Corporate town hall meetings are one of the best ways to gather all employees and discuss the happenings within the organization. They provide executive leadership the opportunity to interact with their employee and staff and present a forward outlook of the company. In addition, executive leadership is given the opportunity to discuss the happenings of the company and efforts that are currently ongoing and in development.
From an employee perspective, corporate town hall meetings offer an opportunity to learn more about the company, its financials, and the executive decisions that are being made. It allows employees a time to gather with their peers within the larger organization and builds a feeling of unison. Lastly, town hall meetings are a great way for employees to interact directly with executive leadership and to ask them direct questions.
However, corporate town halls require a lot of effort in order to be successful. Executive leadership should ensure the content and discussions are engaging, useful, and impart knowledge. Similarly, employees should be given the ability to engage with the leadership team and to ask straightforward, direct questions. Below we have a list of ways you can make your corporate town hall meetings as successful as possible.
How to Run a Corporate Town Hall Meeting
Perhaps more importantly than anything else, always plan your town hall meeting ahead and well in advance. You want to provide all members of your staff with adequate time to ensure they are able to attend. In addition, this advanced notice will allow for members of your staff to prepare for the meeting and to prepare any questions they may have.
Setup Anonymous Surveys
The best feedback you can receive are from your ground level employees and staff. Be sure to send through an anonymous survey asking pointed and direct questions. Let you staff and employees know that the answers are completely anonymous and confidential. This will encourage the best and most honest answers and feedback from your employees.
Utilize These Answers Within the Meeting
No one likes being ignored. If you do ask your staff for honest feedback, be sure to incorporate that feedback and their responses within your PowerPoint or agenda. This will show your employees and staff that you are listening and take their feedback seriously.
Whether it’s a follow-up from the meeting or a question you may be uncertain of, always communicate realistic timelines to your employees. Let them know what to expect and when you will be able to provide them with the follow-up.
Food is one of the greatest incentives. To make your town hall more enjoyable and to encourage full attendance and participation, be sure to cater food for your employees. This will also help to have you staff talk with one-another and to help to break the ice in the beginning.
When ordering food, always keep it light and refreshing. You don’t want to order anything too messy or food that will make your staff tired.
Have a Clearly Defined Agenda
People like agendas. They like knowing what to expect and what is to come. Always utilize an agenda and be sure to follow it. Just as important, be sure to follow the time allotted within the agenda. Don’t go over the allotted time.
Remove Anything Unnecessary
While town halls are a great time to discuss the company and the happenings within it, you don’t want to provide unnecessary or fluff information. Be sure that every piece of information is relevant and useful for your crowd and audience. Discussing topics which don’t interest your audience and which they cannot utilize will only discourage further participation.
Include Financial Information
Financials are the most significant portion of a successful business. Employees are always wondering as to the financial health of the company and want to feel reassured that the company is on the right track. You should always include financial information and forward outlooks. If the financial information is less than stellar, then discuss steps being taken to turn things around and to improve the financial health of the company.
Use PowerPoints Sparingly
Listen, we all love PowerPoints, but they cannot be used as the sole source throughout a town hall. Keep PowerPoint slides up on the screen but be engaging and discuss the points in-depth directly with your audience.
Make One Splash Video
Similarly, you don’t want to have an overabundance of videos on the screen. Try to make one splash video, which showcases the company and your employees. This should be an engaging, exciting video. Ideally, this video should be less than 3-minutes long.
Before the town hall begins, encourage employees to ask questions and to be engaged. You should also encourage your management team to ask questions, which may help their employees feel more comfortable with asking questions.
If you are asked any questions, be sure to be engaging and comforting with the individual. Let them know that the question was a really good one and answer them directly and honestly.