Definition of a Business Meeting

by Osmond Vitez; Updated September 26, 2017
Five Business People in a Meeting

Companies use business meetings to review company information or establish new operating principles. Most meetings are directed by management, and time is spent helping employees understand the company financial health or operations.

Formal Style

Smiling executives shaking hands with their business team behind them

Formal meetings usually involve the company board of directors, executive management or shareholders and inform the parties involved about the overall company operations. Some formal meetings might require a certain number of members present, a reading of previous meeting minutes and an agenda for the present meeting. Two common types of formal meetings are used in business: the organizational meeting and the operational meeting.

Organizational Meeting

Business people discussing work on laptop at a meeting

Organizational meetings require an agenda to accomplish the meeting's goals. Most organizational meetings exist in the corporate environment, where annual shareholder’s meetings or board of directors meetings are used to explain the current financial health of the company and future income opportunities. Public corporations are usually required to submit their annual meetings notes in documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for use by outside investors.

Operational Meeting

Business meeting in an office

Operational meetings might include executive management and operational managers to discuss current business operations and improvements or additions to company operations. Although considered a formal meeting, less documentation might be needed on these meetings because internal company management are the only parties involved. Managers might discuss this information with employees or outside individuals.

Informal Style

Group Of Men Meeting In Creative Office

Informal meetings are what most employees are familiar with. Informal meetings include various employees from the company and might cover a wide range of topics, including benefits, payroll information and workplace improvements. Management will use these ad hoc meetings to inform employees of broad company policies and changes to the employee handbook.

Department Meeting

Four businesswomen in a meeting in the board room

Department meetings are an informal meeting style used by department managers to inform workers of company expectations and improvements for their specific area. Employees might have a great deal of input in departmental meetings depending on the information discussed. These meetings are used to improve the daily operations of the company and increase employees' productivity. Some companies might offer financial incentives for the best employee idea implemented from these informal meetings that generates the most benefit to the company.

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