Meeting cadence: how to strike the right balance

From daily check-ins to quarterly strategy sessions, discover how tailoring meeting frequency can transform your team's efficiency, productivity, and joint success.

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Getting the rhythm of meetings just right is crucial for keeping your team or project on track. 

In this guide, we’ll break down the importance of finding that sweet spot and offer practical tips for setting the frequency of your daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly gatherings. 

You’ll then be equipped to navigate the fine line between fostering effective communication and avoiding meeting overload (or underload).

What is meeting cadence?

Meeting cadence refers to the regular rhythm or frequency at which meetings occur within a team or organisation. 

It’s essentially setting the pace for how often team members gather to discuss progress, address challenges, and align on goals. 

Well-orchestrated meetings and efficient schedules foster cohesion, accountability, and momentum within the team, driving productivity and success – and are vital for maintaining effective communication channels, ensuring that everyone stays informed, engaged, and on the same page.

What is the impact of wrong meeting cadence?

When the meeting cadence is off, it can have a detrimental impact on the effectiveness of the meeting, as well as productivity. 

Based on the findings from our Startups 2024 communication survey, grappling with communication overload and the loss of critical messages are two of the most prevalent challenges faced by white-collar small business professionals today.


Around a fifth of respondents explicitly feel that communication is negatively affecting the time spent on core job responsibilities (18%), whilst the majority are either uncertain (33%) or feel that there is a healthy balance (50%).

Here are some potential risks of poor meeting cadence:

  • Communication overload: too many meetings can overwhelm team members, leading to important messages and action points being lost.
  • Reduced collaboration: infrequent meetings may result in decreased communication and collaboration among team members, hindering progress on projects.
  • Project delays: inconsistent meeting schedules can disrupt project timelines and deadlines, causing delays and impact overall productivity.

Burnout and disengagement: an imbalanced meeting cadence can contribute to burnout, disengagement, and disruptions in workflow, ultimately affecting team morale and performance.

Questions to ask yourself before setting a cadence (and why)

Before establishing a meeting cadence, it’s essential to consider several key factors to ensure effectiveness and avoid common pitfalls. Here are some questions to ask yourself and why they matter:

  1. What are the objectives of the meetings? Understanding the purpose helps tailor the frequency and format to best achieve these goals.
  2. Who needs to be involved? Identifying key stakeholders ensures that essential perspectives are represented and decisions can be made efficiently.
  3. What is the team’s workflow like? Aligning meetings with natural workflow rhythms prevents disruptions and maximises productivity.
  4. How much time can realistically be dedicated to meetings? Organising your calendar can help to respect team members’ time, ensure that meetings remain productive and don’t lead to burnout.
  5. How will meeting outcomes be communicated and acted upon? Clarifying next steps and accountability maintains momentum and drives progress toward goals.

These questions help ensure that the meeting cadence you establish maximises productivity, fosters effective communication, and supports the overall success of your team and project.

How do you decide on the correct meeting cadence?

Deciding the correct meeting cadence depends on what you want the meeting to accomplish. Here are some of the most common cadences to choose from:

  • Daily meetings are ideal for quick check-ins, synchronising tasks, and addressing immediate challenges. They help maintain momentum within the team.
  • Weekly meetings provide an opportunity to review progress, discuss priorities, and plan for the week ahead. They facilitate deeper discussions and strategic alignment among team members.
  • Monthly meetings allow for a broader review of performance, goal tracking, and strategic planning. They offer a chance to step back and assess progress towards long-term objectives.
  • Quarterly meetings focus on big-picture discussions, such as business reviews, performance evaluations, and strategic initiatives. They enable long-term planning towards the organisation’s greater goals.

Let’s dive into each of these styles in further detail:


Daily meetings are best suited for situations where project urgency and frequent communication are paramount. 

Here’s when, why, and how you might meet daily:

  • Project urgency: when working on time-sensitive projects or tasks that require constant coordination and quick decision-making, daily meetings help keep everyone aligned and responsive.
  • Balancing communication: while daily meetings offer benefits in terms of keeping everyone informed while addressing issues promptly, it’s essential to balance this with the risk of communication overload. Evaluate whether daily meetings are truly necessary or if they can be supplemented with other forms of communication, such as online tools like Whatsapp or Slack.
  • Communication tools: incorporating asynchronous communication tools, such as shared project boards or messaging platforms, alongside daily meetings can enhance collaboration and provide avenues for ongoing updates and discussions outside of scheduled meetings.

Examples of daily meetings include:

  • Stand-ups: quick, daily gatherings where team members provide brief updates on their progress, plans, and any blockers. These are effective at ensuring transparency, accountability, and swift issue resolution.
  • Team check-ins: regular, daily sessions aimed at reviewing daily goals, addressing concerns, and ensuring everyone is on track to meet objectives.


Weekly meetings are crucial for fostering team cohesion and providing a platform for strategic discussions and project updates. 

