We’re big fans of catching up with people on team chat messaging apps, but sometimes you want to release news or open up discussion in a more connected, interactive way. Enter the staff meeting, a handy platform to inform, share, and discuss.
Let’s dive in and see what staff meetings are all about. We’ll cover what they are, why they’re useful, and how to get the best from everyone at your next staff meeting.
Why are staff meetings useful?
Hosting a staff meeting is a valuable engagement tool. You can hear from others, debate, make decisions, and rally your team behind your company goals. They’re also a useful avenue for company growth and development. Gatherings like these help shape and define your company and team culture and approach.
Staff meetings give you a super effective way to:
- 🔗 Connect your team members with leadership and other teams
- ✔️ Check in with everyone all at once
- 👋 Share information at scale
- ❓ Solve an issue quickly
- 🤗 Develop your company culture
- 🎯 Reiterate your organizational goals and targets
- 🙋 Hear from your staff members in an open forum
These aren’t the only benefits of staff meetings. As you refine your approach to hosting staff meetings, you’ll discover plenty of small changes that can impact your business in a big way. You might discover a need for a more engaging style of meeting or decide to streamline your decision-making process.
What’s included at a typical staff meeting
There’s no set agenda for a staff meeting. What works for your organization might look totally different to a great meeting at another. To help you get started, here are some effective meeting agenda topics you can use to build your own:
- 👋 Introduction — Kick your video call off with a warm, welcoming introduction. Small groups can also do a regular icebreaker like trivia questions.
- 📝 Agenda preview — Quickly take people through the running order for the meeting, and remind people of when it will end. This is especially useful for anyone watching a recording later. At this time, you can also prompt people to think about questions for your Q&A session.
- 📣 Main topic of discussion — Next, tackle the main topic. This can be anything — a discussion about how your workplace can be more sustainable or an open conversation about your plans for the future.
- 🏢 Company updates — Run through anything your teams should know about, like new project updates, new hires, targets, finance updates, and more. These topics might change, but you can use these as a guide for which changes to bring up.
- ⭐ Team achievements and celebrations — While everyone is together, celebrate people’s hard work, teamwork, and progress. Your staff meeting is a great opportunity to highlight team accomplishments and personal achievements. Set up a polly, then ask people to use it to nominate themselves or a coworker for a call out.
- ❓ Space to ask questions — Open up the floor and encourage people to ask questions at your staff meeting. Let people ask questions, make suggestions, and share ideas in real time, but also invite anonymous submissions through Polly to give everyone the chance to be heard.
- 📅 Upcoming events and meetings — Close your meeting with information about the next one. Share details about the next staff meeting and what to expect. You can also run through upcoming events, like team building events, lunch-and-learns, birthday celebrations, and other ways for your team members to connect with each other.
8 ways to make your staff meeting more engaging
Staff meetings can become a one-way conversation easily — especially if your audience isn’t engaged. Luckily, we can change all that and create a moment that people really show up to. Here’s how to take your average all staff event and turn it into an engaging, effective staff meeting.
1. Share a clear agenda in advance
Give your audience the chance to get excited about the meeting by sharing your agenda in advance. Let them know what the meeting objective is, what agenda items you’ll cover, and how they can participate. You can even let them contribute to the agenda with our meeting prep template. Once you’re happy with your overall style, create a staff meeting agenda template that you can use as a starting point for every meeting.
2. Open with something positive
Set the mood straight away with an opener that feels bright and positive. Lead with an icebreaker exercise, or share some good news from your company or industry. Let your coworkers know this staff meeting is going to be great, so they’re more encouraged to listen, stay engaged, and get involved.
3. Keep to time
Respect everyone’s time by running your staff meeting to schedule. Set rough timings for your agenda, so you know how long to spend on each topic. Keep an eye on the time, and be proactive about how you manage it. If sharing all the finer details of a new project or company policy feels like a waste of time, give people a short recap and share the rest by Teams, Slack, or email later.
4. Stay focused on your agenda
Curb the temptation to run off track, and stick to your agenda as much as possible. If you’ve planned your timings around your agenda topics, losing focus can quickly lose you time and your audience’s attention. If you or someone else thinks of something relevant during the meeting, note it down or set up a polly for your Teams meeting. That way, people can submit questions throughout the meeting that you can discuss later in the Q&A session. That way the thought or idea isn’t forgotten, but your meeting stays on track.
5. Encourage audience participation
Make it clear that engagement and participation is always encouraged at your staff meetings. Create ways for people to get involved — like sending in agenda topic suggestions, requesting a slot to present an update, or submitting a question or idea.
Use Polly’s meeting management tools to help your team members get involved before, during, and after the meeting. Use Polly to give your people a way to contribute anonymously too, so there’s no barrier to anyone speaking up and being heard.
6. Celebrate achievements and express gratitude
Shout out about successes, achievements, and work well done with a dedicated section at your staff meeting. Make space to celebrate hard work, client wins, award nominations, press coverage, and other corporate and personal achievements. Create a culture of celebrating the good and expressing gratitude for everything the people around you do.
7. Share a recording
This should be standard practice for video calls, but it’s worth mentioning!
Let people who could and couldn’t attend can review the meeting later by sharing a full recording of the staff meeting with everyone. People might still want to track their action items so they can follow up with the right people. Or, it may just be easier to review the recording than to multi-task by taking notes. A recording can help them fully participate in the meeting without worrying about forgetting things.
8. Seek feedback to improve future meetings
Create a culture of constant improvement by asking for feedback at the end of your staff meetings. Use Polly’s meeting feedback template to get a feel for how effective your last meeting was and what you can do to make the next one even better.
Transform your staff meetings with Polly
There’s so much you can do to make your staff meetings more engaging and interactive for your coworkers. Get them involved in agenda planning, ask them to submit questions, and vote on ideas and suggestions in real time.
Take inspiration from this list and the useful features that Polly offers to host successful staff meetings. Make it easier for your teams to contribute to the meeting agenda, engage through live questions and polls, and share their feedback with our easy to use tool for messaging apps. Try Polly today to empower every one of your team members to have a voice.
Try Polly for free to instantly improve your meeting engagement.
Written by Nicola Scoon
Nicola Scoon is a freelance writer that's passionate about employee engagement and better workplace experiences. She draws on her experience in internal communications to help companies create content that empowers, encourages, and motivates people to create better experiences for all.