Whether you’re a new manager running your first team meeting or a seasoned veteran looking to spice up your existing meetings, here’s a team meeting agenda you can use to help spark meaningful conversations.
In this article, we’ll walk through:
- The purpose of team meetings
- Tips for effective team meetings
- What to talk about during this meeting
- 45-minute team meeting agenda template
The purpose of team meetings
Team meetings are one of the most effective tools for team building, decision making, and ensuring that the team is always aligned and moving in the same direction. They are a dedicated time for the team to sync on a weekly, or bi-weekly basis, with no interruptions. During this time, the team can collaboratively:
- Review how they’re tracking against goals
- Share updates on the projects they’re working on
- Bring up roadblocks and come up with the best solution
- Brainstorm ideas, projects or campaigns to help 10X their efforts
- Give recognition to other team members
Tips for effective team meetings
Jump to a tip:
- Define your meeting goal
- Assign next steps
- Start every meeting with an icebreaker
- Approach every meeting with a remote-first mindset
- Schedule your meeting at a time that works best for everyone
- Assign roles within the meeting
- Make participation accessible for everyone
- Share the agenda in advance
1. Define your meeting goal
The question is simple: what are you hoping to get out of this meeting? If this isn’t set yet, collaboratively set the meeting goal with your team. When you collectively decide on what the best use of everyone’s time is, it will make it that much easier to stay hyper-focused during meetings. Some common team meeting goals include:
- Discover and share roadblocks and discuss ways to tackle them
- Review the team’s work for the sprint (or time between this and the next meeting) and review whether or not it lines up to the overall team goals
- Brainstorm and strategize ways to reach team goals
- Align on what everyone’s working on and how far along each individual is on their projects or campaigns
- Review how the team is tracking against goals: Are you red, yellow or green?
Love these, @i_am_brennan 💯— John Thomas Lang (@johnthomaslang) January 22, 2021
✅ Define a clear agenda for the meeting
✅ Understand what the goals are for every meeting attendee
✅ Create space for ideas, creativity and solutions
✅ Don’t expect to solve every problem at once
✅ Don’t interrupt people, FFS
2. Assign next steps
Keeping the team accountable for what was agreed on during the meeting is key to ensuring that the things you want to get done, will get done. Having next steps documented is also a great way for everyone on the team to keep track of how far along others are with completing their tasks. However, don’t mistake this as a micromanaging tool. When you continue to build a culture of accountability on your team, it also helps build trust amongst team members.
3. Start every meeting with an icebreaker
While this sounds like an ineffective use of people’s time, ice breakers offer many long-term benefits to your team, including:
- Building empathy
- Increasing interactions
- Building a sense of community on the team
In addition, when you start every meeting off with an ice breaker, the short-term benefits are that you’re able to ease everyone into the conversation. Think of it like a warm up before a big game. Try asking one of these icebreaker questions at the start of your next team meeting:
- What’s one thing you’re jazzed about this week, either professionally or personally?
- If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
- What’s your least favorite food?
- How was everyone’s weekend?
Professional athletes shoot around before the game starts. Musicians run up and down scales before the show starts. Why shouldn’t you warm up your conversational skills before the meeting starts?
4. Approach every meeting with a remote-first mindset
If you’re a distributed team, offer work-from-home privileges, or are entirely remote, you should approach every meeting with the mindset that every included is remote. This creates a more inclusive environment for everyone on the team. It levels out the playing field and makes it easier for everyone’s voice to be heard, which in turn will improve overall team collaboration and productivity.
Running meetings with a remote-first approach boils down to a couple of things:
5. Schedule your meeting at a time that works best for everyone
While this seems like a really obvious one, it’s certainly not the first thing you think about. If your team is comprised entirely of morning people, it’s best that you schedule your recurring meeting in the morning when people are most productive and engaged.
But, if they’re not and you book your recurring team meetings every Monday at 8 am… Chances are you won’t get much participation and that wouldn’t be a great use of everyone’s time.
📆 Consider the timing – if the entire team is not morning people, don't book it for recurring Monday AM— 𝗯𝗿𝗲𝘁𝘁 (@brettreedd) January 22, 2021
🎯 Be clear on the purpose – is this for updates/status checks, to brainstorm/strategize, skill-building, all of the above? etc. (Personally I like to split these out)
The best way to find out the most optimal time? Ask your team point-blank when they would prefer to have the team meeting. The same should be said for your one-on-one meetings too.
6. Assign roles within the meeting
Just because you’re the owner of a meeting, doesn’t mean you need to dictate everything. For example, if you have to come up with a new ice breaker every week, it can become a daunting task to come up with a new and exciting ice breaker question.
