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How To Run A Pre Shift Meeting

A pre-shift meeting should be run by concisely communicating the goals and tasks for the shift, addressing any changes or issues from previous shifts, and encouraging team engagement and feedback.

A Pre Shift Meeting, also known as a briefing or a stand-up meeting, is an essential management tool held before the start of a work shift, primarily used in the hospitality and retail sectors. Its purpose is to discuss crucial updates, such as tasks for the day, operational changes, safety instructions, customer service goals, and performance-related feedback. It serves to inform, train, motivate and align employees for the day’s job, fostering teamwork and a seamless shift transition. This meeting also provides an interactive platform for employees to clarify doubts or share concerns and suggestions.

What is the purpose of a Pre Shift Meeting?

The purpose of running a pre-shift meeting as a leader is to set clear expectations, communicate important information, and motivate the team. It ensures everyone is on the same page, enhances productivity, and promotes a positive work environment.

How To Run A Pre Shift Meeting: Step-By-Step


Step 1: Preparation for the Meeting,

In this phase, the leadership or individual leading the meeting must formulate a clearly defined agenda. Crucial details including identifying the topics for discussion, outlining the meeting’s objectives, pinpointing the required attendees, and scheduling the specific meeting time must all be effectively planned out. This fosters a streamlined and efficient discourse that respects everyone’s time and input.

With our app, ZipDo, we make preparing for team meetings easier for everyone involved. As a meeting lead, you can benefit from this since all information from previous sessions is stored centrally for recurring meetings. You’ll find both the meeting agendas and all meeting notes, significantly simplifying your preparation. This ensures that no important topics are overlooked.

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Step 2: Informing and Inviting the Attendees,

The management should distribute the meeting agenda to all team members or employees expected to attend the meeting. This agenda outlines the meeting’s purpose and discussion topics, promoting transparency and aligning expectations. It is critical that everyone comprehends the subjects to ensure constructive and focused discourse.

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Step 3: Setting Up the Meeting Venue,

This step involves organizing the space or platform for the meeting. For in-person settings, this requires ensuring the room is tidy, well-lit, and arranged in a way conducive to conversation. For virtual meetings, it involves checking that all participants have the necessary tech infrastructure like access to meeting apps, software, or links. Additionally, for smoother proceedings, test the equipment or software ahead of time, mitigating any potential technical issues.


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Step 4: Commencing the Meeting,

Beginning punctually, the meeting leader must initiate, if required, a swift introduction phase for participants. Subsequently, it’s essential for them to clearly articulate the meeting’s objective and the thematic discussions anticipated. This forms the framework for a productive, efficient and focused meeting.

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Step 5: Discussing the Agenda,

This section of the meeting is where the crucial elements unfold; here, the team deliberates on the established agenda, addresses any hiccups encountered during the previous shift, and outlines tasks for the upcoming period. It’s critical that all attendees engage proactively to promote a dynamic and effective dialogue, ensuring each point on the agenda is comprehensively discussed and any concerns or challenges are brought to the surface for resolution.

With ZipDo, our innovative app, you can automatically import meetings from your calendar into a collaborative workspace tailored for each event. This enables the creation of a communal agenda by your team, where contributions from all members are welcomed. The result is a significant improvement in meeting preparation, efficiency, and simplification of the pre and post-meeting process.

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Step 6: Seeking Clarification,

Once all the agenda points are discussed, it’s crucial for the chairperson to invite questions or clarify any uncertainties. This creates a platform for attendees to voice any confusion or queries freely, fostering engagement, ensuring comprehension, and promoting a more productive meeting environment.

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Step 7: Summarizing and Concluding the Meeting,

The meeting chair is responsible for an important final task – summarizing the discussions’ key points, any essential decisions made and also aligning on the necessary actions required for the next phase. This summary ensures everyone is on the same page. Once completed, the chairperson successfully concludes the meeting.

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Step 8: Follow-Up,

Post-meeting, it’s crucial for management to circulate a summarization email revolving around the key takeaways and the assigned tasks during the conference. It aids in confirming everyone’s understanding of their responsibilities and future actions to be taken ahead of the subsequent work schedule.

Questions to ask as the leader of the meeting

1. What were the key achievements from the previous shift? – This question allows the leader to acknowledge and celebrate success, boosting morale, and setting a positive tone for the upcoming shift.

2. Are there any specific challenges or obstacles that need to be addressed? – By identifying potential hurdles, the leader can proactively plan and allocate necessary resources to overcome them, ensuring efficient operations.

