, the agenda ensures that all vital issues are addressed without accidentally overlooking anything important.
Overall, a well-planned meeting agenda is essential for making any type of meeting productive, efficient, and effective. When creating an agenda, it’s important to start by identifying the purpose of the meeting. Further, you determine what needs to be discussed to achieve that goal.
Why have an agenda before meetings?
An agenda is a crucial tool for productive team meetings. It helps to keep the discussion focused and on track, while ensuring that all essential topics are covered. With the rise of remote and hybrid work, a well-crafted meeting agenda can help you make the most of your time and avoid drifting off into side conversations. Collaboratively developing the agenda with team members can save time and foster a sense of inclusivity. Especially, sharing the agenda in advance allows team members to prepare ahead of time, leading to a more productive meeting. In fact, a survey conducted by Atlassian found that 37% of employees consider unclear agendas to be a waste of time in meetings.
8 tips to write an effective team meeting agenda
Have one clear meeting objective
Before organizing a meeting, it’s crucial to establish a clear objective. This means considering the purpose of the meeting and what you hope to achieve. Whether it’s to share information, solve a problem, or review a project, having a specific goal in mind helps to keep the meeting focused and increases its chances of being productive.
When setting the objective, it’s important to ensure that it is:
- Focused on a single topic
- Clear and concise
- Specific in what needs to be accomplished
For instance, an objective could be “Deciding on the priority work for the next quarter.”
Suit the agenda to each meeting
It’s essential to tailor your meeting agenda to the specific goals and objectives of each meeting. Not all meetings are the same, and a one-size-fits-all approach to agendas may not work. For example, a weekly team meeting might benefit from a section dedicated to recognizing team members’ achievements, while a workshop meeting might not require it.
As there are different types of meetings, it’s important to customize your agenda to fit the needs of your team and the specific meeting. This ensures that the meeting runs smoothly and is effective in achieving its intended outcomes.
Make it a teamwork
Encouraging team participation in developing the meeting agenda can help to create a more inclusive and productive meeting environment. The team leader can ask in-person or remote employees to contribute to the agenda and meeting.
One way to gather feedback is by using a Meeting Prep template or sending a poll to get input on agenda items, topics to discuss, celebrations to highlight, or questions they want to ask the team. This allows team members to share their thoughts and ideas in advance, helping the leader to plan a meeting that is relevant and focuses on the most important topics.
In addition, asking for input through polls or other means can be a considerate way to be more inclusive with staff meetings. It provides an opportunity for everyone to have a voice, even those who may not feel comfortable speaking up in a group setting.
Designate a team leader
Designating a topic leader for each item on the meeting agenda can help ensure that all topics are covered thoroughly and efficiently. When each team member is responsible for preparing for their assigned topic in advance, it promotes a more productive and collaborative meeting.
According to Lisa Richards, CEO of the Candida Diet, it is essential to communicate the expectations and responsibilities of each team member during the meeting to create a successful team meeting agenda. When team members understand what is expected of them, they are more likely to come prepared and ready to contribute effectively.
To select a topic leader, the team leader can identify who in the group is most knowledgeable or interested in the subject matter and provide them with an overview of what should be covered during the meeting.
Include team-building activities
Including an icebreaker or other team-building activity in your meeting agenda can be a great way to kick off the meeting and get everyone engaged. It can help set a more relaxed and comfortable tone, especially if your meeting is addressing complex or challenging topics.
However, it’s important to be mindful of the size of your team and the length of your meeting when choosing an icebreaker or team-building activity. A lengthy or complicated icebreaker might take up too much time and hinder the productivity of the meeting. Instead, aim for something quick and simple that can be completed within a few minutes.
Additionally, a survey by TeamBonding found that 81% of employees believe that team-building activities are important for improving team communication and collaboration.
Outline each point
It’s crucial to end your meeting agenda points with a recap and an outline of the next steps. It ensures full coverage and value for those who missed parts of the meeting. Outlining the next steps clearly helps to avoid confusion and creates a sense of urgency, which increases accountability and ensures that everyone follows through on their commitments.
Spare some time for questions
Make sure to allocate sufficient time at the end of the meeting for questions and discussion. This will give participants the opportunity to seek clarification and offer their input. For remote teams, it’s essential to make the Q&A section as effortless as possible.
Leave a positive note for the end
End on a positive note by showing appreciation for your team members. Taking few minutes to acknowledge individuals or the team as a whole leaves them feeling valued and motivated. Recognize team members for their contributions or accomplishments during the meeting. It could be as simple as thanking everyone for their time and effort or highlighting specific achievements. By doing this, you’re reinforcing a culture of positivity and recognition within the team.
Also, keep in mind that each team meeting agenda should include:
- the date,
- location (or link),
- objectives and goals,
- agenda items with estimated time,
- and a team check-in.
Circulate the agenda at least a day before the meeting to ensure everyone is prepared and has reviewed it.
Team Meeting Agenda Tools
Creating a clear agenda takes time, but it can make your meeting more efficient and productive. Use free templates available online and tailor them to your specific needs. Check out our top 3 templates for team meeting agendas and customize them for your use:
In conclusion, a well-crafted team meeting agenda can be a valuable tool for any team or department. It helps to bring clarity to the discussion, aid in the preparation of participants, and optimize the team meeting process. With the rise of remote and hybrid work, it has become increasingly important to have a well-planned meeting agenda to make the most of your time and avoid drifting off into side conversations. By following the tips provided, you can write an effective team meeting agenda that suits the specific goals and objectives of each meeting, encouraging teamwork and participation and ultimately leading to a more productive and collaborative meeting.