16 Staff Meeting Best Practices (+ Free Staff Meeting Agenda Templates)

Better staff meetings lead to a better workplace for everyone. Learn the best practices for staff meeting and grab FREE agenda templates for productive staff meetings.

The Meetingnotes Team
April 10, 2024

Staff meetings should inform and motivate a team, but in an increasingly remote and hybrid workforce, it can be challenging to ensure your team finds them engaging and motivational. The consequences of this can negatively impact your team’s productivity, and they may leave the meeting feeling negative or neutral instead of energized, informed, and eager to collaborate. What's more, meetings that aren't engaging can lead to reduced innovation, vision, and creativity, leaving teams feeling drained, discouraged, or even alienated.

The good news is that when run well, staff meetings can help boost morale, improve communication, and encourage fruitful thought and idea exchanges. This guide contains the most important best practices designed to make your staff meetings productive and engaging for everyone.

Table of Contents

  1. What is the purpose of a staff meeting?
  2. Different types of staff meeting agenda templates
  3. Best practices for successful staff meetings
  4. Practices that are best avoided for staff meetings
  5. Staff meeting FAQs

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What is the purpose of a staff meeting?

The purpose of staff meetings is to bring everyone together to check-in with one another and communicate hurdles and needs. They are meant to keep everyone on the same page, increase accountability, engagement, and foster creative problem-solving.

When teams gather to share progress and build upon it together, they fuel your organization’s overall success. In turn, this contributes to one of the many benefits of staff meetings: a productive, engaged workplace culture that team members actually enjoy. Successful staff meetings should leave everyone feeling accomplished and optimistic.

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Different types of staff meeting agenda templates

Using a template to guide your staff meetings is an excellent way to ensure they stay on track and everything that needs to be discussed is covered. Below are some sample agendas that you can also use as a team meeting minutes template. Each one is available for use in Fellow.

All-hands meetings

These types of meetings bring every team member of an organization together for engagement and alignment. All hands meetings can also be known as an all staff meeting.


Team meetings

These generally happen weekly within specific departments, and are designed to keep everyone focused on upcoming priorities.


Management meetings

These meetings are reserved for those in leadership positions, and are meant to re-focus managers and decision-makers.


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Best practices for successful staff meetings

Communication in a staff meeting is about more than information. It’s also giving credit where credit is due, holding team members accountable, and creating a sense of enjoyment and engagement with each other. In staff meetings, these are controlled by tone rather than content. With that in mind, some of the best practices for staff meetings include:

Using a staff meeting agenda

Ideally, your staff meeting agenda should be created and shared with your team several days in advance, and attendees should be able to easily collaborate and build the meeting agenda together. Using a meeting agenda software like Fellow can make this easy. Fellow is an all-in-one meeting management platform designed to help leaders and their teams have fewer, shorter, more effective meetings with AI, behavior driving features, and seamless integrations.

With Fellow, attendees are automatically reminded to contribute to the meeting agenda in advance with smart sections. They can collaborate in real time, and share the agenda via Slack, email, and more. Plus, Fellow's chrome extension enables team members to keep their meeting agendas and notes side by side in their video calls, so they can focus on the discussion and engaging with each other.


Maintaining a motivating tone

It should always be top of mind to use a tone that is positive and motivational when running a staff meeting. The tone you use as a leader sets the tone for how your team works, so people can perform at their best. What that motivating tone may be depends on the type of team, the individual team members, and the circumstances.

Offering recognition

It's no secret that everyone liked to feel appreciated and valued, especially in a team dynamic. As a leader, acknowledging accomplishments and team members’ hard work is a great morale booster. You can easily remember to do this for every staff meeting by choosing a meeting template that has a section for wins and achievements.

Holding team members accountable

Accountability doesn’t mean coming down on someone in a staff meeting, which can do more harm for performance than good, due to the emotional impact. It means asking about progress, reminding your team of their responsibilities, and supporting your team to achieve their goals.

Fellow makes accountability seamless by keeping your action items where you meet, and integrating them with over 50 productivity tools

Asking the right questions

When staff meeting organizers ask the right questions, it encourages every meeting attendee to engage and participate. Your team will be more likely to engage in discussions if their input is valued and the questions feel relevant to them.

Spending time solving problems

It’s tempting to fill the agenda with a long list of things to talk about, but it's important to make sure that staff meetings are an efficient use of everybody's time. Every good staff meeting should have an allocated time to discuss solutions to important issues is often much more productive.

Keeping things relevant

No one wants to sit in a meeting that doesn’t require their input, so stick to meeting items that affect everyone present. The best way to facilitate this is ensuring that everyone adds their talking points to the agenda ahead of time, and keeping your staff meetings lean and efficient by only inviting the attendees who absolutely need to be there.

Taking and sharing meeting notes

In the past, it would be considered ideal to have a designated person take notes of what happened in the staff meeting, and then share those notes afterward. In 2024, there are better solutions on the market to take care of this for you. Fellow's AI meeting copilot, for example, records, transcribes, and summarizes your staff meetings with just a few clicks. Once the meeting has ended, it automatically shares all three elements with both attendees and people who were invited but couldn't make it.

Assigning all tasks

Previously, it would also be the responsibility of the staff meeting organizer to make sure any action items that come out of the meeting have a clear owner. Once again, Fellow's AI meeting copilot can automate this for you by automatically generating and assigning action items based on the meeting recording.

