Your monthly all-hands meeting is an opportunity for everyone in the company to get on the same page. These meetings are often the sole occasions when the whole staff comes together to listen to company leaders. As such, it’s important that employees feel better informed after meetings rather than confused.
When planning an all-hands meeting, you should consider what information is relevant to the staff at large. Your goal should be to maximize employee engagement during the meeting. No one benefits from an all-hands meeting because the speaker is rambling or delivering irrelevant information. The following items should be included in every all-hands meeting your company hosts.
Operations in Each Department
Employees that work in different departments often become isolated from one another. As such, it can be difficult to know what goes on in another part of the company when little interdepartmental communication occurs. All-hands meetings allow employees to become familiar with each department’s leaders, organizational structure and purpose. It serves as an unofficial introduction to others in the company and helps them learn how each role fits into the larger picture. In an all-hands meeting, department leaders should develop presentations on the general role and focus of their team, including:
- What positions make up the team.
- What role each individual has.
- How the department interacts with others.
After each presentation, staff should have an opportunity to ask follow-up questions on the department’s operations. This encourages interdepartmental communication and improves the company’s efficiency.
Staff and Organizational Changes
It’s important for your employees to understand the company’s organizational structure and its leaders. The all-hands meeting is a great platform to discuss recent staff and organizational changes. For example, if staff members have been reassigned, promoted or left the company, you can update current staff on how those changes affect the company as a whole and its structure. Similarly, if an employee vacates a role, your staff must know who will fulfill that position’s responsibilities.
Notifying your staff of company changes can improve efficiency by minimizing confusion and ensuring everyone is on the same page. Employees may find themselves emailing inactive accounts for updates with no direction on how to proceed for certain tasks. In this case, it’s up to the department leader to inform employees, and appropriately redirect assignments and tasks. Additionally, updating the staff allows them to keep track of the company’s growth. When employees are unsure of what is going on internally, they may feel frustrated and confused. By providing regular updates on the company’s growth and evolving positions, it offers reassurance and improves morale.
You should deliver staff and organizational updates strategically. In smaller companies, staff changes may affect all employees in some way. However, in larger companies with hundreds or thousands of employees, not every staff change has a big impact on the organization. Spending too much time on announcements that only affect a small portion of the company can decrease employee engagement during the meeting. With this in mind, you should only announce changes that affect all or most employees at all-hands meetings. Larger companies should deliver information regarding minor staff changes at departmental or team meetings.
Project Updates and Upcoming Initiatives
All-hands meetings should bring all employees up to speed on the status of ongoing projects and the company at large. In many companies, employees may contribute to a project, send it to another team and then never hear about it again. A group meeting allows company leaders to provide status updates on various projects, including how successful or unsuccessful they have been. Updates help employees think about the long-term impact of their individual roles. They also help staff set priority projects, address problem areas and continue successful ventures.
Along with updates on current projects, all-hands meetings are the perfect opportunity to announce upcoming initiatives. This includes if you are starting a new project, making a new acquisition or reorganizing the company structure. Through this process, everyone is brought up to speed at once, rather than the news trickling down to staff members. It prevents a feeling of exclusion, minimizing the sense that some employees are in the know and others are in the dark.
Recognition of Employee Success
All-hands meetings provide an excellent opportunity to recognize employees’ accomplishments from the past month. Drawing attention to achievements, promotions and good performance goes a long way toward boosting employee morale. By recognizing accomplishments at the meeting, you signal to employees that the company notices hard work and rewards it. This leads to better employee performance and productivity in the future.
An easy way to implement a reward system is by announcing an employee of the month, or quarter, at every all-hands meeting. It gives employees something to strive for and work toward. You also can encourage employees to nominate their co-workers. It allows the staff to celebrate team accomplishments and company growth. As a result, celebrating high achievement becomes part of the company culture.
Question and Answer Session
The average staff member has little opportunity to speak directly to company leaders. One of the greatest benefits of all-hands meetings is the opportunity for employees to speak to higher-ups and ask questions. Company leaders may be tempted to make the all-hands meeting a lecture in which speakers deliver a speech and employees listen. However, incorporating a question and answer portion empowers employees to address concerns they may not have the opportunity to bring up otherwise.
Companies can offer a Q&A session that focuses on specific projects along with an open-ended one where employees can ask about company as a whole. It’s important to remember that open communication fosters trust and loyalty in your staff. The more open the leaders are in their communication, the more value employees will place on all-hands meetings.