The official blog of Abacus Group — a place to share our knowledge and thoughts on trends in recruiting

September 17, 2019

Hosting a Company Wide Town Hall Meeting

The end of the year is the perfect time to hold a town hall meeting for your company, meaning now is the time to start planning. Regardless of how large your office is, you want to be considerate and thoughtful about the way you run the meeting so that all participants feel their voices were heard and respected.

Survey Before for Topics to Discuss

The ideal town hall meeting focuses on a few issues that employees want to discuss with senior management. So, you don’t waste time at the beginning of the meeting deciding what the topics will be, email a survey to all employees asking for a list of issues and prioritize what the majority thinks is important.

Print an Itinerary for Reference

As employees walk in, hand out a schedule for the meetings with the topics listed, including how long they will each be discussed. Additionally, to encourage everyone to stay off their phones or laptops, adding some empty space at the bottom of the page will provide the perfect space for notes to be taken.

Establish Rules and Guidelines

While you welcome everyone and thank them for their time, review how long the meeting will be, what issues will be open for debate and discussion, and if there will be a maximum number of speakers for each issue. Most importantly, remind everyone that what is most important is to respect other’s opinions, even if you don’t agree.

Use Digital Votes to get Everyone’s Thoughts

Because it is simply impossible to hear from everyone, use an online voting program to accurately and anonymously get the opinions of everyone in the room. Collecting this data digitally will also let you compare the trends within your office and help determine what steps should be taken first after the meeting is done.

Conclude by Keeping the Door Open

Before you conclude the conversation, assign each topic to an executive for employees to reach out to if they have any other ideas to contribute to the conversation. Not only will it keep communication open afterward, but it will allow your apprehensive employees the opportunity to share their thoughts without speaking in front of a crowd.

Show Appreciation to all Attendees

After the meeting the over, provide everyone with lunch or dessert, to show your appreciation for their time and thoughts. This also allows for coworkers to debrief amongst each other and for management to seek out employees who made especially astute points and schedule follow up conversations to discuss more, one on one.

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