Asking for feedback

To ensure that your staff meetings are always relevant and a good use of everyone's time, asking for feedback regularly is an important best practice for leaders. This gives staff members the opportunity to voice any concerns or room for improvement in processes. To make collecting feedback easy, be sure to choose a meeting management software with feedback functionality built in.

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Practices that are best avoided for staff meetings

Now that we've shared which best practices to include in your staff meeting planning, here's a list of habits that are best practice to avoid to ensure your team gets the most out of every meeting. Be sure that you don’t:

Fill time

Bringing in outside speakers, creating busywork, or revisiting already-established policies and procedures can feel like a waste of time. It’s advisable to find ways to cut down the time meetings take from a busy team. One great way to do this is to leverage asynchronous talking points in your meeting. This enables you to bring attention to items you see fit without necessarily taking time from the meeting to discuss them.

Start late

It's always best practice to be respectful of everyone's time, and you can ensure that by starting meetings at their scheduled time, and finishing them at the time they're supposed to. This will help prevent meeting burnout for your team, and keep everyone engaged and focused on the discussion.


If your attention is on your phone, tablet, or separate laptop during a meeting, it sends the signal that the meeting isn’t important. Meeting and note-taking apps are an exception, of course, and it wouldn’t hurt to make this a rule for all attendees—but lead by example! Giving your undivided attention tells your team that you're focused and ready to engage.


While major announcements, presentations, and organizational updates may require an all-hands meeting that is less engaging, most staff meetings should be an exchange of ideas rather than a one-way communication street. Collaborative staff meeting agendas are a great way to ensure everyone has a chance to speak and bring their own talking points to the table.

Ignore remote employees

Hybrid meetings can sometimes result in remote employees feeling disconnected, who are linked only by an audio or video link. Encourage, but don’t require, remote team members to have their cameras on. Unless your team is clearly too large, ensure you have an interaction with everyone involved in the meeting at least once, and that all resources are visible to remote team members as well.

Fall into an impromptu one-on-one

As a leader, your time and attention is naturally needed by many team members. That means some employees may feel that staff meetings are the ideal place to bring in off-topic issues. It’s important to recognize when a conversation with one team member in a staff meeting is going off track. Simply suggest a later one-on-one with them; They’ll be happy – and the rest of the team will be, too.

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Staff Meeting FAQs

Are staff meetings necessary?

As an organization grows and adds teams, staff meetings certainly become essential. Failing to run effective staff meetings can lead to disjointed communication, a lack of collaboration, a stunted workplace culture and sense of unity, and an inability for team members to ask for and offer feedback on challenging projects.

Without a sense of inclusion in one another’s projects, team members become focused only on their own work and struggles. This tunnel vision and isolation eat away at morale and motivation. Everything is ten times harder to do—but good staff meetings can fix that.

How do you announce a staff meeting?

To announce a staff meeting, first select a communication method that all invitees are sure to receive, see, and RSVP to. If meeting invitees use Slack to collaborate, start a thread. You might also want to make a short Loom video for your announcement to give it a personal touch. You can also use email to send your announcement depending on your company’s communication culture.

According to the Vital meetings framework all meetings need PANTS (Purpose, Agenda, Notes, Tasks, Shared). In addition to the Purpose and Agenda, clearly communicate the date, time, location, and recurrence in the announcement for your staff meeting. Staff meeting agenda, notes, and tasks can be attached, linked to, or put entirely in the calendar invite as long as it’s accessible to the attendees. 

If you're not sure where to start, check out these sample meeting agendas.

Summary: Share the meeting invite to attendees via the right channel. Include the purpose, agenda, notes, tasks, date, time, location, and recurrence. Remind attendees to add to the meeting agenda beforehand. 

How do you start a staff meeting?

The best way to start a staff meeting is to jump right into it. Grab everyone’s attention with some quick comments that confirm why they’ve come to the meeting in the first place, and why it’s important. Experts suggest opening the meeting using the IEEI framework: Inform, Excite, Empower, Involve. Share the purpose of the meeting, explain why the outcome of the meeting is important, describe the authority that has been given to meeting participants, and use an engaging question or round-table discussion that furthers the meeting’s goals.

How long should staff meetings last?

The reality is that time for you and your team is valuable. When meetings run on too long, that time becomes even further undermined when people’s attention spans and creativity starts to wane. It’s important to match the length of any staff meeting with its purpose, taking into account how long people can pay attention and participate with high energy and focus. Under an hour is usually ideal depending on the size of your team.

What should be included in a staff meeting?

There are a few best practices when it comes to creating worthwhile staff meeting topics. Ideally, your agenda will include items like important goals and discussion topics, such as meeting objectives, recognition of team member achievements, notable organizational changes or accomplishments, team member updates and goals, and action items.

Final thoughts

Staff meetings are essential when it comes to bringing everyone together for check-ins, communicating hurdles and needs, and keeping everyone on the same page, increasing accountability, engagement, and creative problem-solving. To ensure your staff meetings are great, use a staff meeting agenda, maintain a motivating tone, offer recognition, encourage accountability, ask the right questions, spend time solving problems, keep things relevant, and continually ask for feedback from your team. Avoid filling time, starting late, multitasking during the meeting, lecturing your team, and falling into impromptu one-on-ones.

Whether it’s taking and sharing meeting notes or collaborating on agendas, Fellow’s got you covered. Fellow in the only all-in-one meeting management solution designed to help you have better staff meetings with AI, behavior driving features, and seamless integrations. Keep your team accountable with the most integrated AI generated action items, and ensure everyone stays on the same page with AI recording, transcripts, and summaries for every meeting.

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