We all have meetings booked into our calendars - some pop up when you get an email invite from a colleague, while others are recurring and occur weekly, monthly, and quarterly. But if you need to schedule a meeting, how often should it happen? Well, we look at the ins and outs of meeting cadence.
Some people’s calendars are packed to the brim with meetings. Some go back-to-back-to-back on certain days, while others have a blank canvas to fill their time (lucky them). Regardless of which person here you happen to be, there may, and probably will, come a time when you need to think about whether that team meeting or project retro needs to be a weekly or quarterly thing.
If you’re struggling to decide how often you need to get together with your colleagues - or just need some info on the topic - this is the blog post for you.
And as a special bonus, we also have additional content on the various meeting types listed. Just click on the hyperlinks to learn more about them!
Meeting cadence refers to how often a meeting takes place - a recurring meeting could happen every day, once a week, every month, or longer. Regular or recurring meetings are a way for teams and individuals to check in, sync with one another, provide updates, and keep lines of communication open.
Note: Cadence doesn’t refer to how long a meeting should be but rather, how often.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to how often a given meeting should occur, but there are several factors we should take into account.
Some important things to consider: what the point or goal of the meeting is, how long it will take, who is invited, and more. To help you decide which is best for your needs, we have a couple of examples lined up below.
Let’s look at some of the most common meeting cadences - those that take place once a week, once a month, and one a quarter (or once every three months).
Weekly meetings are the perfect way for teams to get together regularly to discuss and debate ongoing issues or topics. A major upside of weekly meetings is to help to improve transparency and communication. This regularity means that everyone can be kept in the loop of ongoing work and have ample opportunity to give feedback and kickstart discussions.
Moreover, people still have enough time to prepare if they feel the need to present the results of a project or updates on some ongoing campaign. Weekly get-togethers can have a set structure and fluid agenda if a week happens to be particularly busy or quiet.
So, what types of meetings should happen every week?
No matter if you are part of a Paid Media team, a UX team, or a Sales Development team, meeting once a week is the ideal way to structure team meetings. Managers or, whoever is running the meeting, can set a regular agenda that allows team members to share and participate.
Bigger departmental meetings also suit a seven-day cycle. This is especially true for departments with numerous teams working on a multitude of different projects. It can help everyone keep abreast of what is happening within other teams and identify areas they can jump in and provide additional support or input.
Monthly meetings are perfect for longer meetings - preferably over an hour - that cover a range of topics that can be broken down into differing sections. These monthly meetings don’t need a set structure and can be adapted and tweaked to suit the agenda.
A monthly format means an agenda can be meticulously prepared while information about activities can be sent out beforehand. Additionally, participants can do some in-depth pre-reading, you can plan some unique activities, or organize breakout groups.
So what types of meetings should happen on a month-to-month basis?
All work and no play may make Jack a dull boy, but it will also make work a real grind for your team. To create high-performing teams, great leaders should go beyond the day-to-day work activities to help bolster team spirit and improve collaboration.
Team building is an incredibly vital part of improving efficiency and effectiveness and having a regular series of activities will help managers work on areas they have identified that need improvement.
Projects and campaigns have to be monitored and tracked. Not doing so means we learn little from our efforts. Workshops and retrospectives are the perfect way to get together and identify key learning points from a project so we can improve going forward. It can also help teams collaborate and work on their communication skills by giving structured and detailed feedback to one another.
Three months may seem like a long time, but remember that absence makes the heart grow fonder and will also pack an agenda. Certain types of meetings don’t need to happen regularly and need time and progress to make them worthwhile.
A team meeting can happen quite often, but company meetings don’t need to happen every week as they risk becoming time fillers with very few new topics to cover. Important goals and decisions may only happen every three months, so these bigger meetings provide the perfect opportunity to gather everyone together and share any exciting news.
Board meetings are an interesting case as they can, theoretically, take place on a more ad-hoc basis. The benefit of hosting them every three months is that critical business decisions and results are likely to be tracked on a quarter-by-quarter basis. Thus, it is necessary to keep board members up-to-speed with changes.
Gathering all of your employees together, whether in-person, over Zoom, or a mixture of both, is something that more and more companies around the globe are scheduling regularly. Most of the time they will include updates, presentations from Directors or upper management, and maybe even a Q&A.
The main upside of holding these every few months is that many businesses, projects, and strategies, operate in quarterly cycles. Thus, those hosting these meetings will need ample time to prepare the agenda, reach out to presenters, and come up with worthwhile content.
Holding this type of meeting too often will likely lead to having a meeting for the sake of having a meeting.
Daily stand-up meetings certainly have their place and merit some consideration here. But one thing to consider is that these could become a waste of time if there isn’t anything new and relevant to discuss. Our recommendation would be to plan out a daily meeting if you feel it is necessary but to be flexible and cancel them if you if not needed on certain days.
We often struggle to make the most of our time and feel ourselves quickly losing focus during a weekly standup or project retro. We know of a surefire way to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of meetings, regardless if they take place on a daily, monthly, bi-weekly, or yearly basis.
Mentimeter lets every group take a more active part in any type of meeting, from all-hands to events and conferences.