Good managers (That's you, right?) understand the power of the humble staff meeting. By getting team members together on a regular basis, you can accomplish many things, including:

  • Informing about key developments
  • Showcasing accomplishments
  • Creating learning
  • Brainstorming ideas
  • Solving problems
  • Having fun and building camaraderie

Despite all these benefits, there are many obstacles to making staff meetings as effective as they can be. Here are the 3 most common:

  1. Holding meetings on a regular basis. In many teams, staff meetings fall prey to the press of business and are canceled more often than not.
  2. Creating a dynamic agenda. If staff meetings degrade to just status reporting, they become boring--and pointless.
  3. Capturing the essence of what happened. Somebody worked hard to facilitate a brainstorming session or present a case study. But once the staff meeting is over, that great information is gone with the wind.

Here's the simple solution to obstacle #3: Assign a team member to create a recap. This brief email summary is the opposite of traditional meeting minutes: It's not formal or formatted or an official record.

Instead, the recap is meant to accomplish 3 things:

  1. Remind people who attended the meeting what happened and where to find background information they may need later
  2. Inform people who couldn't attend the meeting what they missed (and give them a chance to catch up by referencing information that was shared)
  3. Give credit to those who presented, facilitated or otherwise contributed.

At my firm, where we have a staff meeting almost every Tuesday morning, Donna Marino, our Director, Operations and People, is usually responsible for creating the recap. Here's the one she sent out this morning:

Cheryl, Deb and Patrina attended a panel discussion in NYC on storytelling called "Future of Content." Cheryl provided background on each of the panelists and then the team shared their takeaways. The presentation included video clips of the discussion and lastly, we did a team exercise. See our exercise results on the board outside the kitchen. In order to view the team's presentation, you will also have to download the videos: (link here to documents on our server).

Liz presented on "My journey to strategic advisor" by sharing her insights on what it means, how you know you are becoming a strategic advisor and what to do to improve this skill. She shared her challenges and then asked the staff what challenges we face. To view her presentation: (link here to documents on our server).

See? The recap is simple, informative and helpful--and it takes a good staff meeting and makes it even better.