Staff Meetings

I strongly recommend having weekly staff meetings. I don’t enjoy attending them, so in a couple of roles I made them bi-weekly or even more infrequent. In both cases, the teams complained and wanted a weekly. Of course, they also complained when I made them weekly, but I think that’s just part of it. So, make them weekly, and make them mandatory. There is some advantage in having them the day after your own staff meeting or one-on-one with your boss in case you need to relay important communications.

Like any meeting, have an agenda and stick to it. You can always allow deviation as allowed by the time constraints and importance of discussion items. Also include time at the end for a roundtable discussion for those who want it. That’s also been specifically asked for in my experience. You have to facilitate a bit to ensure everyone has a turn and the meeting does not overrun, but since your team has guaranteed access to you via their one-on-ones, hopefully they will comment only on items they want the entire team to hear.

I recommend having standard agenda items, such as administrivia for who’s going to be out, changes in staffing, and announcements coming from HR or senior management. The, if you manage an operations group – actually even if you don’t – some level of review of the change management schedule is warranted. If you run a support organization, maybe review the high priority items from incident management or problem management databases. If your shop has regulatory requirements, include a standing section for compliance and security. Give, or ask for, a quick status on major projects. Consider having team members present in more detail on projects they are working on, technologies they are investigating, or tools they are trying out.

And always remember checking up on action items from last time, which is a good segue into the closing recommendation, take meeting notes.

The Manager-Tools guys have a good podcast on staff meetings here.