The Anatomy Of A Productive All-Hands Meeting

Daniel Spielberger
March 29, 2019

In a contemporary office, it’s quite common for people to spend days communicating solely through email or Slack.

Though employees often meet within their respective teams to coordinate projects, an all hands meeting — also referred to as town hall meetings —is a time when the entire workplace comes together to catch up. Essentially a gathering with the entire workplace, they are great opportunities to foster more communication.

Workplace culture depends on consistent, transparent, and productive discussions involving the entire team. Here’s a guide to what your weekly all hands meetings should look like.

Roll Call

It’s important to know who exactly is there. If your team is small, every individual can state they are there. But if your team is large, normally the head of each respective department will announce whether or not they are present.

Doing roll call is also critical for remote workers or colleagues who are working from home. Since they are dialing in, everyone should make sure they are connected so they can get all the information from the meeting.

Ice Breakers

Every workplace culture is unique. While some are super quirky and out there, others are more serious. Regardless, your team should incorporate some sort of ice breaker to kick off the meeting.

Perhaps your colleagues can submit shout outs where they detail positive things their coworkers have done for them. Another idea is having team members choose a word to describe their feelings. Ice breakers help people feel more relaxed and at ease, making it an ideal activity for all hands meetings.

Accomplishments and Goals

Following an ice breaker, team members should share what they’ve accomplished during the past week. If your team is large, department heads should summarize what their team did.

This is also a great opportunity to build off the shout outs and have members address if they did something out of the ordinary. After stating their accomplishments, colleagues should briefly talk about what they are planning to do for the next week and detail any broad goals.

Company Announcements

A good chunk of workplace communications happens digitally. But CEOs still often feel the need to vocalize certain matters in front of their team. These announcements could either be positive feedback or constructive criticism.

This is the time for your CEO to share the good news if your user base expanded significantly or your company has reached a certain benchmark. And if your product is going to be changed soon, that could also be something to share with the group and explain thoroughly.

On the other hand, the CEO or department head could give general constructive feedback during this time as well. For example, an office manager can remind everyone to clean their dishes or be more mindful of trash. Though some issues are definitely pressing, its important that company announcements aren’t entirely negative.   

Reminder Of Next Meeting

At the end of your all hands meeting, the CEO or whoever is conducting should remind everyone of the next meeting. Make sure to follow up that reminder with an email, Slack message, and Google Calendar update. After a parting message from the CEO, colleagues will sign off and get back to their day.

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