Great Leadership

Why & How to Host an All-Hands Meeting

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Olivia Hanifan2021-09-06
An all-hands meeting can also be referred to as a town hall meeting, an all-teams meeting, a company wide meeting and plenty more synonyms. The keep point is that everyone is there. All-hands on deck, all employees in attendance, all eyes and ears on whoever happens to be speaking or presenting.

What is an all-hands meeting?

Typically, at an all-hands meeting, everyone from the company is gathered together and brought up to date on business activities, from product updates and announcements to issues and achievements. It is an easy way to collectively interact with the whole company and an important way to build company culture and connect as a team.

Carried out well, all-hands meetings are perfect to promote a sense of togetherness, encourage open communication and energize an entire organization.

Why you should host an all-hands meeting

In the fast-paced world of business, time is money so you may be thinking why should I add another meeting into the schedule, but an all-hands meeting has considerable benefits. Here are 6 benefits of holding an all-hands meeting:

  1. Company Culture
  2. Clarity
  3. Updates
  4. Accomplishments
  5. Feedback

1. Creates a strong company culture

Your employees may be tired of always hearing about the company culture, but actually walking the walk and not just talking the talk is the best way to reinforce this message. All-hands meetings are the perfect time to showcase the company culture and most importantly, they are all about the company’s most important asset, the people. 

Giving everyone the opportunity to contribute, speak and present and take away the boring meeting stigma is the best way to demonstrate who you really are as a company. By having a forum where employees can praise colleagues it can boost employee satisfaction and morale leading to a more engaged and effective workforce.

2. Can provide clarity

If people are unsure of what needs to be done or what is going on in the business it can stifle productivity and efficiency. An all-hands meeting can prevent any such pitfalls by providing a channel to offer explanations or clarifications on any unclear business aspects. When employees understand, they can be more effective and constructive.

3. Helps to keep everyone updated

Whether it be about new product updates, employee onboarding, or any issues that have occurred, an all-hands covers all bases. It is also a great venue to reveal the company’s future plans and goals which can give everyone a clear vision of what is expected of them and what they want to achieve. Employees can find out what is happening now and what will happen in the future all in one go.

4. Perfect for highlighting accomplishments

Highlight all of the great work that everyone is doing. Celebrate the people in the organization by showing off good work, achievements and boost the team spirit. By giving praise publicly it can energize employees and inspire them to keep working hard and achieving the company goals and targets.

5. Creates a forum that encourages feedback

All-hands meetings give employees a unique opportunity to ask questions to the company leaders or ask general company-related questions. It supports transparency throughout the organization and encourages two-way dialogues such as enabling employees to give their opinions and feedback. 

Not only this but management can discover areas for improvement thanks to employees' contributions. All-hands meetings give everyone within the organization a voice to be heard, which in turn makes them feel valued and appreciated for fostering hard-work.

How to organize and all-hands meeting

However,  as employees' time gets more and more exhausted with meetings, adding another one to the mix may be a daunting thought. Therefore executing an effective all-hands meeting becomes even more important in order to not waste time, demotivate or distract from work. If you're looking for some inspiration then try out this template we have made.

All-hands meeting template

All-hands meeting template

Now, here are some things to consider when organizing an all-hands meeting:

  1. Agenda
  2. Remote Friendly
  3. Recurring
  4. When
  5. Structure
  6. Q&A / Feedback
  7. Change Speakers

1. Set and send out an agenda

It’s always good to be prepared. It’s even better to be prepared when you are organizing a meeting for so many people! Having a plan and a structure in place means not only will you arrive ready to lead the meeting but everyone in your organization can prepare questions they may have or topics for discussion. 

2. Make it remote / hybrid friendly 

With teams increasingly scattered all over the world, regrouping and syncing is more important than ever. All-hands meetings save time and increase efficiency by connecting every member of the organization and relaying important information at the same time. They also allow remote teams to feel part of the company and connected to the headquarters. The remote experience should be just as good as the in-person one. 

3. Make it a recurring quarterly event

All-hands meetings work best when they occur throughout the year. Quarterly meetings are ideal as they can update everyone on recent updates, upcoming plans as well as ongoing changes. Many teams work in quarters and having these meetings built into their planning can be another way to manage everyone’s schedule so they can attend. 

4. Chose the time and date carefully 

Speaking of timing and scheduling, be sure to plan this extensively. Pick a day of the week and a time of day that are considered more quiet and relaxed. Likewise, consider if your teams tend to be busier at the start or the end of the month and plan accordingly. Sending out the invite well in advance can also help people plan their time and ensure they can attend.  

5. Keep to the point

Time is precious and time is also money. You have an agenda so stick to it. Of course there will be things that are brought up during the meeting that require more discussion but try to plan for that beforehand. If you have certain executives or department heads giving updates, let them know they have a certain time slot and that they need to stick to it. Keep everything efficient and moving. 

6. Prepare for questions / feedback

Give your employees the chance to ask questions. Give them the opportunity to do so during the meeting or before the meeting. This is the perfect time to address issues, concerns, and questions that may be shared by a group of people. Offering everyone an open and transparent platform for discussion can help alleviate these concerns and give an official answer to those questions. 

7. Mix up the speakers

Try and hear from someone new, someone that can provide great insight into ongoing projects or company goals. It’s great hearing from leadership but mix up what leaders everyone is listening to. Variety is the spice of life and diversity can spark greater interest in these updates.  

It is never too late or early to introduce an all-hands meeting to your schedule.

Struggling with where to start? Luckily we’re on hand to offer some inspiration with our all-hands meeting template.

Improving large scale meetings

In general, managing large teams can be tricky. Keeping track of everyone's needs, ensuring they have the right tools needed to excel, and that collaborating is a seamless and simple experience. Not only is Mentimeter designed to improve presentations no matter the scenario, but our Enterprise plan aims to help teams of 10 or more team members improve their cohesion and ability to work together. For more information just click the button below.

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