In today's fast-paced business world, clear and effective communication is crucial for success. One key aspect of fostering strong communication and collaboration within a team is establishing the right meeting cadence. To help you navigate the process of choosing the best meeting schedule for your team, we've put together a comprehensive guide.
In this guide, we'll delve into the different types of meeting cadences and provide valuable insights on determining the best format for your team's meetings.
By gaining a deep understanding of these important elements, you'll be able to confidently select the best meeting cadence that maximizes productivity.
What is a meeting cadence?
A meeting cadence refers to a regular schedule for meetings that are planned and organized in advance, usually occurring at specific intervals. These intervals can be adjusted depending on the requirements of the team or organization.
The purpose of a meeting cadence is to establish a consistent routine for communication and decision-making. This helps to ensure that all members of a team are on the same page and updated about the progress of ongoing projects and goals.
Meetings can take place daily, weekly, every two weeks, monthly, every quarter-year, or yearly, depending on the project or initiative.
Daily meetings cadence
A daily meeting cadence is a pre-planned, daily meeting that occurs at the same time each day. These meetings are typically brief and focused on the progress of ongoing projects and tasks. They allow team members to provide updates on their current work and raise any issues they might be facing.
Example: A daily check-in meeting
A daily check-in meeting, also known as a daily stand-up or daily scrum, is a short and focused meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to provide a quick update on the team's progress, identify any obstacles or challenges, and ensure everyone is aligned and coordinated.
During a Daily Check-in meeting, team members typically gather for a brief time, usually standing up to encourage brevity. Each team member shares three key pieces of information:
- What they accomplished since the last meeting
- What they plan to work on next
- Any obstacles or challenges they are facing
Weekly meeting cadence
A weekly meeting cadence is a regular schedule of weekly meetings that occur at the same time each week. These meetings are typically longer and more in-depth than daily meetings.
Weekly meeting cadence are usually focused on;
- Reviewing progress
- Setting priorities
- Discussing key issues or decisions
- Assign tasks for the coming week
- Review financials
- Provide updates on on-going projects
Example: Weekly progress review meetings
A weekly progress review is a meeting held on a weekly basis to assess and discuss the progress made by a team. It is a valuable practice for tracking and evaluating performance, as well as highlighting difficulties experienced throughout the week.
Monthly meeting cadence
A monthly meeting cadence refers to having a regular meeting every month, usually on the same day and at the same time. It is a structured approach to ensuring that all team members are on the same page and that progress towards goals is being tracked consistently. These meetings can take place in person, virtually, or as a combination of the two.
Example: Monthly strategy meetings
Monthly strategy meetings are scheduled at the end of each month to provide a review of the company's strategic goals. These meetings serve as a crucial opportunity for team leaders and key stakeholders to evaluate the progress made towards long-term objectives
Quarterly meeting cadence
A quarterly meeting cadence refers to a schedule of holding meetings every three months. This frequency of meetings is commonly used in business as it strikes a balance between having enough time to gather important updates, while not being too infrequent.
Quarterly meetings may involve all levels of management to discuss;
- Performance of the organization
- Set objectives
- Address issues
- Brainstorm new ideas
- Plan for the next quarter
Example: Quarterly business reviews
Quarterly business reviews are scheduled meetings that occur once every quarter to check and discuss the performance of team members. These meetings give an opportunity for managers and team members to identify goals for the upcoming quarter.
Annual meeting cadence
An annual meeting cadence refers to the frequency of holding a yearly meeting for a company. It serves as a formal platform for shareholders, members, or stakeholders to discuss;
- Organizational performance
- Elect board members
- Present financial reports
- Address relevant issues
The timing of an annual meeting varies based on a number of factors.
Publicly traded companies are obligated to hold an annual general meeting, typically three to six months after the fiscal year concludes.
Nonprofit organizations and private companies have the flexibility to schedule their annual meetings at a time that suits their needs.
Example: Annual strategic planning meeting
Known also as an ‘all-hands meeting’, this meeting sets the foundation for the company's strategic direction for the upcoming year. Key stakeholders, including executives, department heads, and key decision-makers, gather to review the previous year's performance.
How can I choose the best meeting cadence for my team?
When choosing the best meeting cadence for your team, it's important to consider various factors that can impact their productivity and collaboration.
Start by assessing the workload of your team members. Think about the number of projects they're handling and the frequency with which they need to address work-related issues. If your team is juggling multiple tasks that need regular coordination, it's likely that a more frequent meeting cadence will be necessary to ensure smooth progress.
Another aspect to consider is the size of your team. Larger teams often require more frequent meetings to help with effective communication. With more people involved, it becomes crucial to have regular opportunities for everyone to share information. On the other hand, smaller teams may find that fewer meetings are needed to achieve the same level of coordination.