3. Is there anything that didn’t go as planned during the previous shift? – Knowing about any shortcomings helps the leader pinpoint areas of improvement, encouraging learning from mistakes and fostering a culture of continuous improvement.

4. Are there any changes or updates in policies, procedures, or regulations that the team needs to be aware of? – This question ensures that the team stays informed and compliant with any alterations in processes, ensuring they work in alignment with company standards.

5. Is there any equipment or machinery that needs maintenance or repair? – Identifying maintenance needs in advance allows the leader to schedule repairs or replacements, preventing unexpected downtimes and optimizing productivity.

6. Are there any staff members who require additional training or support? – Acknowledging training needs ensures that team members receive the necessary resources to enhance their skills or address any performance gaps, ultimately increasing overall team effectiveness.

7. Are there any upcoming deadlines or targets that we need to focus on? – This question helps the leader and team members prioritize their tasks, ensuring everyone is aligned with short-term goals and that activities are directed towards achieving them.

8. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions for process improvements? – Encouraging team members to share their innovative ideas fosters a culture of collaboration, creativity, and engagement, potentially leading to more efficient workflows and better overall outcomes.

9. What are the key priorities or goals for the upcoming shift? – Clearly defining the primary objectives for the shift helps ensure that everyone is focused and working towards common goals, improving effectiveness and efficiency.

10. Does anyone have any concerns or issues they would like to discuss? – Giving team members an opportunity to express concerns or challenges allows the leader to address them promptly, promoting a supportive and open work environment.

As a leader, it is crucial to prepare a pre-shift-meeting agenda to ensure maximum productivity and alignment among team members. Start by listing the main topics to cover, such as goals, updates, and challenges. Prioritize important information and allot specific time for each item. Communicate the agenda beforehand to allow team members to come prepared.

How To Prepare For A Pre Shift Meeting
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During pre-shift meetings, it is crucial to discuss topics that include important updates, safety protocols, task assignments, changes to procedures or policies, customer experience improvements, sales targets, feedback loops, and any other relevant information necessary for a smooth operation. These discussions help ensure that all team members are aware and prepared for the day ahead.

See Our Pre Shift Meeting Template
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Software tools to facilitate a Pre Shift Meeting

Software can greatly assist leaders in running efficient pre-shift meetings. It enables them to easily create and distribute agendas, collaborate with team members in real-time, track attendance and participation, and document meeting minutes. With software, leaders can streamline communication, ensure everyone is on the same page, and optimize productivity in their teams.

Our Recommendations:


Running effective pre-shift meetings can significantly enhance the functionality of your team and overall business operation. It promotes open communication, employee engagement, and the smooth running of operations. By setting clear objectives, delivering key information, engaging everyone, and encouraging feedback, your pre-shift meetings will not only set the tone for productivity but also foster a cohesive work culture. However, remember that every team is different, so adapting your meetings to fit your team’s needs and listening to what they have to say is key to success. With practice and consistency, you will master the art of running effective pre-shift meetings, leading to an empowered pool of employees and a prosperous business.

Jannik Lindner

I'm Jannik and I write on MeetingFever about the experiences from my career as a founder and team lead.

If you have any questions, please contact me via LinkedIn.

Popular Questions

What is the purpose of a Pre Shift Meeting?

The purpose of a Pre Shift Meeting is to communicate important information to employees before their shift starts. This can include updates on channel goals, expectations, safety measures, company news, or any changes in their shift responsibilities.

Who should attend a Pre Shift Meeting?

All team members and supervisors scheduled for the particular shift should attend the Pre Shift Meeting. It’s vital that everyone on a shift is on the same page in terms of process, safety, and expectations.

How long should a Pre Shift Meeting last?

Pre Shift Meetings are typically brief, lasting between 10 to 15 minutes. The goal is to share necessary information efficiently without delaying the start of the work period.

What topics should be discussed during a Pre Shift Meeting?

Topics that may be discussed during a Pre Shift Meeting can range from safety precautions, team goals, policy updates, changes in shift tasks to feedback or concerns from team members. Often, these meetings are also an opportunity to acknowledge good work and motivate the team.

Why is a Pre Shift Meeting important for team communication?

A Pre Shift Meeting is vital for team communication as it sets clear expectations, promotes safety, and fosters a sense of unity among team members. It allows for an open platform for clarification on any uncertainties and enables all team members to be on the same page before the shift begins.

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