Manager meetings are an opportunity to get your leadership team together with all of the managers in order to go over status updates, good news, discuss metrics and action items that are of high priority. Because the executive team sets the focus for the rest of the company, it’s important that the managers are aligned on the goals and that they determine a means to achieving them. 

It’s essential to use the valuable time of your management team effectively, which is why it’s so beneficial to use an agenda template. The consistency and familiarity with your manager meetings agenda will allow you to use your time more effectively and more wisely. For this reason, this article will cover what a manager meeting is, what should be discussed and some useful tips for your leadership team meeting. 

What is a manager meeting? 

A manager meeting is a weekly discussion that takes place with all of the company’s managers, along with the executive team. Here, your high performing leadership team goes over important departmental priorities, metrics, strategy, ongoing projects and any challenges or roadblocks that each team is facing. This way, you can engage in thorough discussion, hearing from multiple perspectives, as you work together to achieve your organizational goals. Management meetings contribute to building trust and stronger relationships between the leadership team so that you can be even more effective in your corporate approach. 

Lead by example.

Start your meetings off on the right foot by having a meeting agenda so your team can contribute to the conversation and agenda by using a tool like Fellow.

What should be discussed in manager meetings? 

The main goal of your manager meeting is to inform the other managers of important updates from each respective department, to make decisions, to find solutions to the challenges you are facing and to ensure that operationally and strategically, each department is aligned. While manager meetings are important for business processes, they are also important for working on your communication, trust and morale between team members. You want each attendee to leave these leadership team meetings feeling inspired and energized. 

Things to include in your manager meetings agenda 

1 Start on a positive note

Always start your meeting on a positive note. This is going to really set the tone for the rest of the meeting so that you can bring this positive energy with you throughout the meeting. The positive note can be something work-related or personal- it’s simply something that is going to boost the mood of the team and bring everyone together in a supportive environment. This is also the perfect time in the meeting agenda to give any praise or recognition to fellow managers who have made a positive impression lately. 

2 Team progress and priorities

Discuss the team’s progress as a whole as well as departmental priorities. This is going to ensure that each respective team’s goals are aligned with the larger, organizational milestones. Here, ask each manager to discuss the specific actions they are taking within their team in order to help drive the business towards one or several of its corporate objectives or goals. Each manager’s meeting should include at least 3 major priorities of the organization. 

3 Share individual focus

It’s important to use a small amount of time in your leadership meeting to discuss each manager’s individual focus. This is the most pressing item or an overall picture of what each leader will be working on that week. Here is a good place to ask managers what a successful week will look like for them, what they hope to achieve and where they may need some support. 

4 Discuss metrics

Metrics are important, but they’re not the purpose of the meeting. Spend a few minutes (literally) going through your KPIs or OKRs. Tracking your metrics will enable you to see how you are performing as a collective and an opportunity to make the necessary adjustments, so that you continue to showcase a strong performance. 

8 Expert useful techniques for manager meetings 

1 Create a context-driven meeting agenda

Your manager meetings agenda needs to be context-driven. This means that your agenda is thoughtfully built to discuss the most pertinent and pressing topics, based on the current projects and progress within the organization. Each agenda item should include a brief description/ summary, indicating why it has been included for discussion. This is also going to help drive the discussion during the meeting. Ensure that you add as many meeting notes and supplementary documentation so that each attendee feels prepared to participate. Moreover, consider using meeting templates so that you can follow the same meeting flow each time for consistency.

2 Don’t be afraid of healthy conflict

Don’t be afraid to rock the boat a little bit. With your top talent in the same room, there are bound to be diverging ideas and opinions about the business. Encourage healthy disagreements, so long as your team is communicating in a respectful manner. Constructive debates and disagreements are how smart and strategic decisions emerge, which may not have surfaced otherwise. Foster an environment where each team member feels comfortable to speak up and to disagree, so long as it is in a professional and considerate way. 

3 Determine where decision vs discussion is needed

Where some agenda items will require discussion, others will require a decision. This is the difference between planning and action. If you are in the process of planning, then it’s still productive to have a discussion. That said, for more pressing issues that require immediate action, you and the team will have to come to a decision fairly quickly. In a recent article by the Harvard Business Review, they recommend switching over to making a decision where action is required: 

“The changes needed to focus a leadership team’s meetings more intensely on decision making can seem almost surprisingly innocuous… Some companies find that shifting the focus of their top management meetings from discussion to decision making has a wholly transformative effect.” 

4 Highlight good news

Encouragement and a morale boost is needed and warranted at every level of the organization. Try asking your managers to each bring one “win” or one item of good news to each manager meeting. Sharing your company wins is going to boost morale and the overall mood in the meeting. This is also a great window into what kinds of good work is being done in departments that leaders may not interact with very much. Highlighting good news is a great way of information sharing at each weekly meeting so that everyone remains in the loop about what kinds of good work is being done across all streams of the business. 

5 Solve things together

As you discuss ongoing issues or roadblocks, solve challenges together, as a team. Coming together and working as a team is going to provide you with multiple perspectives, backgrounds and levels of experience so that you have a well-rounded view on how to tackle the issues that the organization is facing. Collaborating on problem-solving is a great learning experience for everyone, as you find innovative ways to approach complexities that arise throughout projects and initiatives. Solving things together will help you build your communication skills and establish stronger relationship synergies. 

6 Make room for sharing challenges

Sharing challenges in a room with your entire leadership team can perhaps be a little intimidating but is extremely important. Because you have your most influential and informed employees in the same room, this is the perfect time to have strategic discussions and debates, from experts in different streams of the business. Here, you can encourage team members to directly and openly call out issues so that they can then work together to create a mitigation plan accordingly. This is where consensus building and important decision-making takes place.

7 Don’t point fingers

If something has fallen through, it’s typically not just one person who is to blame. Even if it is, this is wildly inappropriate and unprofessional. This is not the time to point fingers but to build up your co-workers and encourage the team to come together to find an effective solution. Finding a solution is a much more effective use of your time, rather than using it to spread negatively and make someone feel terrible. Pointing fingers is only going to break trust and discourage individuals from contributing to the conversation. Instead, find strategic, operational and resource-related improvements that can be applied to resolve the issue at hand. 

8 Keep the overall goals focused

Because this manager meeting occurs on a recurring weekly basis, each week use your meeting time to focus your discussion on the goals that you’ve identified, for that week specifically. Of course, every organization and management team have many goals to cover, which is why it’s important to collaborate on a manager meetings agenda ahead of time and select the goals that you will work towards for that week. 

Parting advice 

Effective meetings require prior thought and planning at every level of the organization. Additional planning is needed in management meetings because each leader will have important goals and updates to share with the rest of the team. This is why it’s so important to use a manager meetings agenda, so that you can collaborate on the agenda items in advance and enter the meeting (whether in person or virtually) feeling prepared and at ease. Leadership meetings are the perfect opportunity to gain the opinions, insights and support from your high-performing colleagues.