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How To Design An All-Hands Meeting Your Employees Actually Want to Attend


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Our team has grown fast, and All-Hands meetings have been a key factor in helping us maintain transparency, build engagement, and keep our company culture strong. We take our own experience, and what we've learned from the largest brands to show you how to design and implement an effective All-Hands Meeting at your company.

Published in: Business
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How To Design An All-Hands Meeting Your Employees Actually Want to Attend

  2. 2. with the To help people learn better and a vision to accomplish this through building a company where employees were highly engaged and fulfilled in the work they do. Two entrepreneurs came together in 2013 passion elm |
  3. 3. One of the keys to accomplishing this was launching a monthly meeting (an All-Hands Meeting) that allowed for transparency, feedback, and some fun. elm |
  4. 4. Andrew and Simon met a solopreneur Jack Makhlouf looking to take his creative design agency called eLearning Mind to the next level. elm |
  5. 5. Realizing Jack shared their same vision, the three of them decided to join forces. elm |
  6. 6. how elm got started? Andrew Fayad and Simon Casuto founded eLearning Mind in 2013, a creative design agency focused on transforming digital learning experiences. elm |
  7. 7. and have implemented top culture research into building a business where both the business and employees can Positive Leader They lead with a model called engagethrive elm |
  8. 8. have been and continue to be a crucial part of our own culture, and contribute to the success we’ve seen as a business and as individuals. ALL-HANDS MEETINGcrucial part The elm |
  9. 9. This slideshare gives a foundation from which any business can launch their own All-Hands. elm |
  10. 10. IN THIS SLIDESHARE WHAT YOU WILL LEARN How Our Own All-Hands Meeting Has Transformed Our Startup 15 Ways To Make Your All-Hands Meetings Less Annoying How An All-Hands Meeting Supports Your Business Companies Who Use All-Hands Meetings What is an ALL-HANDS MEETING & and Why Most Suck? elm |
  11. 11. an ALL-HANDS MEETING? WHAT IS elm |
  12. 12. An “All-Hands” Meeting (also called a TownHall) is an organization-wide business meeting where all employees are encouraged to participate in asking questions and engaging with other employees and executives. it’s an unfiltered chat in an effort to get everyone on the same page, where everyone feels equal and no question is off the table. Basically, elm |
  13. 13. these meetings kind of suck a lot of the time, BUT Because they are held for the wrong reasons, like: elm |
  14. 14. elm |
  15. 15. elm |
  16. 16. there are a ton of companies out there using BUT All-Hands Meeting elm |
  17. 17. Giving acknowledgement where due Welcoming new team members Reinforcing your mission and values Setting goals and expectations Opportunities for employee growth Realignment with customer success Invaluable Feedback Fostering employee ownership and seeing the following results... Cultivating transparency in communication Establishing accountability Overcoming the fragmented nature of virtual companies Promoting fun and boosting employee morale Improved company culture elm |
  18. 18. what do these companies do in their meetings to keep employees engaged, and even a little excited? so... elm |
  19. 19. LESS ANNOYING EVEN KIND OF Fun!& ways to make your ALL-HANDS MEETING 15 elm |
  20. 20. 2 #1 prior to meeting. get employee feedback elm |
  21. 21. 2 Send every employee advance notice of the meeting and a meeting agenda (tentative but flexible). Let your employees know what the meeting will cover and more importantly, ask if they have any suggestions to make it better. Give employees and easy, and “safe” way to do this. This not only aids in the planning of the meeting, but allows everyone to be prepared and feel included. You might also capture ideas or discover issues you were unaware of prior to, creating a unique opportunity to address them now. #1 elm |
  22. 22. 1 3 #2 INVITE OUTSIDE GUESTS TO JOIN YOUR MEETING. (CEOs, investors, leaders, and community members) elm |
  23. 23. 1 3 The value of a variety of different perspectives and ideas is undeniable. Bringing in people outside of your company creates a truer sense of transparency and openness to take an honest look at what’s going on. The retail giant Zappos takes this to the next level bringing in CEOs, investors, and members of the community to be involved in their quarterly All-Hands meetings. #2 elm |