Here’s what meetings are most effective weekly:

  • Strategic planning: weekly meetings offer an opportunity to set the agenda for strategic discussions, review long-term goals, take important meeting minutes and align priorities to ensure the team is moving in the right direction.
  • Project updates: weekly meetings allow for comprehensive project updates, allowing team members to share progress, discuss challenges, and adjust plans as needed. This regular cadence ensures everyone stays informed and is accountable.
  • Adjusting intensity: it’s essential to adjust the intensity of weekly meetings based on the team’s workload. While some weeks may require in-depth discussions and problem-solving sessions, others may be more focused on quick updates and goal-setting.
  • Engagement techniques: to maintain engagement and avoid routine fatigue, consider incorporating interactive elements such as brainstorming sessions, team-building activities, or guest speakers. Additionally, rotating meeting formats or locations can help keep meetings fresh and stimulating.

Examples of effective weekly meetings include:

  • Weekly 1-2-1 meetings: individual sessions between a team leader and each team member to provide personalised feedback, address concerns, and set objectives for the week ahead.
  • Project status meetings: where team members provide updates on project progress, discuss challenges, and strategise for the upcoming week.
  • Team planning sessions: dedicated time for setting weekly goals, allocating resources, and identifying priorities to ensure alignment and accountability across the team.


Monthly meetings play a crucial role in strategic planning and reflection, providing an opportunity to assess achievements, address challenges, and set the course for the upcoming month. 

Here’s how monthly meetings for strategy and planning unfold:

  • Reflecting on achievements and challenges: monthly meetings offer a chance to review progress made over the past month, celebrate successes, and identify any obstacles or setbacks encountered.
  • Strategic planning sessions: these meetings involve discussions on long-term goals, priorities for the upcoming month, and strategies to overcome challenges. It’s a time to align team efforts with broader organisational objectives and adjust plans accordingly.
  • Balancing reflection with forward-looking discussions: while it’s important to reflect on past performance, the primary focus of monthly meetings is on forward-looking discussions. Teams should dedicate ample time to strategising and planning for the future.
  • Incorporating team-building activities: to enhance cohesion and morale, consider incorporating team-building exercises into your monthly meetings. These could include icebreaker exercises, group discussions on values and goals, or collaborative problem-solving tasks.

Examples of monthly meetings for strategy and planning include:

  • All Hands meetings: monthly gatherings involving the entire department to share company updates, celebrate achievements, and align on overarching goals and priorities.
  • Monthly strategy review: a meeting dedicated to assessing progress towards strategic objectives, identifying emerging trends, and adjusting plans accordingly.
  • Goal setting sessions: where team members collaborate to set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, time-bound) goals for the upcoming month and establish action plans to achieve them.
  • Workshops/Playbook sessions: monthly interactive sessions designed to explore specific topics or initiatives in depth, leveraging departmental expertise and resources to develop actionable strategies and best practices.


Quarterly meetings play a crucial role in evaluating long-term objectives, providing a structured opportunity to review progress, conduct strategic planning, and recalibrate goals. 

Here’s how assessing long-term goals unfolds every quarter:

  • Significance of quarterly meetings: these meetings serve as checkpoints to assess progress towards long-term objectives, ensuring alignment with organisational strategies and adapting to changing circumstances.
  • Reviewing progress against KPIs: quarterly meetings involve a comprehensive review of key performance indicators (KPIs) to gauge performance, identify trends, and pinpoint areas for improvement or adjustment.
  • Strategic planning for the next quarter: teams use quarterly meetings to engage in in-depth discussions on strategic initiatives, resource allocation, and priority setting for the upcoming quarter. It’s a time to reflect on lessons learned and fine-tune strategies for optimal performance.
  • Balancing depth with efficiency: while quarterly meetings allow for deeper discussions and analysis, it’s essential to balance depth with efficiency to ensure that meetings remain productive and focused. Agendas should be carefully crafted to address critical issues while respecting the time of participants.

Examples of assessing long-term goals every quarter include:

  • Quarterly business reviews: where teams evaluate overall performance, financial metrics, and market trends to inform strategic decision-making for the next quarter.
  • Company-wide quarterly meetings: dedicated sessions involving all departments to align on overarching goals, address cross-functional challenges, and ensure alignment with organisational strategies.
  • Goal setting workshops: collaborative sessions focused on setting quarterly objectives, aligning team priorities, and developing action plans to achieve desired outcomes.
  • Quarterly growth conversations for line managers and direct reports: structured discussions aimed at reviewing individual and team progress, identifying skill development opportunities, and aligning personal goals with organisational objectives to drive professional growth and success.


It’s definitely worth giving some thought to the meeting cadence across daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly intervals. 

Finding that sweet spot in meeting frequency ensures everyone is aligned, engaged, and moving towards shared goals. So don’t hesitate to reassess and adjust your meeting cadence as needed to optimise your team’s performance.

Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.

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