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Posted on April 30, 2018

Shake Up Your Next All Hands Meeting

all hands meeting

When was the last time you refreshed your All Hands/Town Hall/All-Employee meeting? If you’re blushing or scratching your head in thought, it’s been too long. So, steal an idea or two from our list below. We promise we won’t tell.

· Explore somewhere new. Who says you have to hold the meeting at HQ every time? Bring new energy by hosting it in a non-HQ site or somewhere fun. We know a company who broadcasted their All Hands from the Alameda County Fairgrounds!

· Bring burning questions to your Q&A. Think about what people really want to know and answer those questions to the best of your ability. If you can’t share details, acknowledge that people are wondering and let them know when you can share more. This transparency goes a long way. Consider crowdsourcing tough questions in advance. Provide a way – through SurveyMonkey or a similar tool – for your people to anonymously submit questions in advance.

· Gameify your meeting. Try a scavenger hunt or leave a prize/surprise under people’s chairs that ties into the presentation. It works!

· Conduct a live poll. Looking for employees to share their candid opinions on a company issue or initiative? Consider running a live poll. Through a platform such as Sli.do, they can vote anonymously from their mobile phones while sitting in the audience.

· Don’t take it too seriously. We know a few clients who begin their meetings with a fun opening act. For instance, we had a client who shared a video of their leaders wrestling in sumo suits to kick off their All-Hands. What better way to connect with your people and show them that it’s okay to be vulnerable and silly sometimes?!

· Pass out swag. If you’re struggling with attendance or want to reinforce a key message, give people something tangible that they can leave on their desk or stick on their laptop/phone. Some clients will distribute a limited number of swag items to reward the early birds (but be sure to mail giveaways to remote offices too)!

· Play catchy music before and after the meeting. It’s an easy way to inspire and energize your people!

· Provide snacks before the meeting. A lot of clients will put out snacks afterwards or host a post-meeting happy hour, but what about treats at the beginning? It’s particularly helpful if you’re looking to boost attendance.

· Brand your All Hands with a distinct look and feel. You have a word mark for other company-wide initiatives, why not for All Hands?

· Pass the mic. With reliable AV equipment, the folks asking and answering questions don’t necessarily have to be in the room. Let’s face it – it’s boring when the same person stands on stage and fields questions. As long as the video and sound are crystal clear, invite people in remote offices to chime in.

These ideas come with one caveat: Don’t forget the content of your meeting. Your people still want to hear transparent, authentic updates from leaders and need help in connecting the dots between their daily work and overall company strategy. Need proof? Our research confirms it.

Give us a ring if you want to brainstorm more ideas to engage and delight your people!

 

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Kate Brinkerhoff