How to organise an annual staff meeting

Hazel Siu Mar 17, 2022

As the company grows, staff meetings are essential as without them communication within the company will become jumbled and chaotic. If done correctly, annual staff meetings will bring about a myriad of benefits to the company. Here is a step-by-step guide on how to organise an annual staff meeting, a simple template of what the agenda for your annual staff meeting should look like and tips on what you should and shouldn’t do.

Love them or hate them, annual staff meetings are one of the most important components when it comes to effective employee communication. As the company grows, staff meetings are essential as without them communication within the company will become jumbled and chaotic. By hosting an annual staff meeting, you can develop a sense of unity among the different teams within your company, improving not only communication among teams but also their morale and productivity.

staff meeting

Annual staff meetings should help inform and motivate employees, but this is especially hard when employees only communicate with their colleagues through screens because of the pandemic. However, if done correctly, annual staff meetings bring about a myriad of benefits that will help improve the company in both the short run and the long run.

By organizing a staff meeting, you can reinforce your company’s vision and values to your employees and share how successful you have been in the past year. It also helps boost staff morale as you can use annual staff meetings to make employees feel more included in decisions. By gathering up all the employees within the company you can brainstorm ideas together and gather feedback from them, thus lowering their stress levels and improving their sense of belonging.

Here is a step-by-step guide on how to organize an annual staff meeting

Step 1: Determine whether a staff meeting is necessary

staff meeting

You need to take time out of everyone’s day in order to hold an annual staff meeting, and you also need to dedicate time and resources to plan such a meeting, time that might be better spent on developing your current products. Before you decide to organize an annual staff meeting, see if there are other solutions that could accomplish your goals. For smaller companies, it might be better to arrange one-on-one meetings rather than having everyone join in on a meeting as both you and your employees will be able to get your messages across more clearly.

Step 2: Choose the right platform to host your meeting

With employees having gotten used to working remotely, it is going to be cheaper and easier to get employees to join your annual staff meeting if it’s a virtual event instead of a physical event. In order for your virtual event to be successful, you need to use EventX. Their free plan allows you to have webinars that last up to 2 hours with up to 100 attendees while being able to stream to your audience at 1080p HD video quality. With their paid plan, which is currently free for new users until March 2022, you can set up social lounges, and chat rooms and have Q&As so that you can make your annual staff meeting more engaging and livelier.

EventX also provides multi-language support, with support for languages such as Chinese, Korean and Japanese. They also allow you to inform all participants about the latest updates regarding the meeting in a blink, with automated emails to remind them about the meeting. By using EventX, you’ll be able to stay on top of all the invitations, and reminders and not have to worry about unreliable software as they have a 98% customer satisfaction rate.

Step 3: Set your topics and objectives

goals and objectives

Selecting the appropriate topics is essential when it comes to your staff meeting as they are going to be what your meeting is going to focus on. Some topics you could include are:

    • Sharing company goals: Update employees on whether your company has had a recent change in direction of what they should expect from the company in the near future.
    • Sharing good news: Talk about recent good news and developments to lift spirits and make employees excited for the future of the company.
    • Employee updates: Let employees talk amongst each other about their most recent projects and achievements and share tips and tricks with each other
  • Praising staff: Praise staff that has done exceptionally well the past year and share positive feedback you received from clients, this will help boost morale.

Once you’ve decided when and how you want to hold an annual staff meeting, it’s time to set down objectives so you don’t get side-tracked during the meeting. You should set out clear objectives and have a meaningful reason behind holding an annual staff meeting. By setting our clear objectives it’ll be easier to plan the meeting, easier to measure how effective the meeting was, and give the company and staff a justification for taking time out of their day.

You should use the SMART technique to make sure the objectives you set out are achievable:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

Step 4: Prepare your agenda

Agenda

Having an agenda will ensure that you and your staff will be able to make the best of the time allocated and not get sidetracked. You should prepare your agenda in advance so that you have enough time to comb over it and double-check. You should also share the agenda with all the staff so that they can pitch in and prepare for the meeting.

Here is a simple template of what the agenda for your annual staff meeting should look like:

#1 Company Vision (~5 minutes)

-        Talk about your company’s vision and beliefs, what you wanted to achieve in the past year, and what you’re hoping to achieve in the coming year.

#2 KPIs (~5 minutes)

-        Talk about your KPIs and how they compare against your competitors and the market.

#3 Employee and customer updates (~30 minutes)

-        Have department heads and team leaders talk about what went well and what didn’t go well the past year and what they’re preparing to do in the coming year.

-        Talk about what customers expected from the company in the past year and what they’re expecting from the company this year.

#4 In-depth look at different topics (~60 minutes)

-        Use this section to dig deeper into a topic that is happening at the company.

#5 Q&A (~10 minutes)

-        Allow employees to ask questions regarding the company and have them answered.

#6 Awards (~5 minutes)

-        Have awards set aside so employees who have performed exceptionally well have their efforts realized and praised.

