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What is a Staff Meeting?

By G. Melanson
Updated May 16, 2024
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Unlike an Annual General Meeting (AGM) or other type of formal corporate assembly, a staff meeting is an employee conference that may be conducted in whichever manner and frequency the organizer — typically an authority figure within the organization — deems appropriate. Staff meetings are usually called by the organization’s CEO, owner, human resources manager, or other head management official, while meeting arrangements are often made by administrative support, such as executive assistants and secretaries. These gatherings are seen by many organizations as an important venue for communicating with personnel directly and efficiently. Some encourage an open exchange of dialogue with staff, while others are conducted as more of an in-person memo, wherein management retains the majority of the floor.

Staff meetings are often supplemented with agendas, which are prepared in advance of the meeting. Management in charge of facilitating the meeting, dictating which items will be discussed at the meeting and on the agenda, and administrative support is often responsible for typing and distributing the agendas. Agendas often include action items, which are tasks to be introduced or discussed at the staff meeting and completed by their assigned employees following the meeting, usually by a specified deadline. Refreshments such as coffee, tea and snacks are also often made available at staff meetings. A meal is usually provided for attendees if the meeting is scheduled to take place during a meal time.

Administrative support staff are sometimes responsible for taking “meeting minutes” during a staff meeting, which are written records of what was discussed and decided at the meeting. Minutes are often taken in shorthand note form during the meeting, and later typed into a formally formatted document. Minutes may also be recorded on tape during the meeting, with the salient points of the tape then being transcribed into a formatted document. Although meeting minutes vary in format, a standard meeting minutes document typically includes the following information: date and time of the meeting, names of attendees, topics covered, important points raised by individuals, and any action items that arose from the meeting.

A staff meeting may be held onsite, such as in a boardroom or other open office space; or offsite, such as in a hotel or other public venue which leases meeting space. Offsite meetings which are prolonged or facilitated by outside personnel are sometimes referred to as retreats or conferences.

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Discussion Comments
By mutsy — On Mar 19, 2011

@Suntan12 - That does happen sometimes. I wanted to add that I always liked staff meetings, but sometimes I have to admit they did run a little long.

My office has staff meetings every Monday morning and we always have coffee and bagels. This can be a real staff meeting ice breaker because it gives everyone a moment to enjoy their breakfast before we get started.

This is a great idea because it will force people to be on time because breakfast is served before the meeting. When people are late it really throws off the staff meeting agenda and can the meeting less effective.

By suntan12 — On Mar 16, 2011

I think that staff meetings can take longer than expected when the manager gets sidetracked and does not follow the staff agenda. If other members of the staff are not prepared and cannot contribute then the meeting will not be as effective.

For example, in my husband’s office everyone is expected to bring statistical data that is requested from upper management in order to discuss productivity issues or customer concerns and how it impacts the bottom line. If someone were to forget then it makes it more difficult to discuss the issues within that department.

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