Minutes from staff meetings provide a written record of the decisions made, issues discussed, votes taken, assignments given and other matters affecting the staff. It’s important to capture the details of the meeting as well as the essence of the discussions. You don’t need to record every word spoken during the meeting, but you should be able to provide the participants with an accurate record of the meeting.
Items you will need
- Note-taking tools
Prepare for the meeting by visiting the room to assess where you should sit to get the best vantage point and find electrical outlets if you need them. View previous minutes to get yourself up to speed on how minutes were recorded in the past.
Get a copy of the agenda to help you organize the minutes by topic. Obtain a list of the invited participants and verify the attendees by asking them to sign in as they enter the meeting.
Note the date and time the meeting took place. Write every motion as it was presented, word for word. Record the votes taken and how many voted for, against and abstained. Include the name of the motion-maker and who seconds the motion.
Use bullet points to highlight important discussion topics such as budgets, elections or the planning of company events. Note the pros and cons brought up during the discussion and who made each statement. Wrap up each discussion topic with the result, which will be a motion and vote, an assignment to research the topic or an action designated.
Write the minutes in a clear, easy-to-read format to make them easier to follow. Find apps and tools already created to make minute-taking more efficient. These can be found on websites such as onenote.com if you use Windows. Check out evernote.com for writing tools, agreedo.com for note-taking and minute-sharing tools, and Google docs for meeting minutes templates and easy ways to share the minutes.
Write up the minutes as soon as you can after the meeting while the discussions are still fresh in your mind, preferably within 24 hours. Write in the third person throughout.
Send a draft to the manager or supervisor who chaired the meeting for review before sending minutes out to the rest of the participants. Make corrections and send out a copy to everyone in attendance at the meeting. Attach appropriate documents such as a copy of a budget, an action item list or list of contact numbers.
Create a template to simplify the minute-taking process. Use it over and over when taking staff minutes.
Use a recording device if you are worried about accuracy. Tell participants they are being recorded before turning on your recorder.
Don’t get frazzled when you lose track of the discussion or don’t understand a point made. When you get confused, stop the proceedings and ask for clarification to ensure you report accurately.
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