Even the best team leaders go through periods when their meetings just aren’t productive, and the whole team seems disengaged. If this sounds like you, rest easy—there are plenty of ways to bring engaging staff meetings back into your day-to-day.
A big part of enhancing meeting engagement is simply going outside the box. Instead of building out your typical staff meeting agenda, try your hand at any of the positive staff meeting ideas detailed in this blog post.
- Best practices for positive staff meetings
- 27 positive staff meeting ideas
- Tips for maintaining meeting positivity
Best practices for positive staff meetings
Positive staff meeting ideas look very little like how you’d typically put together a team gathering. That said, the steps you’ll take beforehand are pretty similar. Here are some best practices for positive staff meetings to keep in mind.
Plan your meeting and set an agenda
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Everyone attending your meeting should show up knowing how you’d like them to take part and what you’re aiming to achieve by the meeting’s end. Lay this all out with a clear meeting purpose, and you’ll be well on your way to a highly positive meeting.
Anyone on your team who plays a dedicated role during your meeting will inherently be engaged. Appoint someone as your meeting’s note-taker and another person as the timekeeper to ensure each agenda item gets only its allotted amount of time. You should also decide on a meeting facilitator whose role is to ensure an efficient, in-depth, and successful meeting. These team members’ active participation may encourage the same from others.
27 positive staff meeting ideas
Newly productive team meetings start with these 27 positive staff meeting formats.
- Lunch and learn sessions
- “Two truths and a lie” game
- Professional development group
- Open mic storytelling
- Group fitness classes
- Team potluck
- Virtual reality (VR) experiences
- Book or podcast club
- Community service projects
- In-person or virtual happy hour
- International day
- Outdoor team-building activities
- Board game or video game tournaments
- Theme dress code meetings
- Constructive feedback sessions
- Personal storytelling exercises
- Create a team time capsule
- Role swap days
- Goal visualization boards
- Celebrate weekly achievements
- Silent meetings
- ‘Inside the Actors’ Studio’ interviews
- ‘Shark Tank’ innovation pitches
- TED-style talks
- Arts and crafts hour
- Musical chairs with a twist
- Mindfulness and meditation breaks
1Lunch and learn sessions
In this series of staff meetings, your team members take turns leading informational sessions while everyone eats lunch. This novel approach to team meetings can be a much more exciting way to share key project updates.
2“Two truths and a lie” game
Getting to know each other meetings are great spaces for everyone to share things about themselves. The twist with this creative meeting activity, though, is that team members share three things about themselves, but only two of these things are true.
3Professional development group
Effective staff meetings look at each team member’s current role as well as their future involvement. Team members sharing and uplifting each other’s career goals in professional development meeting groups makes for positive, engaging environments.
4Open mic storytelling
Sometimes your team needs to let off a little steam or get some sympathy from other team members about a recent work challenge. With an open mic storytelling meeting, anyone can take center stage with an in-depth work story and get the group’s reaction.
5Group fitness classes
A healthy team is a productive team. Gathering everyone for virtual or in-person yoga, Pilates, or aerobics classes can get everyone’s bodies and minds flowing, thus improving meeting morale.
Instead of your next in-person staff meeting pulling everyone away from lunch, combine your meeting with a potluck. This way, everyone gets fed while bringing a dish that shows off their kitchen prowess or speaks to their cultural heritage.
7Virtual reality (VR) experiences
Team building in meetings can boost morale in settings far beyond the conference room. Use virtual reality (VR) headsets for team-building experiences in just about any setting you can imagine.
8Book or podcast club
Leadership media, such as the Supermanagers podcast, is highly popular among the executives of today and tomorrow. Host a book or podcast club during your staff meeting to get conversations going about the professional content everyone is consuming.
9Community service projects
It can feel really nice to contribute to a community initiative or local charity. Gathering your whole team for this (or sponsoring remote team members’ individual community contributions) can increase morale while giving back to your neighbours.
10In-person or virtual happy hour
After a long week, your team might appreciate light drinks and pub food at a bar near your workspace. Alternatively, for remote teams, set up an end-of-day virtual meeting where everyone brings their own refreshments and snacks.
For an international day staff meeting, give everyone the chance to present their background and build a mini-cultural exchange. The more seen you make your team members feel, the higher their morale and, in turn, their productivity.
12Outdoor team-building activities
For in-person teams, the challenges of hiking together or completing a group rope course can teach your team how to work together in unique settings. That’s exactly what you might try to achieve in a standard team meeting, but outdoor activities are way more fun.