However, if you’re spreading the responsibility around, not only will it get your team more involved within these conversation, but it’s also a great way to boost participation during these team syncs.
Share the load. Give roles to people:— Brennan McEachran 👨🚀 (@i_am_brennan) January 22, 2021
– Icebreaker (fresh Q every week)
– Timecop (watch the clock and cut people off)
– Notetaker (participate and type at the same time)
– Moderator (run the meeting)
This frees brain space for the mod. to manage things like psych safety.
7. Make participation accessible for everyone
Let’s break it down a little further:
Make meetings accessible for remote employees
In many cases, hybrid teams will run their meetings as if they were fully remote. Onsite employees will join a meeting virutally from multiple different meeting rooms within the office. This ensures that:
- Everyone has an equal opportunity to participate in the meeting
- Side conversations from onsite employees occur, further isolating remote employees
- Leaders are forced to consider the meeting quality for everyone on the team
Now not everyone has the capacity (or space) to have remote and onsite employees dial into a meeting and that’s okay. If this is the situation you’ve found yourself in, be sure to consult with your remote employees frequently to understand how the experience could be improved (and action on it).
Give everyone the opportunity to contribute , regardless of their communication style
Not everyone is comfortable participating in team meetings by speaking up and that’s okay. In fact, some people want the time and space to think things through and write them down. That’s why it’s so important for teams to invest in collaborative agenda software to give everyone equal opportunity to participate in team meetings, whether they want to write out their thoughts or share them verabally.
– teams are made up of people w/ different styles. some like to write and read. others like to talk. ask each person what they prefer— Kiley Dorton (@kiley0) January 22, 2021
– everyone appreciates predictability & consistency. establish a rhythm, incl. opening phrases, closing questions, & timing
– no open loops!
8. Share the meeting agenda in advance
By having a shared and collaborative agenda that’s available to all team members before each meeting, everyone has the opportunity to contribute to it. When everyone has access to the agenda prior to the meeting, they’ll:
- Come prepared for every meeting
- Have the opportunity to tackle and resolve certain items asynchronously, helping the team move faster
- Be able to contribute to team meetings in a way they’re most comfortable with, beit verbally or written
- Have the time they need or want to think through every item on the agenda
use a tool that allows everyone to create & contribute to the agenda in advance of the call!— Janet Mesh (@meshymind) January 22, 2021
then you can focus the meeting around discussions and decision-making instead of providing status updates
45-minute team meeting agenda template
1. Metrics (10 minutes)
Starting every team meeting agenda with metrics reinforces how everyone’s individual or team KPIs ladder up to what your overall company objective is.
First, reiterate the objective. It will keep your team focused on the big picture. Then, go through the numbers.
Don’t run through a laundry list of metrics, instead use this as an opportunity to tie your team’s individual KPIs to the overall company objectives. What are the two things you’re trying to achieve as a business? How does everyone else’s work ladder up? Where are we now compared to where we forecasted?
2. Round-table plan for the sprint (20 minutes)
This is where the bulk of team meeting time is spent: what is everyone working on for the next sprint (or week, or however frequent your meetings are).
To avoid this one agenda item sucking the life out of your meetings, ask employees to share this update and their statement of work in advance of your meeting right within your shared meeting agenda. That way, you spend more time in your meetings making decisions and less time sharing context.
3. What are the biggest blockers affecting us from performing to our fullest? (10 minutes)
After getting updates on everyone’s projects, segue into if there are roadblocks – and where they are.
As a manager, this is your time to shine! Remove the roadblocks as best as possible during the meeting, and get a sense of some of the larger issues your team is struggling with.
It could be as simple as “I’m away next week and worried about completing X” or “We need another developer if we’re going to hit X goal.” No matter what, this is a huge opportunity to increase the productivity of your team for the next sprint.
4. Who deserves a shout-out? (5 minutes)
Encourage teammates to shout each other out for great work. Not only is this is a great way to end your team meetings on a positive note, but it helps build your team dynamic and culture.
Take note of these acknowledgments and make sure to call out individuals for superior teamwork in your individual one-on-one meetings as well.
Looking for more to add to your team meeting agenda? Here are a few more tried-and-true winners we recommend:
- As a team, what’s one thing we should start doing?
- As a team, what’s one thing we should stop doing?
- What information could I bring you that would help our team perform better?
If you’re looking for more team meeting topic ideas, we dug into the most used questions in team meetings from our agenda suggestion bot. Take a peek at the top 10 team meeting questions most managers added to their team meeting agendas.