We’ve all fallen victim to starting the workday with a looming feeling of dread with a calendar full of meetings. You pour yourself an extra-large cup of coffee and you buckle up for what feels like a day that is sure to make your to-do list grow longer than you’d like.
In order to avoid having too many meetings on your calendar and actually having time to get tasks and responsibilities crossed off your list, it’s important that each one is set to the right frequency or meeting cadence, so no one feels like their time is being wasted. Doing so also ensures that productivity is at an all-time high.
In this guide, we’ve outlined four different meeting cadences – quarterly, monthly, weekly, and daily – and our recommendations for how often you should be meeting with teammates and customers.
- What is a meeting cadence?
- Meeting cadence suggestions
- Questions to ask before determining the cadence
- Tips to determine the right meeting cadence
What is a meeting cadence?
A meeting cadence is how often you and your team decide to have meetings. While some may think it refers to the pace of a meeting once you get started having a discussion, it instead pertains to the frequency in which everyone comes together for a conversation. The cadence that you decide upon can be quarterly, monthly, weekly, or daily.
Meeting cadence suggestions
When it comes to the meeting cadence your team or department chooses, you have some options. It’s going to depend on the action items needed to discuss and what’s on the meeting agenda.
One of the options is a quarterly meeting. These take place four times a year, either at the start or end of each quarter, which consists of a 90 day span. The breakdown of this cadence may look different, but a standard quarter schedule is:
- Q1: January, February, March
- Q2: April, May, June
- Q3: July, August, September
- Q4: October, November, December
If you use this cadence, your quarterly meetings could take place in March, June, September, and December.
Below are some examples of meetings that can happen on a quarterly basis:
1 Quarterly business reviews
A quarterly business review sometimes referred to as a QBR, is a meeting where teams review quarterly goals and results.
When done externally (with customers), the goal of a QBR is to discuss their business and how you can add more value or help them see more success. You’ll go through the progress made in the last 90 days and what the plan is for the next 90.
When done internally, the focus of the QBR is to review goals for each department. For instance, your leadership team can run a Quarterly Business Review to look back at Marketing and Sales goals every three months.
2 Quarterly board meetings
A quarterly board meeting is held, you guessed it, with your Board of Directors, to review the quarter’s financial results against a budget that was set. They can also take place with an executive director or the board chair of an organization.
This meeting can also forecast and identify anything that needs to be done differently over the next quarter to ensure the business doesn’t overspend.
3 Quarterly customer meetings
Similar to Quarterly Business reviews, Quarterly Customer Meetings can be used to answer any questions your clients may have regarding your product or service, as well as go over goals for the next quarter.
As the name suggests, monthly meetings happen with team members every month. It’s best to choose a recurring date so that the meeting is consistently around the same time every month. For instance, you could choose to meet on the second Tuesday of every month at 11:00 am.
Below are some examples of monthly meetings:
1 Company all-hands meetings
An all-hands meeting is a company-wide meeting where all employees, and others vested within the business, meet with the leadership team. These can be helpful because all employees get pertinent information at the same time. The leadership can communicate any upcoming changes and update employees as needed regarding the business plan.
2 Monthly managers meeting
A monthly managers meeting, or a monthly leadership meeting, is used to get everyone up to date on the major functions within an organization. It can be used to make key decisions, bring up problems that need to be solved, and share insights into each department.
3 Monthly career-focused 1:1
A monthly career-focused one-on-one is a meeting that a manager will have with their employees or direct reports to discuss career trajectory, salary expectations, and overall performance. This can also be when an employee can let them know they’re interested in going down a different path or would like a pay increase.
Whether you’re running a quarterly, monthly, or weekly meeting, use a meeting management tool like Fellow to track action items and keep your team accountable for the decisions made in meetings!
Weekly team meetings happen consistently once a week. Like monthly meetings, they can be scheduled to occur at the same time each week, like every Thursday at 9:30 am.
Here are some examples of weekly meetings:
1 Weekly team meeting (by department)
A weekly team meeting is used to go over or address action items, roadblocks anyone within the team is facing, or answer any questions for the upcoming week. It can also be used to update the team on outstanding projects or where the team is on hitting goals for the month or quarter.
2 Weekly 1:1 meetings (with direct reports)
A weekly one-on-one with a direct report can be used for a variety of purposes. A manager may ask to be updated on progress on specific projects or an employee may bring up bottlenecks they’re experiencing. They can also be more casual and be used as a time to catch up with one another or vent about a variety of topics.
3 Weekly leadership team meeting
A weekly leadership meeting is similar to the monthly meeting, except it may discuss more time-sensitive topics or conversations. Because they occur more frequently, they also may be shorter in length. We recommend using a Level 10 Meeting Template for these weekly meetings!
Daily meetings happen every day and are usually on the shorter side so they don’t take up too much of an individual’s time on a consistent basis. They also typically take place at the same time each day so that they become a regular part of someone’s workday.
Below are some common examples of daily meetings:
1 Daily stand-up meetings
If you’re meeting in person, a daily stand-up meeting takes place with all team members standing up in a meeting room. Sometimes called a scrum or daily huddle, they can be pretty quick with each individual going over what they’re working on that day, updating progress on tasks, and sharing any roadblocks they’re facing.
2 Daily team check-ins/office hours
Daily team check-ins or office hours consist of a specific time each day where a leader sets an hour aside to listen, share, or help employees with any questions or concerns they may have. A manager may set office hours from 3:00-4:00 pm every day where their direct reports know their door is always open for a discussion.
Questions to ask before determining your meeting cadence
If you’re not sure what type of meeting rhythm or cadence you need to set for your department or organization, consider asking these questions to determine how often you and your team should meet.
- What is the goal of this meeting?
- Can this meeting happen asynchronously?
- Is this a high-priority or urgent task?
- Do these types of meetings regularly run over the allotted time?
- Do we run out of items to discuss in these types of meetings?
- Do we often run out of time discussing action items in these meetings?
- How many people will be attending these meetings?
Tips to determine the right meeting cadence
Once you have asked yourself the above questions, these tips can also help you to determine the right meeting cadence for maximum productivity and to ensure the meetings don’t become a waste of time.
Experiment with different frequencies
Don’t be afraid to go with the trial and error method. If you decide a daily standup is the right cadence, but soon come to the conclusion it’s not the right fit, try something else!
Invite the right people
We’ve all been guilty of inviting too many people to join the meeting. After all, you never want to forget someone actually important from the invite list. However, try and invite only the people that have to be there. Everyone else can be sent the meeting notes to ensure they’re caught up to speed.
Prepare in advance
No matter what type of meeting cadence you choose, always be prepared with an agenda with a clear meeting objective in place. This should be sent out to meeting attendees ahead of time so everyone knows what to expect before joining.
Consider team size
A solid determining factor for which meeting cadence you should go with is the team size or how many attendees will be joining. For instance, a daily scrum or stand-up with 20 people would take way too long to complete.
Request feedback from your team
Finally, ask what your team thinks! Get their feedback to see if they feel like the department is running smoothly and the weekly meeting can be scaled back to occur monthly.
Of course, you can always use a meeting feedback tool like Fellow to do so!
I’ll meet you there!
No matter the size of your organization or the industry it’s within, meetings are inevitable. Regardless of how many attendees you have or what’s being discussed, choosing the right cadence can ensure the meeting stays productive, on-subject, and is a place for everyone to come and collaborate as a unified group. Just remember to be open to suggestions on how to make it more fun or if someone feels a different cadence may be a better fit.
Don’t forget that no matter the cadence, stay organized and more productive than ever by utilizing Fellow to take your meeting to the next level.