The first meeting with your new team is critical. Not only does it set the tone for future meetings, but it also sets expectations for you, as a manager, and the whole team.
Check out our article for tips on how to be well prepared and the necessary items you'll need to include in your "first meeting with new team" agenda to make an outstanding first impression and kick things off with your new team on a high note.
What should be discussed in the first meeting with new team?
What do you say in the first meeting with a new team? It is recommended that your first meeting covers the following:
- Your team members' experience: it is best if you give time for each team member to describe their background, history, and capabilities.
- Your team members' roles: in the meeting, outline who is responsible for what and who reports to who.
- Your expectations for the team: the meeting is an opportunity to set the objectives for the team, how often they should meet, and how you can track their progress.
- Give the team a chance to ask questions.
Tips to run your first meeting with your new team
Here are a few recommendations on how to run your first staff meeting that will help you achieve your meeting objective, connect with your team, and lay a solid foundation for a successful and productive team experience.
How do you introduce yourself in the first team meeting? Be yourself. Effective leadership is about building trust. When you let your team see your true personality, this inspires mutual trust and respect and builds better communication.
If you are passionate about a certain hobby, let them know about it. If you are a funny person, joke around with them. You may be surprised how such a small thing can connect people.
Set a good example
First impressions last, and what you do in your first meeting will the tone of your leadership philosophy and style. You should aim for creating a work atmosphere where mutual respect and trust are a cornerstone.
Your direct reports will look for cues in your behavior to know what is acceptable and they will try to model that.
To establish a positive working relationship and set an example, try to arrive on time and dress appropriately. Make sure you use professional language and be courteous and polite. Try to give your team your undivided attention and actively listen to them. It’s best if you adopt open body language and a positive attitude.
Allow a two-way conversation
Being talked at during the entire meeting can be a cause of boredom. You can consider your first meeting as an informal face-to-face talk or informal virtual meeting. Have an interactive meeting by looking for ways to engage the team in the meeting content.
This will let the employees know that you prioritize their experience and keep them present during the designated time.
Have a flexible meeting agenda
Of course, you need to be prepared. But it is best if you keep things flexible, so interactions, conversations, or questions can flow naturally.
Keep your first meeting short and productive
The longer the meetings, the harder it is for people to concentrate. Try to keep the topics concise and your kick-off meeting time under an hour.
You can easily avoid having a long first meeting by scheduling one-on-one meetings. It is always a good idea to meet your new team members individually.
Set clear expectations
When ending your first meeting, you need to make that everyone has clear expectations about what is required from them and what to do next. Setting clear expectations holds each one accountable and responsible and helps drive better results.
➕ Extra bonus. Try sending out a thank you email after the meeting is finished; it has a positive effect on attendees and enhances meeting productivity.
What to include in your first meeting with new team agenda template
How do you write an agenda for a first meeting? A well-prepared agenda guarantees effective meetings. Check out what to include in your kick-off meeting with the new team agenda.
1. Break the ice
You may ask yourself how do I start my first meeting? Well, first team meeting icebreakers are the answer. Icebreakers are the best way to spark up conversations. As a manager, it will help you to get to know the team, boost energy levels across the room, and make everyone feel included and comfortable enough to share their ideas.
You can use first team meeting icebreakers to not only know your team on a personal level but also adjust your team management skills and style to drive the best results from your team. So, when they answer the icebreaker questions, make sure you actively listen and take notes.
2. Introduce yourself
The best first impression you can make as a manager is through being yourself and showing humility. It is an opportunity to build trust with your direct reports.
In your introduction, share more than your accomplishments. You can share what motivates you to get out of bed and what you are passionate about outside of work. Show them that you are in the process of learning and trying to get to know the team better and figure out what works best for everyone.
You can also share your personal team leadership philosophy: what you stand for, your communication style, and your vision for the team.
You should aim to make the team feel comfortable with you, which depends on knowing you better as early as possible. And remember to keep your introduction short to ensure that your first meeting is a shared experience.
3. Discover your team
Whether you are a new manager for a new team or an existing team, dedicate time in your meeting to discovering your team member’s work styles, what motivates them to succeed, and their feedback so you can start to make improvements.
You can ask questions that target the challenges, roadblocks, and opportunities that are currently unpursued but should be. You can also let them talk freely about the best and worst things they experienced within a team.
Creating a psychologically safe space to discuss such experiences will help keep everybody on the same page when it comes to team values, what morals you encourage, and what behavior you consider toxic. This shows that you appreciate clear and honest communication and will help set the tone going forward.
Make sure you include everyone. Notice who did not have a chance to speak and try to stir the conversation towards them and ask them to share their thoughts.
4. How can I best support the team?
Most of your team members will not expect such an open-ended question. It is a wonderful opportunity to hear what everyone has to say.
Help the conversation get started by providing some examples of how you can support the team and give everyone an opportunity to answer the question and share their thoughts.
Indeed.com provides this impressive list of ways you can support the team:
- Frequent communication
- Making yourself available to answer questions or help solve obstacles
- Providing guidance and proper training
- Freedom to express thoughts and ideas
- Helping prioritize tasks
5. Set expectations
This part of the meeting is about establishing how you want your team to work and what you want them to achieve. You explain your vision and priorities to the team while keeping it general to encourage the team to speak their mind and contribute their ideas.
You can also walk them through how you will track your progress so that they know what is expected of them.
