Meetings are essential rituals in a team’s life. They allow for decision-making, problem-solving, and sharing of information. However, not all meetings are created equal. There are different types of meetings, each having a specific objective.
In this article, we will explore the different types of meetings that keep a team moving forward, along with some best practices for effective meetings.
Different Meeting Objectives
A one-to-one meeting is a face-to-face meeting between a manager and one of their team members, which takes place regularly (e.g. weekly or bi-weekly). Its purpose is to enable open and transparent communication between the manager and the team member, to better understand potential issues, needs, and aspirations, and to help them progress in their career.
Here are some steps to set up effective one-to-one meetings:
- Schedule the meeting: set a regular time slot for the meeting, such as every two weeks, and ensure both parties are available.
- Prepare the agenda: ask the team member to prepare a list of topics to discuss during the meeting, such as current challenges, ongoing projects, training needs, etc. You can automate this preparation with a solution like Popwork, which will send team members the right questions to prepare their one-to-one meeting.
- Listen actively: listen carefully to what the team member has to say, ask questions to better understand their concerns, and show empathy.
- Set objectives: together, establish clear and measurable goals for the team member to define expectations and results to be achieved.
- Follow up regularly: make sure to agree on next steps at the end of the meeting. Following up and measuring results can be made simple with Popwork's “My Actions items” module, for example.
The one-to-one meeting is an essential tool for managers to better understand the actions and needs of each team member and to help them progress in their career. This also improves communication between the manager and the team, strengthens trust, and maintains a positive and productive relationship.
This meeting is used to plan tasks and upcoming projects. It can be weekly, monthly, or quarterly, agile or not, depending on the team's needs. The objective of this meeting is to define priorities and deadlines, as well as to discuss the resources needed for each task.
Here are some steps to organize effective planning meetings:
- Define the team's short and long-term objectives.
- Establish a list of tasks to be accomplished and the corresponding deadlines.
- Decide on the resources needed for each task.
- Plan the frequency of planning meetings.
This meeting is used to monitor the progress of ongoing tasks and projects. It can be monthly, weekly or even daily - with a stand-up meeting format - depending on the urgency of the project. The objective of this meeting is to discuss the status of projects and resolve any issues.
To best prepare for a follow-up meeting, here are some tips:
- Define the ongoing projects and their status.
- Identify obstacles and problems encountered in your team members' check-ins.
- Discuss the measures to be taken to overcome obstacles and resolve issues.
This meeting is used to solve specific problems. It can be organized in response to a specific problem, or be regularly planned to discuss potential problems. The objective of this meeting is to find effective solutions to identified problems, if any.
Before the meeting, it is important to:
- Identify specific problems to be solved.
- Analyze the root causes of the problems.
- Think of possible solutions in advance.
During the meeting, make sure to:
- Evaluate the pros and cons of each solution and choose the best one.
- Implement an action plan to implement the chosen solution.
This meeting is used to give and receive feedback on work done. It can be organized regularly or at the end of a project if you’re used to agile retrospectives. The objective of this meeting is to:
- Collect feedback on the work done.
- Analyze feedback and identify areas for improvement.
- Establish an action plan to improve identified areas.
To simplify the collection of feedback within your team, do not hesitate to rely on Popwork's tool, as thousands of users already do, to facilitate the pulse-taking in the team and promote taking a step back on ongoing topics week after week.
This meeting is used to motivate the team and encourage collaboration. It can be organized regularly, such as once a month, or after a successfully completed project. The objective of this meeting is to celebrate successes, strengthen relationships between team members, and stimulate motivation. All-hands meetings that are used to gather all employees, share important information and upcoming objectives can be classified as motivation meetings.
Here is an example of a motivation meeting structure:
- Celebrate the team's successes and accomplishments. You can find a summary of your team members' achievements on your Popwork workspace in the “Achievements” category.
- Identify the team's strengths and use them to stimulate motivation.
- Discuss future objectives and ways to achieve them and track their progress with an objective tracking tool.
Practical Tips for Effective Meetings
- Define a clear objective for each meeting to stay focused on important topics.
- Invite only relevant people to each meeting to limit meeting time and avoid distractions.
- Prepare the agenda and necessary documents in advance to facilitate discussion and save time.
- Set a limited duration for each meeting to respect everyone's time and maintain focus (tip: try to only hold group meetings of 25 or 50 minutes for improved efficiency)
- Assign a meeting facilitator to ensure the discussion stays on topic and each person has a voice.
By following these steps and applying these best practices, teams can improve their communication, productivity, and collaboration in each type of meeting.
By planning and organizing these meetings effectively, teams can improve their communication, productivity, and collaboration. To go further, download our guide on team meetings.