  24. 24. 2 4 #3 CELEBRATE WINSwithin your company. elm |
  25. 25. 2 4 At our company we call this “giving props.” It’s important to give credit where credit is due. Publicly facilitate a way to give recognition to individuals and teams when it’s warranted. Wins should also be a mix of both personal and professional accomplishments. This practice builds camaraderie and fosters an atmosphere for positivity and motivation. #3 elm |
  26. 26. 3 5 #4 mAKE SURE YOU HAVE A compelling session format. elm |
  27. 27. 3 5 It’s so important to start off the meeting with high energy! Whether that’s giving props at the start, or following the steps of some companies who invite bands to perform. After that, using the right format can help you increase the engagement level with your employees. Going from a key presenter, to interviews, to lightning talks, to discussion tables, it’s important to mix it up, break up the meeting, and keep it interesting. #4 elm |
  28. 28. 4 6 #5 SHOWCASE EMPLOYEE talent or passion. elm |
  29. 29. 4 6 This may sound odd, but All-Hands meetings are a great way to offer a stage for employees to grow in their personal interests and talents. Maybe you have an employee who is passionate about emotional intelligence. You might consider giving them a chance to teach their peers about the topic for 5 to 10 minutes during the meeting. Zappos let’s employees passionate about singing, dancing, or other creative outlets perform during their meetings. This allows employees to express who they are, often resulting in higher retention. #5 elm |
  30. 30. 5 7 #6 reinforce your company values, vision, and mission. elm |
  31. 31. 5 7 What better time to bring clarity and updates around where you stand and what you believe in as a company? Take the opportunity to get feedback on how you are doing in living out your vision and values. These are essential to keeping people onboard. Google takes All-Hands as an opportunity to reinforce a sense of value, vision, and mission to their employees. #6 elm |
  32. 32. 6 8 #7 HAVE YOUR EMPLOYEES present learning topics at each meeting. elm |
  33. 33. 6 8 Your All-Hands meeting can be the perfect time to add value from a learning standpoint. Let each department share what they are working on, rather than leadership. This provides a dual learning opportunity for not only the company, but the individual(s) presenting. Justworks rotates through their departments each week, allowing them to educate other departments about what they are working on. An example is having their marketing team teach everyone about why messaging, voice, and tonal guidelines are important. #7 elm |
  34. 34. 7 9 #8 BE FULLY TRANSPARENT OF WHERE THE COMPANY IS AT and where it’s heading. elm |
  35. 35. 7 9 This is your opportunity to build a sense of “ buy-in” and loyalty to the company. Be honest with your employees about where you are at, and build a vision for them of where the company is going, how you are going to get there, and what their role is in making that happen. #8 elm |
  36. 36. 8 10 #9 use pictures and videos to capture and keep attention. elm |
  37. 37. 8 10 Absolutely no one likes staring at plain text on a screen for an hour. Visuals and video add life to any presentation, and help you keep the attention of your highly distracted audience. Adding a photo can add impact to a story, and showing a video can more easily solidify an idea because our brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text. #9 elm |
  38. 38. 9 11 #10 CONSISTENT AND REGULAR. KEEP THEM elm |
  39. 39. 9 11 Having your meetings on a monthly (or more if you can and need to) basis to establish consistency and instill a sense of importance around the meeting for employees. #10 elm |
  40. 40. 10 12 #11 make sure your tech works. PLEASe, elm |
  41. 41. 10 12 This might sound like a no-brainer, but a poor Google Hangout connection can take the meeting from a 10 to a 1. Don’t wait til the last minute to check your tech! Find something reliable and get it set up in advance. We promise this will save you a lot of headaches later. #11 elm |
  42. 42. 11 13 #12 Diversify Who’s Speaking. elm |
  43. 43. 11 13 Always putting the CEO up to speak is predictable, and therefore, boring. You can have the most charismatic CEO, but bringing in different speakers (whether internal or external) brings in a variety of opinions and feels less biased. New ideas benefit the entire company. #12 elm |
  44. 44. 12 14 #13 two-way open dialogue Establish a and add a Q&A session. elm |
