Your first team meeting should lay a good foundation for future work. Use this well-structured template to kick off your meeting and get your team off to a great start as their new manager.
Ask questions or share stories to get familiar with each other.
A little bit about my professional experience, values, and hobbies.
Share what I expect from the team in terms of communication, getting feedback, and work ethics.
Exchange ideas that will help the team work better together.
What’s something you’d like to change or improve in this team?
How can I better support the team as your manager?
@name Task by DUE-DATE
As a new manager, your role may be both challenging and exciting. Maybe you joined a new organization as a leader, have taken over a new team, or have been promoted to manager for the first time and now have to supervise your colleagues. Whatever the situation, your actions within the first few days and weeks can significantly impact the team and its performance.
The first meeting with the new team is crucial because it is an opportunity to leave a good impression and lay a foundation for future teamwork. In this meeting, you don’t need to chart out an elaborate plan for the following six months just yet, as you will have more opportunities for that in the future, but to get familiar with your new team and set guidelines.
The following are the goals for your first interaction:
Make a solid first impression. First impressions count as they set the tone for your relationship with the team. As a leader, it is an excellent chance to show your professionalism and enthusiasm to the new group.
Interact and build rapport with the team members. As you get used to the new organization and its environment, you should build trust and connection with the team. Although building newer work relationships can sometimes be challenging, a good first introduction can ease things up.
Communicate employee responsibilities and set clear expectations at the very start. Research indicates that around 50% of employees do not know what is expected from them at work. So, tell them clearly what you want and how they can communicate with you.
An effective agenda template can guide you through as you lead your first meeting with the team. Here are important topics for discussion that enable you to use your time effectively.
As you build trust, starting from your first interaction with the team, it is important to understand them and know their background. After all, it is impossible to work with someone without any knowledge about them. Here are some tips for doing so.
Don’t make it too formal. You can start by sharing something about yourself, for example, an anecdote about your initial days as a manager and how you got a grip on things.
Next, you can go around the table and ask people to share any stories, interests, and hobbies. You should also try memorizing your team member’s faces and names, as it will benefit future interactions.
You can have some warm-up activities to get to know your colleagues and make them comfortable. It leads to fun and engaging discussions as people try to guess the correct answers.
Showing a genuine interest in your team indicates that you are there to build a solid work relationship and create a safer space where people can communicate openly.
Once you have got the team warmed up, it is time to share more details about yourself. Let them know about your professional experience and what keeps you motivated, which will build your professional image.
On the other hand, the team will relate to you better when you also show your personal side to them. So, you can include some personal information, such as your hobbies and interests outside work and how you like to spend your time with the family.
Pro Tip: It is good to keep your introduction short and simple with certain humor so that everyone is engaged.
A critical aspect of leadership is setting clear expectations, but research indicates that not many managers are great at doing that. However, if you miss the mark with this crucial element, you are setting yourself and the employee up for failure.
Work expectation: It is wise to convey your intentions to the team and what you want them to accomplish at work. Try making it a partnership and including the employee in setting expectations: ask them if they have clarity on the expectations from their role and how they asses their performance.
Communication expectation: Let them know what you expect from them. For instance, if you want them to send you a status report every week, tell them to do so. Also, inquire about their feedback preferences to bild a harmonious relationship.
Work ethics: Another critical aspect of this meeting is to convey work ethics or best practices that the team can follow to deliver exceptional results. As a leader, you should ensure that the team is accountable for their work and adheres to workplace policies.
Set some time aside to know if the team members have any work-related issues or suggestions for betterment. Even the most productive team members sometimes encounter challenges that they need help with. Let them know how you can help them as you step into this new role as their leader. The idea is to show them you care and also provide them with a new perspective.
Here are some questions that encourage the employees to share their problems and experiences:
Are you encountering any challenges that affect your productivity?
Do you have any suggestions for improving the team’s performance?
Is there any concern that you would like to share?
How can I help make things better for you?
Even the most experienced leaders may face jitters when meeting a new team for the first time. Here are some strategies to help you succeed in your first meeting.
Create and share the agenda
It is crucial to have an agenda for the meeting and share it with the team so that everyone has a clear idea of what is going to be discussed. What's more, you should leave enough room for conversations and interactions with the team members.
As it is your first meeting with them, you need time to know them better and also to address their questions and concerns.
Success is where preparation and opportunity meet.
Make sure the team is engaged
Wherever possible, ensure that people are listening and also taking part in the conversation. The goal here is to ensure a great employee experience right at the start, so it is good to make the meeting interactive.
Let them know that it is OK to interrupt if they don’t understand something or if they want you to elaborate on a particular point. Also, ask questions every now and then so they can share and participate in the conversation.
Connect with the team personally
The first meeting can be nerve-racking as you meet the team and settle into a new environment. However, you should be yourself and not try too hard. Make an effort to show your personal side to build trust and long-lasting work relationships.
It is fine to show your personality. For instance, if you are someone who likes to make jokes, then take this opportunity to connect with them by being humorous. After all, people appreciate laughter, and research indicates that it boosts engagement and employee well-being.
Keep the meeting short
Regardless of how engaging you make it, people do get bored if the meeting extends more than the desired time. So, try to keep things clear and concise and do not stretch it beyond an hour, as people will have a hard time staying engaged.
Leave plenty of time for questions
As the team is getting to know you, they might have questions related to your work preferences and the challenges they are facing, or they might want to discuss something at the top of their mind. So, ensure that everyone gets the time to speak their mind.
Mention the next steps before concluding
Lastly, let the team know what is expected from them before you meet again. For instance, you may want them to update a project tracker to get a grip on things. So, clearly state the action items before ending the meeting.
Share company updates and news that affect the sales team.
Get a quick status check from each team member and figure out the bottlenecks that hold your team up from making progress.
New qualified leads
Deals in progress
Some icebreakers to help people loosen up.
Reiterate the company vision and retro on goals to keep everyone aligned.
Bring in high-level metrics like revenue increase to let all employees know where we are going. Celebrate wins with all hands.