An all-hands meeting is generally an organization wide business meeting in which an executive report is made to employees and stakeholders.
All-Hands meetings are often held on a regular basis as a means of keeping a large group of people up to date on important events and milestones.
An effective all-hands meeting usually begins with an important message and includes some form of question and answer capability.
Let’s go step-by-step and see how to organize an effective all-hands meeting.
1. Tailor content to employees’ expectations
One of the important factors to have an effective all-hands meeting is to engage your employees at the very beginning of the event.
That’s why leave some room in your agenda in order for your employees to have their input.
For example, conduct a live poll to identify the topics your employees would like to learn more about. Conduct a live poll through an appropriate platform, such as Swift Polling, to find out what your employees want to get out of the day. Employees can send their response by text or online.
You can either:
Swift can also enables to create word clouds which show the repetitive responses larger and in a different color, so it will be obvious which themes should be addressed first.
2. Crouwdsource new ideas
An effective all hands meeting offers a great opportunity to generate and exchange new ideas and perspectives in real time. These kinds of events encourage a forward-thinking, creative environment without the influence of daily tasks.
Swift Polling, again, can be a great tool to save time, avoid a lot of mess and encourage participation of all the employees.
To collect employees’ feedback and concerns on different issues, the speaker should just create an open-ended question and ask employees to send their ideas.
Otherwise, the speaker can create a survey with multiple choice questions and ask employees to participate in it, which will show how well they understood the concepts and how confident they are with the ideas presented during the meeting.
3. Allow employees to express their opinion
Enabling employees to express their opinions is one more way of making employees love effective all hands meeting. It’s important that they believe that their voices are heard.
Live polls can be a great solution to quickly identify attendees’ opinions on various issues. Swift Polling is a quick and easy tool for that too, as it enables to create and conduct polls in minutes.
After signing up on Swift website, a speaker should create a multiple choice question. During the meeting employees can participate through web or sms poll. In the first case they should access a web polling widget by visiting swiftpolling.com and type the event code. They will then see the question and the options, and will be able to vote by tapping on one of the options. In case of sms poll employees should send text to vote.
After voting, employees will be shown the poll results updated in real-time.
4. Include remote team members
The most common mistake companies make when implementing all hands meetings is not properly accommodating remote team members and/or smaller branches.
It’s not enough to set up a conference call with a speakerphone or a video call – you need to make sure that team members that can’t be physically in the room are able to take part in the meeting just as much as everyone else.
Effective all hands meeting should be organized in a way to provide interactivity and involve all the global team members. How?
This means using a robust video software that makes it quick and easy to run virtual meetings (we use Zoom) and to encourage remote employees’ participation in meetings, enable them to express their opinions on different issues and ask questions too through a platform such as Swift Polling.
To organize all this takes time, but they’re crucial to an inclusive environment of the effective all-hands meeting.
5. Leave a room for fun
There are many ways to entertain employees: You can either invite musicians and artists, or choose a non-typical setting (like a resort) for their all hands meeting sessions.
Otherwise you can organize games using Swift Polling. For example, the speaker can list the tactics of a presented strategy and ask the employees to think about the next tactic that would be the best for that strategy.
Then, after picking up 5 employees and listening to their answers, the facilitator can ask all the employees to anonymously vote for the best option that would be then included among the overall tactics. The “winner” can get a little on behalf of the company.
6. Democratize Q&A session
Usually, a Q&A is a little part of all-hands meetings and held at the end of an event. However, for effective all-hands meetings the traditional way of conducting Q&A is not suitable. Why?
The Q&A of an effective all-hands meeting should be reviewed in detail and democratized. Let’s see how:
First, It’s important to allow employees to ask questions earlier in the meeting.
Second, With the help of a live polling app, democratize the process further by allowing all the employees to submit their questions by text or web anonymously. It will encourage even shy members among employees to send their questions.
Swift Polling enables the host to “star” the questions which a speaker will find most important or relevant to discuss.
7. Let the employees to sum up the meeting
According to the peak-end rule people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak and at its end, rather than based on the total sum or average of every moment of the experience.
So engage and impress your employees even at the end of the meeting.
Again, a live polling app can be a great solution: The employees can express their opinion on the overall meeting by voting through text or online.
Moreover, to make the end much more interesting and fun it would be better to create a word cloud question and ask the employees to describe the overall meeting in one or two words. Repetitive responses will be shown larger and in another color indicating the opinion of the majority.