Collaboration

How to Have a Successful Manager Meeting [+ Agenda]

Published
December 19, 2023
Read time
6
Min Read
Updated
January 3, 2024
Jenna Pitkälä
How to Have a Successful Manager Meeting [+ Agenda]
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Managers know how important it can be to meet up with their colleagues for peer support, brainstorming and so on.

But there's always the possibility of any meeting becoming a non-organized waste of time.

Let's look at how we can assure manager meetings are well planned and conducted so that people will be excited to join and level up each other's work.

What Are Management Meetings?

Manager meetings, also known as management meetings, are quite self-explanatory: different leaders and managers within an organization come together to share ideas about how to conduct better business.

They serve as a platform for managers and team leaders to discuss current projects, address operational challenges, and make decisions that impact the immediate future of the company.

Their primary goal is to ensure the smooth running of the organization's various departments.

Management meetings play a pivotal role in the effective operation of any organization. They are where key decisions are made, progress is assessed, and strategies are developed to ensure that the company remains on track towards achieving its goals.

Typical Issues Resolved in a Management Meeting:

  • Discussion of project progress and status updates.
  • Problem-solving for operational challenges.
  • Allocation of resources and task delegation.
  • Addressing any immediate concerns that might affect the company's workflow or employee performance.

Difference Between Management and Leadership Meetings

While management meetings focus on the operational aspects of a company, leadership meetings have a different scope.

Leadership meetings, often termed executive meetings, concentrate on broader strategic planning and long-term organizational goals.

Management Meetings:

  • Focus: Centered on day-to-day operational issues and short-term planning. The outcomes typically include problem-solving, task delegation, and monitoring of ongoing projects to ensure smooth functioning and meeting immediate goals.
  • Participants: Usually involve managers and team leaders from various departments who are responsible for overseeing the daily operations of their respective areas.
  • Frequency: Often held weekly or bi-weekly, reflecting the need for regular check-ins on operational progress and issues.

Leadership Meetings / Executive Meetings

  • Focus: Aimed at strategic planning and high-level decision-making, balancing some elements of operational oversight with a primary emphasis on long-term goals and organizational direction. Outcomes include strategic alignment, policy development, and setting the course for future growth and adaptation.
  • Participants: Typically include senior executives such as CEOs, VPs, and department heads. These are individuals who have a broad perspective on the organization and are responsible for setting its strategic direction.
  • Frequency: Generally held monthly or quarterly, depending on the organization's size and needs, reflecting their strategic rather than operational nature.

Key Topics to Discuss in Manager Meetings

While there are no set-in-stone rules about what exactly should be talked about in which order for a management meeting, here are some common key things to go over.

Performance Metrics and Project Progress

  • Regular review of team and individual performance metrics against targets and milestones.
  • Status updates on ongoing projects, including challenges encountered and progress tracking.
  • Example: Discussing quarterly sales figures and current status of key projects.

Strategic Initiatives and Resource Allocation

  • Deliberation on new strategies, their potential impact, and implementation plans.
  • Decision-making on the redistribution or allocation of resources in line with strategic initiatives.
  • Example: Planning for a new market entry and allocating resources for market research.

Problem-Solving and Process Improvements

  • Addressing immediate operational challenges and brainstorming solutions.
  • Discussing enhancements to current workflows and processes based on team feedback.
  • Example: Resolving a recurring customer service issue and improving the response protocol.

Team Wins and Personal Updates

  • Sharing significant team achievements, individual accomplishments, and personal milestones.
  • Fostering team morale by celebrating both professional and personal successes.
  • Example: Recognizing a team member's successful project completion or a personal achievement.

Customer Feedback and Market Insights

  • Reviewing customer stories and feedback to identify improvement areas.
  • Sharing insights on industry trends and market developments.
  • Example: Discussing feedback from a customer survey and recent industry reports.

Review of Goals, Roadblocks, and Action Items

  • Evaluating progress towards quarterly or annual goals.
  • Identifying obstacles and collaborative problem-solving.
  • Reviewing past action items and setting new ones.
  • Example: Assessing progress on annual targets and strategizing to overcome current roadblocks.

Agenda Template for Manager Meetings

A well-structured agenda is crucial for productive manager meetings. It helps in guiding the discussion, ensuring that all important topics are covered, and that the meeting stays on track.

This 60-minute management meeting template can be customized to suit the specific needs and dynamics of different management teams.

Best Practices for Manager Meetings

It's easy to just go with the flow and trust in your instincts when it comes to holding meetings. But it's also beneficial now and then to remind yourself of some important best practices that could make your meetings smoother.

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  • Automatically joins and records your meetings once you've signed up, so there's no repeated setup
  • Works for both online (Google Meet, Zoom or Teams) and in-person meetings
  • Summarizes the whole online meeting's discussions and action items for you
  • Takes max 10 minutes after the meeting to give you the summary
  • Lets you share the notes to other people
  • Lets you change the structure of the notes
  • Answers questions you might have about the discussion you had in the meeting

Encouraging a Forward-Thinking Mindset

  • Proactive Discussions: Focus on future-oriented topics, like upcoming challenges or potential innovations, to foster a forward-thinking approach among managers.
  • Scenario Planning: Occasionally include scenario planning in your agenda, discussing hypothetical situations (e.g., market changes, new competition) and how the team would respond.
  • Training and Development Focus: Dedicate a portion of meetings occasionally to discuss training needs or professional development opportunities for team members.

