Whether you’re leading a staff meeting, hosting a virtual workshop, or sitting down for a weekly 1:1, creating a meeting agenda is crucial to the overall productivity and success of any group session. Managers have a number of tools in their arsenal when it comes to leading productive meetings — one of them being a meeting template.
Meeting agenda templates can help keep sessions focused, on track, and geared towards positive discussions and outcomes. A pre-prepared meeting agenda can cut meeting times by up to 80%, yet according to one survey, only 37% of U.S.-based companies say they regularly use one.
We all know the difference between a productive meeting and the ones that regularly descend into time-wasting, disruptive tangents, and general chaos. Meeting agendas help to create clear structures around topics of discussion, attendees, and post-meeting action items.
Learn what a meeting agenda is, why they’re important, and how they can help teams function better during group sections. Plus, discover valuable meeting agenda templates to use during your next staff meeting — including our highly actionable meeting notes template, that works for both in-person and remote meetings.
What is a meeting agenda?
A meeting agenda is an outline and record of the planned topics of discussion within a meeting.
A meeting agenda does not have to be overly formal. It should include standard information like attendees, the purpose of the meeting, main topics of discussion, and designate any time for questions or follow-up comments.
But of course, not every meeting is the same. For example, a brainstorming meeting and weekly staff update meeting will have different purposes. This is why a meeting template for these two gatherings may have different sections and structures.
What is the purpose of a meeting agenda?
The purpose of a meeting agenda is to provide a working structure and order for professional gatherings.
Leaders or hosts often create and distribute meeting agendas to keep the group focused on a particular topic of discussion and establish a flow to the meeting itself. A Kanban retrospective agenda, for example, may let attendees know why they’re being included in a meeting, what ideas or updates they need to prepare, and what questions they should bring to ensure relevant and fruitful group discussions are taking place.
Let’s explore some of the different types of meeting agenda templates you may need to carry out successful weekly, team, board, and staff meetings.
Staff meeting agenda template
Think back to the last staff meeting you attended. Was it informative, well-paced, and efficiently moderated? If this was the case, you can count yourself lucky because a staggering 71% of senior managers said they find meetings to be “unproductive.” So, how can a staff meeting agenda template change that?
Well, first and foremost, it’s important to understand that not every meeting “could have been an email.” Some meetings are necessary to ensure that staff members are made aware of key changes to personnel, team priorities, threats and risks, processes, and objectives.
So what should be included in a sample meeting agenda template? Create a template with the following sections to get the most of your next staff meeting.
- Team updates
The team updates section should introduce or preview any new team members, staff promotions, departures, or other major changes.
- Team performance
This section should include any data or presentations pertaining to overall team performance. It should not cover individual performances but metrics, objectives, and updates for the entire team.
- Topics of interest
Outside of team updates and performance, other critical topics may need to be discussed. Label these as needed.“Update to bug tracking intake and investigation workflow.”
- “Implementing new job numbers system for easier categorizing.”
- These topic titles should be clear and concise, so team members know what questions or insights to prepare.
- Action items
This section should cover anything that needs to be completed post-meeting. For example, it may specify reference material that needs to be distributed or include a directive to send out invitations for an upcoming client kickoff meeting.
- Wrap up
Conclude this meeting by fielding any questions, concerns, or last-minute issues members of staff wish to highlight.
The aim of any productive staff meeting is alignment. As teams optimize processes, change personnel, and achieve goals and objectives, they need to remain informed through regular and efficient channels. A staff meetings agenda template can ensure this alignment takes place.
Weekly meeting agenda template
Weekly meetings are notorious for going off the rails if not managed properly. Why? Well, when there is no occasion to meet other than the fact that another week has passed, it can be challenging to bring structure and focus to group discussions.
If the numbers are to be believed, 92% of us actively multitask during meetings — which, as we all know, can be a major productivity killer. Weekly meetings can be derailed by a lack of relevant updates, unengaged attendees, and, of course, a missing meeting agenda. So, how can leaders make weekly meetings more fruitful for everyone?
Here’s how to structure your weekly meeting agenda for optimal productivity.
- Team updates
Again, open up with any high-level developments that team members may not have already been briefed on.
- Individual updates
Give team members time to discuss what they’ve worked on this week and what they’re tackling next week. This will enable managers and leaders to give feedback and offer any guidance.
- Upcoming projects and priorities
Things change week to week. That’s why it helps to reorient your team as needed. Communicate any changes in priorities or strategy to ensure continued alignment. New projects and tasks will also need to be communicated so team members can adjust their workloads and remain on target.