13Board game or video game tournaments
Winning at board games and video games often requires collaboration and strategic thinking. Carve out some meeting time, whether in person or virtually, for game tournaments to foster these skills in unexpected and exciting ways.
14Theme dress code meetings
Lightening the mood is sometimes all it takes to get everyone engaged and lead to a productive meeting. A fun, professionally appropriate theme for everyone’s meeting attire can lift everyone’s spirits and result in a much more effective conversation.
15Constructive feedback sessions
Encouragement can keep team members going, even when you’ve already told them they’re doing well. Building staff meetings around positive, structured feedback can get everyone paying attention and feeling motivated to continue doing great things.
16Personal storytelling exercises
When one person on your team shares that they’ve overcome a certain professional challenge, others in the same boat might pay attention. They’ll be more engaged during your meeting—and afterward, they’ll have ample inspiration to jump over their current hurdles.
17Create a team time capsule
It can be lots of fun to see what your team remembers most fondly about your work. It can be just as endearing to see where everyone thinks you’ll all be professionally in months or years. Gather these ideas in a team time capsule at your next meeting, and open this capsule at a future meeting for a moment of celebration.
18Role swap days
Start your day with a meeting in which each team member outlines their role and chooses someone else to do it for them that day. This conversation alone can be unforgettable, as can some of the adventures your role-swapped team members embark on for the next eight hours.
19Goal visualization boards
It’s one thing to have goals; it’s another to draw them out and literally see them on a computer screen. Give everyone at your staff meeting time to craft goal visualization boards, and then ask your team members to provide encouraging feedback on everyone’s aspirations.
20Celebrate weekly achievements
Meetings can get so focused on updates and action items that it’s easy to forget to celebrate your team’s wins on previous objectives. A meeting dedicated just to this celebration can be incredibly engaging and drive morale and productivity afterward.
In silent meetings, everyone silently reads the same material and takes notes, and then the ideas get shared around the room. The reading alone can engage people, and the unusual format can get everyone’s attention too.
22‘Inside the Actors’ Studio’ interviews
For a true infotainment feature during your next staff meeting, pair up team members to conduct short interviews with each other. Your team will be thoroughly tuned in as they learn about everyone’s hidden talents or other interesting facts.
23‘Shark Tank’ innovation pitches
Designate some leaders and managers as sharks, and invite your team members to pitch the sharks on innovative workplace changes. You might find your next big improvement, and you’ll certainly involve everyone in your meeting.
Every team member has their own passions related to your work. Put team members in the center of your in-person or virtual meeting and give them a few minutes to speak impactfully on their passions. The frequent speaker changes and unexpected subjects will keep your team focused and excited.
25Arts and crafts hour
Provide supplies for everyone to tap into their more creative side during your next staff meeting. For a virtual staff meeting, have your organization foot the bill, with a firm limit, for each team member’s own miniature supply shopping spree. Your team can then take the imagination they harness during this unique meeting to their everyday tasks.
26Musical chairs with a twist
Encourage rapid-fire problem-solving with quick, thrilling challenges whenever someone loses at musical chairs. You’ll bring joy to your meeting and develop skills that are useful long afterward.
27Mindfulness and meditation breaks
Try a 10-minute introductory mindfulness and meditation break at your next meeting. This can provide a reset button and help everyone focus on the upcoming conversation.
Tips for maintaining meeting positivity
To keep the positivity going at your meetings:
- Give everyone the chance to speak or participate. It’s only fun if everyone is doing it. Make sure you allow everyone the opportunity to take part in your meeting’s unique activity, whether it’s a TED talk or a simple feedback session.
- Regularly ask for feedback. Seek anonymous meeting feedback for unflinching insights into what your team thinks of your positive staff meeting ideas. With Fellow’s Feedback feature, giving, getting, and tracking advice, input, and growth becomes part of your team’s day-to-day.
- Steer conversations toward solutions. As novel as positive staff meeting ideas can be, they’re not just about the fun. Keep your activities geared toward problem-solving to make the most of your meetings.
Give and get feedback as work happens
A healthy and strong culture starts with feedback. Fellow enables your team to share real-time feedback on meetings or gather anonymous feedback.
Meetings are great—they’re your most efficient way to gather your team for problem-solving, project planning, goal-setting, and so much more. As with anything great, though, they can get a tad dull if you keep doing them the same way over and over. Breathe some life into your gatherings with positive staff meeting ideas that put unique twists on your conversations. Don’t forget to use Fellow to prepare meeting agendas and get feedback on how your new meeting formats are working!