Team Briefing

Team Briefing

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Term2.png TEAM BRIEFING
Act or instance of supplying precise instructions or information to someone. The Team Briefing is a regular face-to-face meeting between supervisors and their teams to systematically communicate and exchange information and ideas.

It ensures that staff at all levels receives information that is relevant to them, which is a mixture or corporate and local issues. It is capable of being monitored by someone given responsibility to do so, including the satisfactory feedback of answers to questions at all levels. Its aim is to reduce misunderstandings and rumours and enhance cooperation.

The benefits of Team Briefing are:

  • Provides a channel for delivering clear messages and encouraging open communication.
  • Regular face-to-face communication prevents rumor from gaining credibility.
  • Enables questions and suggestions to be fed back from staff to the top.
  • Develops greater awareness and involvement at all levels.
  • Develops a shared sense of mission, collective aims and reasons why we’re here.
  • Explains financial, commercial and strategic issues.
  • Ensures that staffs are kept up to date on performance, progress and policy changes.
  • Enables discussion of sensitive matter because it's face-to-face. [1]
See also: Debriefing


Toolkit.png Organizing a Team Briefing

Step by Step

  1. Arranging your Team Briefing
    • Timing: try setting dates for at least six months at a time so that your staff are well aware of the dates in advance and can put them into their diaries. Briefings should be held at least once a month.
    • Size: the ideal team is made up of around 4-15 people.
    • Venue: make sure you choose a suitable venue for your team briefing.
    • Publicizing the briefing: once you’ve got all the arrangements in place, make sure that you give your team enough time so that they are able to attend.
  2. Preparing the agenda
    • Priorities: sort the items into Must know information (details essential to the team and it’s day to day activities), Should know information (details which staff should know about as a matter) and Nice to know information (information useful to know).
    • Timing: work about how long each item should take and remember to allow time for questions after each item.
  3. Presenting the Briefing: briefings should be fairly informal and by all means adopt an approach which best suits the culture and nature of your team.
    • Core brief: it’s the written briefing details from the CEO or board which will be passed on to every employee at every Team Briefing meeting.
    • Local brief: it’s a separate written brief prepared by each team leader, manager or supervisor, for his or her own team, containing local issues relevant to that team.
    • Feedback form: it’s a separate document which enables the questions arising at briefings to be recorded, answered, whether at the time or later, and that process to be monitored.

Attending a Team Briefing

  1. Before the Briefing. Take a few minutes to think about the following points:
    • Are you expected to do any preparation/bring anything with you to the meeting?
    • Are there any items still outstanding? Look through the records of the last brief you received.
    • Are you having problems with the mechanics of the team briefing which you’d like to raise with your manager/colleagues?
  2. During the Briefing.
    • Concentrate and listen so that you hear the questions asked by other people.
    • Make concise notes.
    • Ask questions to clarify the information you have been given.
    • Deliveringing a team brief to your own team make sure you understand which points are of particular relevance to your area of work.
  3. By the end of the Briefing you should have:
    • A clear picture of the information you have received.
    • An idea of when you can expect to receive more information from your manager if they weren’t able to answer your question at the briefing.


Facilitator’s Role

  • Frequency. Team briefing meetings need to be held on a planned and regular basis.
  • Duration. Your briefing should last around 30 minutes. If there isn’t much information to impart then just reduce the length of the team briefing. Make sure you leave enough time for staff to ask questions - this is a two-way form of communication.
  • Feedback. With any luck your team will give you some useful feedback and make some valid suggestions during your team briefing. It’s really important that you do something constructive with this feedback - the team could be unsatisfied if they feel their views are not being taken seriously.
  • Monitoring the Team Briefing. Managers at a senior level should make every effort to “sit in” on team briefings within their area of work to assess how successful team briefing is. The Internal Communications team will also carry out periodic research into the distribution and effectiveness of team briefing. [2]


Job Aid

Pdf.png Organizing a Team Briefing

References

  1. www.answers.com (27 may 2009), www.yourdictionary.com (27 may 2009), dictionary.bnet.com (27 may 2009), [1] (27 May 2009)
  2. www.businessballs.com (9 September 2009)