#7 Closing statements (~5 minutes)

-        Keep it short and sweet and thank all the staff for their continued support and hard work.

Step 5: Schedule and announce the meeting

schedule meeting

Because you’re taking time out of everyone’s day to schedule an annual staff meeting, make sure to leave ample time to ask all the employees about when they would prefer the meeting to be held. You should also ensure that the estimated times for your agenda are accurate as you should avoid overrunning at all costs.

In order to announce your meeting, EventX provides a quick and easy way of doing it by allowing you to set up customizable email templates that you can send out to all participants in the blink of an eye. They allow you to create an automated email journey for attendees, allowing you to send out invitations, confirmations, reminders, and thank-you emails automatically. For those who are unable to join the staff meeting, EventX provides high-quality video recordings of the entire event so that employees can revisit the meeting at any time and go over the content they may have missed.

Step 6: Conduct the meeting

Give all the staff a warm welcome after they join and do a brief rundown of what the meeting is going to consist of and how long it’ll roughly take. Try and stick as closely to the agenda as possible to prevent overrunning. Even though if you host your meeting through EventX there will be a video recording available at the end, it’s best to have someone else take minutes or notes of the meeting as it’s always best to have a paper backup that you can use as a reference in case anything goes wrong. Lastly, you should leave enough time for a Q&A session where employees can ask any questions they have in mind.

Step 7: Follow up with emails and a meeting recap

In order to gauge the response to the meeting, you should always seek feedback from the staff to see what aspects you can improve on. EventX’s automated emails allow you to effortlessly ask all the attendees for feedback and with their event performance analytics, you can easily see when interest started to trail off and when people were most engaged with the content.

You can also attach the video recording you saved along with the minutes of the meeting so that staff who don’t want to watch through a long recording can get up to speed with the company’s goals and future plans quickly by simply reading over the minutes of the meeting.

Tips on hosting a successful meeting:

tips on staff meeting

Share your agenda in advance

Have everything planned and completed at least 2 weeks in advance, that way you can share the agenda with staff and see if they have anything specific they would like to add. This will also allow employees to prepare in advance and have questions ready to go during the meeting.

Start with a warm-up

Warm-up games are fun and require everyone’s attention which will help ease everyone into the rest of the agenda. They can also help liven up the meeting before you have to get down to business.

Schedule in breaks

In order to talk about what your company has done the past year and what it hopes to achieve in the coming year, the meeting is going to be fairly long. By scheduling breaks every 30 to 45 minutes, you can ensure that everyone is well rested and attentive enough to absorb all the information they’re receiving.

Hand out awards

Recognize your staff’s efforts by adding in awards. Showing your appreciation for your staff will help boost morale and give your staff a goal to work towards. Employees will also be more inclined to join the staff meeting as they might be the person receiving the award.

Mistakes to avoid:

mistakes to avoid

Filler topics 

Keeping an annual staff meeting short and concise is the most important thing to keep in mind. Bringing in guest speakers to talk about policies or talking about policies that can easily be sent out as a memo or an email is going to waste time that could otherwise be used for higher productivity.

Lectures

Most of the staff don’t even want to sit through a staff meeting, much less sit through one that has lectures. Major announcements, organization updates, and presentations are inevitable when it comes to annual staff meetings so involve your staff in those announcements and make the entire meeting more interactive and engaging.

Tardiness

Starting the annual staff meeting late is disrespectful to everyone and it’s even worse when your meeting overruns. Set aside a few extra minutes per item as a buffer, it’s better to end earlier than expected rather than end late!

Disciplining staff

Criticism about staff or departments should be done in private and not at staff meetings. Disciplining staff in public in front of all their peers is only going to cause them embarrassment and discomfort, lowering the image of you, your company, and morale across the board.

Repetitiveness

Rotate around speakers and vary the agenda, having the same person talk for hours on end will not only bore the audience but tire out the speaker. Adding in special topics or events between all the boring items will help break the flow and make the meeting feel less boring.

Skirting around bad news

An annual staff meeting is for you to highlight all the achievements your company has achieved in the past year and celebrate all the amazing work the staff has done, but you shouldn’t skirt around bad news. Letting employees know what challenges and difficulties the company is facing is essential to not only dispel rumors but get their unique view on how the company can turn the situation around.

Conclusion

In conclusion, annual staff meetings are very beneficial to companies. They allow you to improve communication within your company, increase unity, increase productivity, and increase employees’ sense of belonging. By following the 7 steps above and paying close attention to the tips on hosting a successful meeting and what mistakes to avoid, your next annual staff meeting doesn’t have to feel like a chore but rather an occasion that should be celebrated. Looking for a platform to host your next annual staff meeting, with EventX’s feature-packed platform, it’s no wonder they have a 98% customer satisfaction rate. Contact us today and see how we can make your next annual staff meeting the best it can be!








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