Project timelines are also an important factor to review. Longer and complex projects with multiple stages generally benefit from regular meetings. These meetings help track progress, address challenges, and make timely decisions to keep the project on track. However, for shorter projects with quick turnaround times, periodic check-ins may be sufficient to ensure alignment and address any emerging issues.
It's equally important to take stock of your team's communication needs. Analyze the specific requirements for collaboration, feedback, and updates within your team. Consider the;
- Level of collaboration needed for successful projects
- The importance of gathering input from team members
- The significance of keeping everyone informed about project developments
By understanding these communication needs, you can schedule meetings accordingly to address them effectively and ensure valuable information sharing.
Don't forget to involve your team members in the decision-making process. Seek their feedback on meeting cadence preferences to ensure their voices are heard. Perhaps conduct a survey to gather insights on how often they believe meetings should occur.
By incorporating their input, you foster a sense of ownership and create a meeting cadence that aligns with their needs.
7 tips to get the most from your meetings
Now that you are up to speed with the frequency and types of different meeting cadences, it's time to carry out the meetings.
Don’t be concerned if you’re not sure about what type of meeting cadence is best for your team right now; it’s a case of trial and error. What may work for one department, may not work for another meaning it’s up to find the right balance.
Whether you're a team leader or a team member, incorporating these tips will help you make the most out of your meeting cadence and improve future meetings.
- Establish a consistent schedule: Set a regular meeting schedule that works for everyone involved, taking into consideration time zones and availability. By sticking to the schedule, you create a predictable cadence for your team.
- Define clear objectives: Before every meeting, define clear objectives and share them in advance with all participants. Clearly communicate the purpose of the meeting and what outcomes are expected. This helps everyone come prepared, knowing what topics will be discussed and what is expected of them.
- Create an agenda: A meeting agenda is a list of topics and items that will be discussed during the meeting. It serves as a roadmap, ensuring that all important topics are covered and helps keep the meeting on track. Share the agenda prior to the meeting so participants can prepare relevant information.
- Assign roles: Assign specific roles to different team members, such as a facilitator, timekeeper, or note-taker. Clearly communicate these roles and responsibilities before the meeting starts. This helps keep the meeting running smoothly with a clear division of tasks.
- Start and end on time: Respect everyone's time by starting the meeting on time and avoiding delays for latecomers. Starting punctually sets a precedent for respecting schedules and shows that the meeting is valued. Similarly, it's important to end the meeting on time as this helps everyone plan their schedules and move on with their daily tasks.
- Encourage everyone to participate: Create an inclusive and collaborative meeting environment by encouraging all attendees to actively participate. Provide opportunities for each person to share their thoughts and contribute to discussions. This ensures that everyone's voice is heard.
- Evaluate the meeting: After every meeting, take the time to evaluate its effectiveness. Reflect on what went well and what could be improved. Use feedback from participants to make necessary changes to improve future meetings. Continuously striving for improvement ensures that your meeting cadence aligns with the needs and objectives of the team or organization.
Once these tips have been incorporated into the meetings, you can start to find the correct cadence for your team.
Do meetings have to take place in the workplace?
Cadence meetings do not necessarily have to take place in the workplace. Organizers should consider off-site locations, especially for quarterly meetings, to create a different environment and enhance the meeting experience. By holding at least two quarterly meetings off-site, you gain the following benefits:
Change of atmosphere
Off-site locations provide a fresh and stimulating environment, breaking the routine of the workplace. This change in scenery can inspire creativity and encourage innovative thinking.
By moving away from the familiar office setting, participants can minimize distractions and fully immerse themselves in the meeting's agenda. It helps maintain focus without interruption from day-to-day office activities.
Off-site locations can inspire fresh perspectives and encourage participants to think outside the box. Being in a new setting stimulates different thought patterns and can lead to better problem-solving.
When meetings are held off-site, participants are typically away from their regular work responsibilities. This creates an environment where they can dedicate their undivided attention to the meeting discussions, leading to more productive and focused outcomes.
Stepping away from the office environment and routine can reignite motivation and enthusiasm among team members. Quarterly off-site meetings provide an opportunity to reflect on accomplishments, set new goals, and energize the team for the upcoming quarter.
How can Surf Office help with off-site locations?
Are you enthusiastic about the idea of relocating your cadence meetings to an offsite location, but uncertain about the ideal venue? Look no further than Surf Office, where we offer a wide range of global destinations that cater to all preferences and requirements.
Whether you lead a team in a bustling city and yearn for a break from the urban environment or manage a fully remote team in search of the great outdoors, be sure to explore our extensive list of offsite retreats.
Surf Office also provides ideas on how to plan your very own off-site meeting, meaning there’s no need to worry if the creative juices have stopped flowing.
Take the first step towards rejuvenating your cadence meetings by contacting us today. Let's embark on the journey of reinventing your cadence meetings.