- Housekeeping and reminders
The housekeeping and reminders portion of your weekly meeting should be for nudging teams on events, admin, or other topics that may not specifically pertain to their role but may otherwise be important for them to know.
- Action items
Finally, give a rundown of tasks that need to be completed post-meeting. Be sure to mention team members by name and record it in the meeting notes for maximum accountability.
Board meeting agenda template
Board meeting attendees rely on a high degree of communication to make vital decisions about the direction of the company or organization they represent. Board meetings tend to happen much less frequently than other types of meetings (monthly, quarterly, or annually, instead of weekly or bi-weekly).
A board meeting agenda template should structure this gathering to allow for greater communication, feedback, reports and information, and discussions of urgent matters.
Here’s what to include in your board meeting agenda template.
- Call to order
To call the meeting to order, the chair will make a brief statement welcoming the board members and quickly running through any matters that need to be addressed up top.
- Review of prior meetings’ minutes
In this portion of the meeting, the secretary will go over the minutes for the last gathering. The chair may then ask for a vote to approve the meeting minutes, though this may not always be necessary.
- Old business
In the time allocated for old business, attendees will discuss updates or changes to ongoing activities or matters.
- New business
The new business portion of the board meeting agenda should allow attendees to discuss and debate upcoming events, initiatives, or priorities that have not previously been addressed. The new business portion of the board meeting agenda may include a vote regarding board leadership or other personnel matters.
- Open forum
Board members may want to bring additional matters, concerns, or recommendations to the attention of their colleagues. Open up the floor for these impromptu conversations by allocating a set amount of time for them to take place.
To adjourn the meeting, close out any outstanding matters, thank the attendees, and remind them of the next scheduled gathering. If necessary, liaise with the secretary or admin person to discuss how and when meeting notes will be distributed.
Every board is different. A charity board meeting may look and feel very different to that of a Fortune 500 company, for example. Still, adhering to a productive meeting structure can be an essential step toward accomplishing the organization’s overall goals and objectives.
Team meeting agenda template
Most teams work closely each day to achieve a predetermined set of goals, whether these are quarterly objectives or specific team projects. To keep teams moving forward with clarity and purpose, make team meetings highly-focused and results-oriented events.
Here’s how to structure your next team or sprint planning meeting agenda.
- Team and project updates
Use the team and project updates portion of the meeting to give a brief overview and status report on current projects, important changes, key metrics, and any other issues that need to be addressed.
- Individual updates
Allow team members to give updates regarding the tasks and projects they are currently working on.
- Upcoming priorities
Managers and team leaders should outline any priority shifts, change requests, or urgent ad hoc projects that have come through the pipeline.
Surveys indicate that team recognition may help bridge the employee engagement gap. Adding a kudos section to your team meeting can serve as a motivator and a way for team members to give and receive positive recognition.
- Action items
Highlight what action needs to be taken post-meeting. Be sure that team members know what is expected of them following the preceding conversations and updates.
Meeting agenda template
Unlike a regularly scheduled meeting like a 1:1 or staff all-hands, a general meeting agenda should accommodate specific topics or issues. This could be a meeting about process changes, a project kickoff call, a Scrum of Scrums agenda, or a status update meeting for a client, for example.
This section should list who is expected to be in the meeting/on the call.
- For the attention of
While the attendance of these stakeholders may not be required, they will likely have a vested interest in the topics and outcomes discussed in the meeting. These stakeholders may be interested in any meeting notes taken during the session.
- Topic(s) of focus
The central focus of the meeting should be discussed here. This could be one or multiple topics that need to be ironed out, debated, or presented on.
- Objectives and next steps
Open up the floor for discussions on how to proceed with specific outcomes in mind.
- Wrap up
Wrap the meeting up by thanking attendees and offering details of additional post-meeting correspondence or upcoming meetings.
Introducing Wrike's meeting notes template
Tired of meetings that go nowhere? It’s all well and good having a solid agenda, but when the information gathered is hard to find and act upon, the meeting might as well have not taken place.
Common meeting roadblocks include:
- Poorly or inefficiently recorded meeting notes
- No follow-up on issues discussed in the meeting
- Limited visibility of meeting notes
- Stakeholders may find it difficult to access critical information like the meeting attendees list, presentations, and action items
Wrike’s actionable meeting notes template solves these roadblocks by ensuring the valuable time spent in meetings results in follow-through and increased accountability.
Use our meeting notes template to turn action items into assignable tasks, record critical updates, and build a centralized information hub for stakeholders, meeting attendees, and project team members.
Try Wrike’s free two-week trial to turn your next meeting into a productivity gold mine.