Effective Time Management

  • Timely Start and Finish: To enhance meeting productivity, begin and conclude your management meeting agendas on time, showcasing respect for the valuable time of all participants.
  • Allocating Time per Agenda Item: Set specific durations for each item in your meeting agenda, ensuring efficient time management and avoiding overruns.
  • Staying on Topic: If the discussion strays, bring it back to the agenda item. This is crucial for maintaining a clear meeting goal and ensuring that all topics covered contribute meaningfully to the management team's objectives.

Maintaining a Goal-Oriented Focus

  • Connecting Agenda to Objectives: Explicitly link each agenda item to a specific business goal or objective. For instance, relate team performance discussions directly to the company's quarterly targets.
  • Actionable Discussions: Encourage discussions that lead to clear outcomes and decisions. End each topic with a summary of action steps, such as, "Based on our discussion, the marketing team will develop a new campaign by next month."
  • Prioritizing Impactful Topics: Choose agenda topics based on their significance to the company's success. If time is limited, defer less critical items to a later date or handle them through email.

Follow-Ups and Accountability

  • Assigning and Tracking Action Items: At the end of each meeting, summarize and assign specific action items, making sure each task has a responsible person. Utilize a shared digital task manager to track these assignments.
  • Setting and Monitoring Deadlines: Establish realistic deadlines for each action item. Monitor their progress through regular check-ins or updates in team communication channels.
  • Reviewing in Subsequent Meetings: Begin each meeting with a review of previous action items to assess completion and hold team members accountable. This could involve a quick run-through of the task list and updates on each item.

Conclusion

For a successful management meeting, we've illustrated some common key topics, best practices, and an agenda template. Why should we care? Because managers are the glue that keeps everything together in an organization.

If they don't know what they're doing or are experiencing a lack of support, things won't look that great for anyone in the company. The job is not easy, and that's why it shouldn't be done alone. Luckily, as we've shown, there are many ways to help.

FAQs

What makes a good manager meeting?

Creating a successful manager meeting agenda involves several crucial elements to ensure the meeting is productive, focused, and aligns with the organization's goals. This is especially important in regular management meetings, where efficiency and clarity are paramount.

  1. Clear Objectives: Define the primary goals for the management meeting. Whether it's discussing team progress, addressing specific challenges, or planning for the next quarter, having a clear meeting objective helps keep the conversation focused.
  2. Well-Structured Agenda: A well-planned management meeting agenda should include essential agenda items such as status updates, discussion of new initiatives, and review of action items from the previous meeting. This ensures that all critical topics are covered and time is managed effectively.
  3. Inclusive Participant Engagement: Encourage participation from all management team members, including team leaders and other key managers. Their diverse perspectives can lead to more comprehensive group discussions and better decision-making.
  4. Action-Oriented Approach: Each agenda item should lead to actionable outcomes. For example, discussing team performance should result in clear strategies for improvement or recognition of achievements.
  5. Time Management: Allocate specific durations for each agenda item and ensure that the meeting starts and ends on time. This respects the valuable time of all participants and enhances meeting productivity.
  6. Follow-Up Actions: Conclude the meeting with a summary of action items and responsibilities. This ensures accountability and tracks progress on key decisions and tasks.
  7. Regular Review and Adaptation: Continuously assess the effectiveness of your management meetings. This might involve tweaking the agenda structure or incorporating feedback from team members to meet the evolving needs of the management team and the organization.

How do you create a leadership meeting agenda?

Creating a leadership meeting agenda involves several steps to ensure that it's effective and aligns with the strategic needs of the organization:

  1. Identify Key Topics: Focus on strategic initiatives, long-term planning, and high-level decision-making.
  2. Consult with Participants: Prior to the meeting, reach out to leadership team members for input on agenda items to ensure that all relevant topics are covered.
  3. Prioritize Items: Arrange the topics in order of importance or relevance to the organization's current priorities.
  4. Allocate Time Wisely: Assign a specific duration to each item to keep the meeting within the scheduled timeframe.
  5. Include a Review Segment: Set aside time to review the progress of decisions made in previous meetings.
  6. Prepare for Flexibility: While having a structured agenda is important, be prepared to adapt as discussions unfold.
  7. End with Action Steps: Conclude with a clear summary of decisions made and assign action items with designated responsibilities and deadlines.

By adhering to these guidelines, leaders can craft agendas that not only facilitate meaningful discussions but also drive strategic progress for the organization.

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Management Meeting Agenda Template

1. Opening Remarks (5 min)

  • A brief welcome and overview of the meeting's objectives.
  • Acknowledge any new attendees or important guests.

2. Review of Previous Meeting's Action Items (5 min)

  • Quick recap of tasks assigned in the last meeting.
  • Update on the progress or completion of these tasks.

3. Project Updates (10 min)

  • Each department or team leader provides updates on their projects.
  • Discuss any significant milestones achieved or obstacles encountered.

4. Key Discussion Topics (15 min)

  • Delve into the pre-determined topics for the meeting, such as performance metrics, strategic initiatives, and resource allocation.
  • Encourage group discussion to gain diverse perspectives.

5. Problem-Solving Session (5 min)

  • Address any new challenges that have arisen since the last meeting.
  • Collaborative brainstorming for feasible solutions.

6. New Business (5 min)

  • Introduce any new items or issues not previously discussed.
  • Discuss upcoming projects or organizational changes.

7. Action Items and Responsibilities (5 min)

  • Assign clear tasks and responsibilities based on the meeting's discussions.
  • Set deadlines for these action items.

8. Closing Remarks (5 min)

  • Summarize the key points and decisions made during the meeting.
  • Confirm the date and agenda for the next meeting.

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