Note Taking at Formal Employee Meetings

Classroom or Live-Online Training

This practical and participative training course will provide attendees with the skills, techniques and confidence required to take clear and accurate notes in formal meetings such as grievance and disciplinary hearings. Delivered by HR professionals, with years of experience both chairing and note taking at formal meetings.


Note taking can be challenging, even for those with prior experience, which is why it is essential that note takers understand what they need to listen out for and then how to clearly document the points and action items from the discussions that have taken place.

This course is suitable for online or classroom delivery, we can also tailor the training to focus specifically on note taking during online meetings and the challenges the online environment can bring.

As with all our courses, we will work with you to create the perfect course to fit your organisational needs but below you will find suggestions for six one-hour modules, you can select the modules which are most applicable to build your own course…

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    Course Content Options    

Process and Preparation

  • What is the note taker’s role in both informal and formal meetings?
  • Why have a note taker in an informal meeting?
  • Preparing for a meeting and using templates for structuring notes.
  • Different style of note taking for different meetings? How do you decide?
  • Handwritten or typed and can a recording be saved in place of a written record?
  • The benefits and pitfalls of touch typing/the benefits and pitfalls of handwritten notes.
  • Do notes need to be signed by those at the meeting?
  • When the employee chooses to overtly or covertly record the meeting.

Active listening (a very practical session)

  • The importance of having and using good listening skills.
  • What happens when a note taker falls behind or misses a segment?
  • Things that can impact concentration and how to minimise them.
  • Developing and practising listening skills.

Technology to support note taking

  • What can those chairing a meeting do to take notes if there is no note taker available?
  • Can video call recordings be taken and saved?
  • Using phones to record meetings.
  • Using mobile apps to record meetings and create notes – let’s practise!
  • Data protection issues around recording, storing recordings and using personal devices to record.

Some legal and practical issues when note taking

  • A legal insight into what notetakers should be listening for in HR meetings.
  • Identifying a conflict of interest/knowing when you should not be note taker
  • What should and shouldn’t be included in your notes- what do Tribunals tend to criticise or dislike when notes are submitted in legal proceedings?
  • Avoiding interpretation.
  • Staying calm in emotional or stressful situations.
  • Taking breaks/asking for an adjournment.
  • Understanding data protection issues in relation to note taking.
  • Meeting etiquette/management during online meetings.

Reducing or eliminating bias

  • Recognising bias*
  • Looking at unconscious biases that can impact our note taking.
  • A focus on confirmation bias.
  • When our emotional responses to a meeting or person create bias.

Recognising Bias: *For example is there an illusion or assumption of equity? Does the language or accent used impact our understanding? Are there assumptions made about traits such as religious belief or culture? Does bias occur when we simply ‘don’t believe’? Is our hearing sometimes ‘selective’? Have we inadvertently stereotyped those in the meeting? Do we dismiss or fail to hear that which we find uncomfortable?

Practice makes perfect!

  • A one hour practical session to give opportunity to take a range of notes: face to face; by telephone; on video call. Can our delegates concentrate and ensure key points are noted? Can our delegates take great notes?
  • A quiz… do our delegates understand the key legal issues at play? Are they clear on their role? Can they recognise when bias is occurring?

This course is suitable for 2-12 attendees per session, however we can cater for one-to-one sessions with a slightly amended exercises.

We most commonly deliver this as a 3-hour course but it can be anywhere from 2-6 hours in length, dependant on what you would like to cover.

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