  45. 45. 12 14 Before you launch your All-Hands meeting say this outloud: “It’s a dialogue, not a monologue”. Make sure the conversation is actually a conversation. Leave plenty of opportunity for comments and questions around hot topics. Facebook does this well, using their own chat function to let employees ask questions. Employees can “like” questions and top questions get pushed to the front. “ ? #13 elm |
  46. 46. Showcase what you do and how it affects the community. 13 15 #14 elm |
  47. 47. 13 15 #14 It’s important to remind and show employees the direct impact of their contributions to not only the company, but to clients and even the community around you. When you can clearly see the impact of your actions, you are motivated to do more and feel a sense of accomplishment and purpose. Accomplishment is linked to a release of dopamine in the brain, which makes you feel good and become “addicted” to positive reinforcement like accomplishments. elm |
  48. 48. Introduce the new 14 #15 elm |
  49. 49. 14 #15 With everyone together, this is an ideal time to introduce new ideas, new plans, new employees, and really anything new the company is bringing to the table. This creates a sense of inclusion. For example, we introduce new employees during our meetings, bringing a little spotlight to them and reinforcing their value to the company. You have everyone’s undivided attention, so make sure you are using it well. elm |
  51. 51. we’ve implemented a monthly All-Hands Meeting in an effort to promote overall transparency, spark employee ownership, and boost overall employee morale and company culture. As the founders of a startup called eLearning Mind, elm |
  52. 52. X elm |
  53. 53. We hold our All-Hands Meetings each month (as consistent as possible) to discuss a variety of topics surrounding where our business is now, and where we want to be in the future. elm |
  54. 54. Announcements ELM growth what did we learn as a Agency 2015 Key agency Metrics 2015 Key agency Metrics & Q1 ELM Rocks 2016 Strategic Plan Elm Branches: product, marketing, client development elm tree elm mission, vision & brand vision We’ve found it to be vital that each meeting has an agenda to set expectations up front, that also allows for enough flexibility to include a Q&A with employees on what’s discussed. Agenda elm |
  55. 55. We talk about a variety of things like: our growth or vision our values announcements our metrics changes topics our strategy more along these lines. elm |
  56. 56. One of the most important parts of our All-Hands 3 that is consistent in every meeting is giving one another for things well done. Along with this, we’ve also included notes from the founders thanking the entire company for major accomplishments. This seemingly small component adds massive bursts of energy to our meeting and an overall mood boost to our meeting. #PROPS “props” elm |
  57. 57. BUT to share with you is what we’ve learned through years of holding these meetings that have yielded the best results for our business WHAT WE REALLY WANT 3 01 21 elm |
  58. 58. Visuals are key, especially for folks who are not looking at financial or sales figures on a weekly or even daily basis. Just adding a few key visuals to support your content and breakup the monotony. Visuals are key, elm |
  59. 59. Put time into concluding. What do you want to leave everyone with? Put time into concluding elm |
  60. 60. All good news! In group settings you want to have the word “cheerleading” in mind. If negative issues or problems arise, address them directly of course. But, the majority of your time spent together in an All-Hands should be inspirational and rallying the group. All good news! elm |
  61. 61. Tell stories, and present cases, especially client cases. That’s how people learn and retain information and take-aways. Tell stories, and present cases, especially client cases. elm |
  62. 62. Have people send in questions to their managers or on a forum before so they aren’t shy about asking during the meeting and questions get addressed. Have people send in questions elm |
  63. 63. Keep it short , to the point, and use it as a forum for things you want to positively encourage and replicate. (Example is props: which is calling out behavior that has gone above and beyond.) Keep it short, and to the point elm |
  64. 64. Leave lots of time open to discussion, and ask questions 1:1 or in smaller group setting leading into the All-Hands (otherwise employees may feel less confident to address issues or asking questions in a big open setting). Leave lots of open to dicussion elm |
  65. 65. QUESTIONS? HAVE MORE elm |
  67. 67. SHARE this presentation with a friend! FIND THIS HELPFUL? elm |