Traditional town hall meetings have switched to its virtual alternative since the pandemic took place. While online town hall meetings have been accepted as a new norm, there are challenges and limitations that can arise from virtual setups when it spans company-wide.
Despite the barriers, it has never been more important for companies to continue its online town hall meeting as a space to learn, a platform to foster dynamic communication from top to bottom lines, as well as an avenue for sharing during these unusual times.
Here are some pointers that can help make an online town hall meeting reach its intended purposes:
Make it Easy for Employees to Participate
Before you begin, make sure your town hall meeting live stream tech is sorted. Technology should be utilised as a bridging medium, not a deterrent, so you will want to choose a virtual tool or platform that is most easy for everyone to use; or better yet, seek professional help for failsafe setups.
In such occasions, flexible office spaces such as Compass Offices can prove advantageous with readily-available facilities, tech and support. Equipped with high-speed Wi-Fi along with high-definition technology from Cisco and Polycom, hosts of these town halls can expect great quality audio and video every single time. In addition, there is a professional front desk team to sort out any kinks, if they should arise. A reliable set of solutions has a direct impact on your ability to meet the town hall meeting objectives.
Start with an Ice Breaker
A successful town hall meeting online requires your employees to not only be present but also engaged. Only when your audiences are engaged can they be able to connect with and absorb your message effectively. A short ice breaker activity can put the town hall meeting virtual activity on a positive and lighthearted note. It helps your employees loosen up and set the mood for the occasion, which is a tiny but critical step in creating a good space for virtual communication.
These activities can range from a casual show-and-tell to simple introductions, which can be done in teams especially when the town hall involves a large group of people. Most importantly, these activities should garner response from the audience be it through asking questions, or sharing comments.
Set Tangible Objectives
To measure the successfulness of your town hall meeting purpose and goals, you will need to list a town hall meeting agenda beforehand.
When setting an agenda, be as specific as possible. The agenda will serve as a guideline to help steer the meeting into focus, on the all hands meeting topics that you need to discuss.
For best results and for maximum employee engagement, try to limit the discussions to three key topics. It will enable deep dives instead of scratching the surface of a subject, and it will ensure continuity of relevant topics for the next sets of discussions.
Add Q&A Sessions
Meetings should always be about two-way communications. The addition of a Q&A component to the town hall meeting format is one of the most effective ways to keep the activity engaging.
Give the department leaders a chance to speak (limited to specific amount of time), then encourage employees to ask questions. Remember to keep the avenue a safe space for sharing, and give employees the opportunity to be heard. It goes a long way for employees to have a healthy, open connection with their leaders.
On the flip side, you can prepare town hall meeting questions that employees can answer at the end of each session, or let employees submit questions in advance so that leaders can respond during the town hall. These approaches can be a good way to gauge concerns from employees and see to it that they are addressed.
With the void of physical presence, there needs to be a morale boost every once in a while. An online all hands meeting is the perfect platform to do this. Bring some positive news into light or praise a certain milestone or successes individuals or teams have achieved. According to this workplace survey from Gallup, most employees value public recognition for their effort over a raise. You can use the online town hall meeting as an opportunity to recognise the work that your employees have done. This could very well motivate your employees to do better as they look forward to the next town hall.
When used right, town hall meetings can give senior leaders and all levels of management a chance to interact, to instill confidence, and build trust. When these meetings are fashioned into a ‘happening’ rather than a discussion, it can bring employees closer together and create a stronger corporate culture.