Managers, You Need To Include Agendas In Your Meeting Invites

August 26, 2021

(I posted a smaller version of this on my LinkedIn profile yesterday, and thought I’d expand it a bit here.)

Managers, when you schedule a “surprise” meeting with an employee, and don't put an agenda in the calendar invite…I am here to tell you that the odds of that employee freaking out and wondering if they should start updating a resume is MUCH higher than you'd like to believe.

Yes, even that one employee that “totally knows I’m a nice manager” (whatever that means). Don’t assume all of your direct reports know what’s in your head. Ever.

The more this happens, the more likely it is that your team is tense. And the more tense they are, the more likely they are to stay awake at night, stressing about the undefined meeting. Which leads to late night updating of resumes. Which leads to notifications going out saying “this person has updated their LinkedIn profile”. Which leads to recruiters seeing those notifications…and contacting said employee…and offering them a job.

Slippery slope? Sure you could look at it that way. But what if I’m right? (And sadly, I’ve had enough recent conversations with people in this very position to know that I’m right here.) This lack of easily communicated info could cost you a valuable team member. I deal with a lot of teams, and one of the main problems I see these days can be boiled down to a lack of clear communication from managment to the rest of the team.

Do everyone (including yourself) a huge favor: spend 10 seconds adding a few words describing what the meeting is for. That gives all the attendees a chance to be prepared. No one is caught off guard by information coming their way. Everyone gets a chance to have quality answers ready, and to get in the right mindset for the given meeting, rather than being tense and not sleeping, wondering why this meeting was requested.

Conversely, when you receive positive feedback about members of your team from other managers, TELL THE TEAM! Again, this takes 10 seconds and makes everyone's lives better...including yours.  And it just might keep said employees from updating their resumes in hopes of a less stressful job.