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Submitted by TSJ72 on


 I am looking for suggestions on structuring my staff meetings with my team that is really 3 separate teams.

I manage a group of 12 engineers that support a high tech manufacturing line.  Three segments of the line are supported by 3 sub teams within my group.  There is ~20% overlap in responsibilities between the groups, mostly line wide topics or issues that span multiple segments of the line.  I have been in the position for ~1 year and have been having weekly O3's with all the team members.  I have not rolled out the rest of the trinity.  

For the first 9 months I had weekly 90 min staff meetings.  I have found that it is difficult to keep everyone engaged in the meetings because sometimes the content is focused on one particular sub team. At the beginning of the year, based on input from the team, I changed this to a 60 min staff meeting every other week and then asked that the lead of each sub team to have a separate meeting.  The result is that the sub teams meet either once a month or every two weeks. I am not able to attend all of the sub team meetings due to schedule conflicts.  

I am concerned that this structure is not fostering the level of collaboration that I would like to have.  Does anyone have a similar situation, and how do you structure your meetings?


SuzanneB's picture

I have a sort of similar set-up - two directs who are each supervisors of separate teams and sometimes work overlaps. 

It sounds like the first issue is that you need an agenda.  Knowing in advance what the topics are will help decide who should be there.  Even if it's just 24 hours in advance.  Perhaps the structure could be a 60 minute meeting with an agenda something like this:

15 min - Specific Topics to Team A (only Team A attends)

15 min - General topics (top-down communication, reminders, general stuff for everyone (all attend)

15 min - Specifc Topics to Team B (Team B & C attend - if B&C are mostly closely aligned)

15 min - Specific Topics to Team C (only Team C attends)


Or something like a 20 minute weekly meeting with everyone (do you really need 60?) and 3 other 20 minute meetings with each team about specifics?

Sullivja's picture

I have had the same difficulty with team members being interested in the reports of others at team meetings. I manage a team of 11, 6 of whom are my directs, the other 5 report to one of my directs. We work across two locations 80km apart, have people performing three different specialist functions and all work different roster & shift patterns. There is much less than 20% overlap in responsibilities. At my team meeting a person representing each specialist area reports to the group and I provide the top down communication part. The one or two people at the smaller site call in.

Whilst my team meetings are far from perfect I find that people do get involved when others are providing reports for their team. This has taken over a year to achieve and many times I have been tempted to change the structure, or cancel the whole thing. I haven't and have persisted with the same structure. It seems to have worked, but ever so slowly. I have given feedback when people have provided input on others reports/ asked questions/ offered help. All behaviours I associate with collaboration and team effectiveness.

My recommendation is rather than seperate  the groups, keep them together and provide feedback when you see the behaviours you associate with collaboration. Use feedback to encourage people to behave in a collaborative manner.