Managers and team leaders have meetings all day long. Whether it's to review the team's past performance, meet with the client, or inform them what to work on in the upcoming quarter, sometimes, it may feel like having one more meeting is too much, but what if it's beneficial and, frankly, absolutely necessary?
A catch up meeting is not your typical formal meeting to talk about strictly work-related matters; it's rather conducted to check up on a team's psychological well-being and acknowledge their concerns.
The sole purpose of a catch up meeting is to focus on each individual and discover what's been hindering their progress or what issues they've been facing while suffering in silence. Let's talk about catch up meetings and find out what it's all about.
Here are the main points in this article:
What is a catch up meeting?
A catch up meeting is held between two or more people in a team to discuss work-related topics as well as other personal issues. It's an informal get-together for teammates to check up on each other every once in a while.
Since it's a casual setting, a catch up meeting should be a safe place for teammates to share what's been going on in their lives in the past period whether it's work-related or not.
Try to have one-on-one catch up meetings to allow people to talk freely and make them feel comfortable sharing their concerns and future plans for their work or personal lives.
What is discussed in a catch up meeting?
It's safe to say that anything can be shared in a catch up meeting if the person feels comfortable enough to do so. Here are a few talking points in a catch up meeting:
1. Emotional and mental well-being
The obvious answer that people give to the basic "How are you?" is "I'm fine." But is it the truth?
Encourage people to talk about their emotional and mental state at the moment and listen to them carefully. The whole point of a catch up meeting is to let people open up and share their personal feelings.
2. Work relationships and collaboration
After tackling the personal issues, talk about how things are going at work. Everybody struggles with achieving work-life balance, and sometimes, it can take a toll on our professional relationships.
Ask each team member privately if they have any communication issues with their colleagues. Answering these questions can give you an idea of how effectively people are communicating in the team and address any concerns head-on.
3. People's short-term and long-term goals
Give every team member a chance to talk about their future goals for the upcoming period. These goals could be short-term like for the next quarter or long-term for the next five years or so.
Finding out about each other's goals will let people find a common ground to collaborate more efficiently by sharing knowledge and resources and helping one another to achieve those goals.
These talking points are the general headlines for a catch up meeting, so let's find out the best practices to conduct effective catch up meetings.
How to conduct effective catch up meetings
To get your team engaged to share their thoughts in a catch up meeting, it's best to create a safe space for them to ease up and share their thoughts. Here are a few steps on how to get started:
1. Try a few ice breakers
Starting the catch up meeting with a couple of ice breakers will get people in the mood. Chances are people will always be excited to have a casual meeting.
Starting with a fun game like "two truths, one lie" or "rock, paper, scissors" and asking them about their favorite movies, hobbies, or pets can make people loosen up and engage in the meeting.
2. Listen to people's stories
The whole idea of a catch up meeting is to listen intently to people's experiences in their relationships whether at work or in their personal lives.
Ask people about how to enhance team collaboration and avoid miscommunication, and start taking notes to come up with an action plan at the end of the meeting.
3. Track the team's progress
A catch up meeting is casual, but that doesn't mean you can't talk about each person's KPIs to find out how they did in the past period and where to go from there.
Keep OKR reports in front of you during the meeting to remind each person of the goals they need to be working on to achieve the desired results.
4. Offer suggestions and support your team
After discovering each person's concerns and goals, let them know that you'll support them in any way they can, and better yet, offer them a few suggestions to achieve their goals by pointing them toward reading material or training courses that could help them in their journey.
Ask your team how you can support them at work to collaborate more effectively and take their suggestions into account.
5. Schedule a meeting cadence
Conducting a catch up meeting on a regular basis will ensure you always stay up to date with your team's progress and emotional and mental well-being.
Some people choose to have a daily cadence with their team; others prefer to keep it on a weekly or biweekly basis. This depends on each person's availability and individual needs; in any case, consider catch up meetings a health indicator and motivational booster for the team.
