🙌 How to Run Team Meetings That Actually Matter [+Agenda Samples]

How to run effective team meetings — including agenda examples, best practices, and other critical meeting tips.

The Meetingnotes Team
Last update:
March 6, 2024

Want to learn how to prepare yourself and your team to run consistently effective team meetings?

In this post, you’ll find team meeting agenda templates, effective meeting best practices, and inspirational agenda examples. 

So whether you run a team of customer success professionals, engineers, procurement specialists, you’ll have everything you need to prepare for, start, and run consistently productive daily, weekly, or monthly staff meetings.

In this post, we'll dig into how to run an effective team meeting with these staff meeting best practices👇

  1. Prepare the agenda and circulate it for review ahead of the meeting
  2. In every agenda, include the meeting: Objective, Topics, Location, Attendees, Action Items (empty)
  3. Establish common ground at the beginning of the meeting
  4. End your staff meetings with action
  5. Seek feedback to improve staff meetings

But before looking at how to run these sessions, here are sample agendas for a few of the more common types of team meetings.

Team Meeting Agenda Templates (Contents)

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Weekly Team Meeting

Most teams meet once a week to sync on the big picture and provide succinct updates. This is a change not just to share information, but tap into the skills and knowledge of your team to overcome challenges. It's also a great time to boost morale and generate internal momentum.

Here's a standard team meeting template that you can customize to fit your needs.


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All-Hands Team Meeting

The big team meeting is all-hands, where everyone is expected to show up. This is a high-level meeting run by leadership with the purpose of aligning the company around its current vision and trajectory.


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Project Check-In Team Meeting Template

Here's another common reason to have a team meeting. Projects! 

This staff meeting agenda template is a check-in meeting agenda built for project teams who meet on a regular or semi-regular basis.

Try it in Fellow, or keep reading to see an example of this agenda in action.


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How to Run Your First Team Meeting

The first team meeting is a little bit different from a weekly or monthly meeting. For your first meeting, you'll want to focus on big themes, setting forth a vision and expectations so that the team knows where they are headed. This is also a time to learn about everyone on the team, so that you can help make them as effective as possible.

Here's an agenda template for your first team meeting.


Staff Meeting Best Practices

The simple act of preparing an agenda itself will immediately make your staff meetings more effective. But if you want to extract every ounce of value out of your team meetings, you need an effective meeting strategy. (You'll also need solid communication skills.)

While your strategy may evolve, it should start with the following best practices:

✅ Prepare the agenda and circulate for review ahead of the meeting.

Running great team meetings begins with having an agenda. Your agenda is your meeting’s roadmap. By preparing the agenda early, there’s more time to circulate it for review which gives attendees a chance to prepare themselves for your talking points. Plus, if there’s any subject you accidentally left out, other meeting attendees can add it to the agenda. 

Since most staff meetings are recurring (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc..) investing in an agenda template will pay dividends down the road.

✅ Include, at minimum, these 5 items on the team meeting agenda.

  1. Objective of the meeting. 
  2. Topics to be discussed (in order).
  3. Who is attending the meeting.
  4. The location and time of the meeting. 
  5. Space for meeting action items (to fill out during the meeting).

A Note on Agenda Design: Keep in mind that the above items are the minimum requirements for what you should include on a staff meeting agenda. Exactly how you decide to design your meeting agenda will (and should) change based on your requirements. If you’re looking for more agenda design inspiration, check out our 80+ agenda templates. 

✅ Wait. Should this even be a meeting?

If, after looking at your proposed agenda, you feel like something's not quite right, perhaps reevaluate whether to have the staff meeting at all. Here's a quick quiz to make sure it's worth everyone's time:

✅ Start the team meeting to establish common ground.  

The way you start a team meeting sets the tone. The key points to reiterate to start your meeting off are 1) the objective of the meeting, 2) any ground rules for the meeting, and 3) a brief overview of topics to be discussed. 

Once you’ve started, keep it going. Don’t recap for latecomers; they can use their agenda to catch up.

✅ Focus on discussion and decisions, not presentation.

If your meetings are presentation-heavy, it can be mind-numbing for everyone attending (and even whoever is presenting). The best use of your collective time is going to be when everyone is participating, not just one person. Try to provide updates and explanations in advance of the meeting so that you can use your time to discuss next steps and decisions about that information instead.

There is a time and place for a presentation, of course. If you're going to go there, you may as well do it right. Learn how to give a presentation in a meeting.

✅ Take clear, concise notes and share them

A well-run meeting usually results in some decisions and action items being decided on. Rather than leave these key bits of information to fate, jot them down in some brief meeting notes (or meeting minutes, if you prefer).

Circulate these notes to meeting attendees as a follow-up. You might also share them with the broader team, if relevant.

✅ End your staff meetings with action.

In rare cases, you may hold a meeting that’s solely meant to inspire or educate with no specific action items. But generally, your team meetings should always end with action items. 

Ideally, you can immediately incorporate these items into your project management software. But at the very least, you should document everyone’s action items that arose out of the meeting on the agenda. 

✅ Seek feedback to improve meetings and hit the right frequency.

 As long as they’re planned and run by humans, meetings will never be perfect. But that’s certainly no reason not to strive for better meetings. Make sure to periodically check in with meeting attendees for feedback.

 Ask for your team’s opinions on meeting frequency and content, solicit meeting ideas, and find out what is most valuable about the meetings to your team. Their input may surprise you, providing insight that won't just make for better meetings, but improve communication across your team outside of meetings as well.

Where to Find More Agenda Templates

While we’ve focused on templates, examples, and best practices for effective team and staff meetings, we’ve also created more than 80 templates for meetings of all kinds.

So whether you’re onboarding a new employee or conducting a performance review, you’ll find a free agenda that works for you on our meeting templates page. 👇

Team meeting agenda templates (Google Doc, Word Doc)

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