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Successful Team Meetings

Karen Benz
Successful Team Meetings


A best practice of successful managers involves meeting with the team regularly. The research shows that meeting weekly keeps energy high, increases productivity, and keeps employee engagement strong.


These meetings must contain certain key elements in order to be successful.

A recent survey BetterManager conducted with 1000 managers revealed that 48% of managers hold weekly team meetings. This statistic is a bit alarming, because how are those team’s objectives integrated into the organization? How do individual employees understand how their contribution fits into the organization’s goals?


BetterManager serves a number of companies in the tech sector. We find that many of our companies have employees all over the world — making it challenging for conducting team meetings.

Julia Austin, Senior Lecturer in Business Administration at Harvard Business School, offers tips for the timing of meetings. She asks, “Is your team scattered across multiple time zones? Find a time that’s mutually convenient for all team members. Do you find the meetings always run over? Schedule them for an extra 30 minutes — and end early if you can. Do team members have family responsibilities in the morning or after work? Don’t schedule meetings that conflict with these obligations if it can be avoided.”

Often, a quick video done by the manager and distributed to all team members can serve to unite the team. It doesn’t replace the benefit of face-to-face meetings (done in person or on video conferencing), but it can help direct reports feel connected to the manager and the work.


Here are a few best practices identified by BetterManager for maximizing everyone’s time and productivity:

  1. Share the agenda ahead of time with all team members. Allow time for the addition of agenda items or questions about the agenda.
  2. Start meetings on time.
  3. As the manager, speak less than 20% if the time. If the meeting is planned effectively, it can be done
  4. End meetings on time.
  5. Distribute notes from the meeting within 24 hours of the meeting.

By adopting these best practices, you demonstrate:

  • Respect for the entire team. This is conveyed clearly when you send out an agenda, ask for input, and then follow-up as soon as possible after the meeting by distributing the notes.
  • Respect for the individual team member’s time. Your direct reports are busy, therefore respecting their time by starting and ending meetings on time will earn their appreciation and gratitude.
  • You value alternative points of view. If you are speaking greater than 20% of the time, you are dominating the conversation. Consider ways of encouraging comments of the attendees.

Click here for BetterManager’s Guide to Executing Effective Meetings.

Episode Transcript
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