6. Be prepared
The most important thing to achieve an effective catch up meeting is to be prepared in advance. This is easily achieved if you have a set agenda with specific meeting objectives.
A meeting agenda should be shared with the team before the meeting so they know what will be discussed to make the best use of everyone's time.
Apart from the agenda, make sure to write a list of questions to ask your time to avoid wasting time and to tackle all the talking points to ensure a productive meeting.
7. Conclude the meeting with action items
To ensure an effective meeting, create effective action items based on the team's overall suggestions to enhance collaboration and communication. This point is especially useful for remote teams where miscommunication can easily happen.
💡Pro Tip. Use an all-in-one meeting management platform, like adam.ai, to share OKR and KPI reports during the meeting, create action items, make decisions and have the team vote on them, and follow your meeting agenda in the catch up meeting all in one place without the hassle of shifting through various apps.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Sharing action items on other apps
Take advantage of the decisions' tile by writing them down after listening to your team's suggestions during the meeting and have them vote on those decisions.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Managing your decisions and taking votes
You can use the meeting timer to set a scheduled time for each talking point in the catch up meeting to save time and avoid awkward moments of silence during the meeting.
Screenshot from adam.ai: The meeting timer
You can easily use your existing apps while taking notes and automatically generating meeting minutes to be shared with the team after the meeting, making sure they didn't miss a thing.
You can duplicate the catch up meeting with the same notes, agenda, and action items for the next meeting to save time and effort.
Screenshot from adam.ai: Integration with Google Calendar and Office 365 Calendar
Give adam.ai a try by trying the 14-day free trial to conduct an efficient catch up meeting and carry on all your activities in one place.
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If you search online for the term "catch up meeting," you'll find different variations of the term, so which one is it?
Is it catch up or catch-up meeting?
You'll find three variations of the term including catch up, catch-up, and catchup. American and British spellings alternate between the hyphenated and closed forms, with a slight difference in their meanings as a noun.
According to Cambridge Dictionary, the British meaning for catch-up refers to the conversation people have with each other to talk about what happened since the last time they met.
As for the American meaning, catch-up refers to the process of working toward achieving a similar standard to something or someone because you fell behind so you need to "catch up" with these standards or trends.
No matter which spelling you prefer, you'll need a structured plan to help you conduct a smooth catch up meeting, and what better way to do that than use an agenda template.
Catch up meeting agenda template
Having a catch up meeting agenda will allow you to keep the meeting in perspective and avoid wasting the team's valuable time.
While it is a casual meeting, it still has to be kept in check so it doesn't turn out to be another useless meeting. We've fashioned a catch up meeting agenda template for you to use in your next meeting so make sure to download it in advance and customize it according to your team's needs.
More meeting agenda templates
You can find a list of other useful meetings agenda templates on our blog, which can guide you to hold effective meetings:
Check out this video to discover how to create a meeting agenda at adam.ai:
The bottom line
A catch up meeting is a casual but a necessary meeting that should be conducted on a regular basis. It's a chance to catch up with your team's emotional and mental well-being before proceeding to talk about their goals, concerns, and needs at work.
Make sure to listen to your team carefully, take note of their concerns and suggestions, and give them proper feedback and support to let them know you care about them.
We recommend using all-in-one meeting management software to make your meetings more efficient by having everything you need in one place.
Here are a few reasons to choose adam.ai:
adam.ai is ranked a leader in the meeting management software category by G2 for both quarters, Summer 2021 and Winter 2021.
adam.ai has been included in the Forrester Report in the AI-enabled meeting technology landscape.
adam.ai is trusted and used by powerful teams worldwide from Johns Hopkins University, The Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), Microsoft, and other renowned organizations.
And most importantly, adam.ai integrates with your existing workflow, provides a free plan for life for small teams, and is the most affordable tool for larger teams (starts at $4.99).