6. How can we best communicate as a team?
Managers should help create an environment where different forms of communication can coexist. It is best if organizations empower leaders to determine their communication tools and styles, feedback methods, and team’s cadence.
Organizations can make use of these agile, easy-to-use communication tools:
- adam.ai: one place for teams to run efficient meetings, create collaborative meeting agendas, record decisions, and assign tasks.
- Slack: an all-purpose communication platform for the teams
- Jira: for the software team to plan, track, and release software
- Trello: a tool that makes it easier for teams to manage projects and tasks
Besides using suitable communication tools, you can work on enhancing communication. When it comes to effective communication, Forbes recommends the following:
- Ensure that people are ready to engage in the form of communication initiated (especially remote employees)
- Conduct team briefings to provide a two-way communication channel
- Create a communications style guide using personality tests to communicate with each team member the way they prefer
- Know how new employees prefer to communicate at the kick-off meeting
7. When, where, and how often should you meet?
Your kick-off meeting can be a terrific opportunity to discuss meeting cadence with your team. You can ask your team members how frequently they think you should meet and when that can be, in the mornings or afternoons. Should you meet once or twice a week?
8. Time for questions
Leaving time for questions will ensure that the meeting ends with everyone on the same page. It is also a wonderful opportunity to set clear expectations.
9. Conclusion and next steps
Make a strong conclusion because that is what your direct reports are going to take with them. They need to know what is expected from them and what comes next.
At the end of your meeting, you can express how excited you are to join the team and confirm the cadence of team meetings, as per your discussions during the meeting.
You can also let the team know that you’ll be scheduling one-on-one meetings for each of them, which shows how sincere you are in trying to find ways to support them.
If any items that need to be addressed arise during the meeting, make sure to let the team know when you get back to them regarding those items.
You can also let them know if you are planning to provide training on new systems and processes or have a brainstorming meeting for planning upcoming projects.
First meeting with new team agenda template
Check out our "first meeting with new team" agenda template. You can use it to guide you through your first meeting to build a positive workplace relationship.
I. Let’s get to know each other better
Icebreakers are the best way to spark up conversations.
Here are some icebreaker questions to inspire you:
• What is the best piece of advice you have received?
Teambuilding.com offers a comprehensive list of fun questions for virtual meetings. We have chosen some virtual icebreaker questions for you:
• Do you love working from home or would you rather be in the office? Do you like hybrid work models?
You can also use a random question generator. You can find plenty online. They are a fun way to help you ask questions.
II. Allow me to introduce myself
The best first impression you can make as a manager is through being yourself and showing humility.
Here are some points to consider:
III. Tell me about you
Discover your team. Whether you are a new manager for a new team or an existing team, dedicate time in your meeting to discover your team member’s work styles.
Consider the following questions to inspire you:
For existing teams
• What do you want to change in this team?
For new teams
• What has been your favorite project to work on this year (or last)? Why?
IV. How can I best support the team?
Most of your team members will not expect such an open-ended question. It is a fantastic opportunity to hear what everyone has to say.
V. Let’s set expectations
This part of the meeting is about establishing how you want your team to work and what you want them to achieve.
You can set expectations by asking questions like the following:
• What do we want this team to be known for? What are our values as a team?
VI. How can we best communicate as a team?
Managers should help create an environment where different forms of communication can coexist.
Points to consider:
• Know how they prefer to communicate
VII. When, where, and how often should we meet?
Ask your team members how frequently they think you should meet and when that can be, in the mornings or afternoons. Should you meet once or twice a week?
VIII. Questions anyone?
Before ending the meeting, leave time for questions to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
IX. End of meeting: Our next steps
Make a strong conclusion because that is what your direct reports are going to take with them.
Points to consider:
• Express how excited you are to join the team and confirm the cadence of team meetings, as per your discussions during the meeting
Liked our "first meeting with new team" agenda? Download the editable version, so you can make a personalized, powerful agenda that suits your leadership style.
More meeting agenda templates
This agenda is one of many more free agenda templates, created with every team's needs in mind. Feel free to download the ones that you use the most, customize them to fit your team, and make the most out of every meeting.
- Team meeting agenda template
- Board team meeting agenda template
- Quarterly planning meeting agenda template
- Standup meeting agenda template
- Status meeting agenda template
- Sales team meeting agenda template
- Brainstorming meeting agenda template
- Skip-level meeting agenda template
- Kick off meeting agenda template
- Retrospective meeting agenda template
Preparing for your first meeting is of utmost importance. It sets the tone with your team, lays a solid foundation for a successful and productive team experience, and will have a positive effect on future meetings.
Remember to show the real you, be modest, and be open to questions because this will build mutual respect and trust between you and your direct reports.
Use agile, easy-to-use communication tools to create a two-way communication channel, especially with remote-working employees.
Model the best behavior you need to see your direct reports adopt. Make sure you are clear on what is expected from your direct reports and what comes next.
You can our first meeting with new team agenda template to guide you. It’s editable and free and includes all the items you may need. And you are off to a great start!
Therefore, organizations and teams of all sizes resort to a meeting agenda software, which is usually part of an all-in-one meeting management software, to facilitate the entire process and automate many parts of it.
And while there may be multiple meeting management solutions available, here are a few reasons to consider adam.ai:
- adam.ai is one of Atlassian Ventures' portfolio companies.
- 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).