A common mistake of an all-staff meeting is not having an agenda.
The worst meetings are when the person who decided to hold the meeting did not take the time to come up with an agenda. Instead this rascal locks folks in a room and starts with, "Let's go around the room". If this is how your meeting is going to start, cancel it and consider a career in government.
Your agenda should excite and be relevant to the majority of folks on staff. These meetings are about sharing knowledge and celebrating large wins. Rule of thumb: if the content can easily be celebrated or shared via email, leave it to email. If the discussion does not impact the majority of folks in the room, leave it out of the all-staff meeting. The happiness level of the HR interns? Not all-staff-worthy. Communicating some long planned product the company will sell? Absolutely.
A good agenda looks like this:
- Introduce new hires
- Department heads mention any positions they are hiring for
- Awards, kudos to folks on major accomplishments
- Presentation on something new/improved
Sadly, I've spent more time in staff meetings that look like the following:
- Random person that I've never seen sharing photos from their vacation
- 15 minutes of "talk amongst yourselves time"
- 15 minutes of "can I have your attention? We're ready to begin now".
- Scheduled presentation canceled due to presenter bringing wrong PowerPoint
- Replacement presentation given on subject that only pertains to two people in organization
This is just one common mistake of many that are made. Have an agenda and your staff will thank you.
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