Driving engagement via company all hands

For those of you who have highly engaged employees and/or high engagement scores on engagement surveys, I’m looking for strategies you’ve used for your all hands/all company meetings that might contribute to engagement. Context: we’re redesigning our global all hands for about 500 employees and have a goal to increase our (already decent) engagement scores. I’d love to learn from other companies’ best practices. Thanks!

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At DecisionWise we have taken these steps to improve our company meetings. As an employee engagement company we have to walk the talk. Our Employee Experience committee gets together and discusses our annual engagement survey and develops initiatives that will help us tackle certain issues. We often highlight the initiatives we are working on in company meetings to SHOW our team we are working on their feedback. We also solicit their participation in activities that push the initiatives forward. It’s also important to make time for recognition at company meetings. We do a lightning round of shout outs for 3 minutes or so where people thank and bring awareness to people and teams. We also have other awards we hand out every meeting. Company meetings are a huge chance to tell your team what your doing to address their feedback, can’t stress this enough! It is the missing puzzle piece for many organizations!

Meaningful engagement is really all about connection and trust. I’d consider getting the team out of their heads and on their feet for some playful “lite”‘workshopping. There are countless games and exercises (some inspired by improv) to weave into your all hands. Gets people connected and engaged quickly and you’re bound to get more focus, contribution and creative ideation fro your people. Happy to chat more: shannondeanhughes@gmail.com.

Thanks both for the suggestions! I like the ideas for interactivity, and quick shout-outs could be a nice addition to our all hands.

Anyone else have ideas? Keep 'em coming!

This really comes down to what drives engagement at your workplace. Our staff are global and work closely across offices so helping them make and grow connections internally is highly valued. We have done small things, like human bingo and getting to know you (basically short, e.g. 60 seconds, presentations from staff where they pre-answer questions that cover work and non-work related topics), to more resource intensive workshops, like corporate improv (externally run) and creating cross functional teams to brainstorm ideas addressing strategic challenges. In addition and as our teams are geographically dispersed, we make sure there is time for teams to meet directly to address team specific topics, such as business planning, process reviews, etc. Staff also get to hear from executives directly as not everyone has easy access to the leadership team and this helps to build alignment.

As a first step, I recommend reviewing any previous post-All Hands Meeting surveys and your most recent engagement survey to see if there are any themes (positive or negative) that may help guide your design strategy.

Good luck!

We share updates from each department so that everyone is aware of what’s happening in the Company overall. If there are any new and interesting ideas incorporated or innovations made we ask one employee to present it to everyone. We have a recognition segment in which we recognize employees for outstanding values. Its a huge success and everyone looks forward to it.

We just pimped our all-hands meeting as well by introducing a focus topic for every meeting. All parts (people updates, strategy or product updates) circle around the respective topic.
In addition, we started to invite more team members on stage, who not only share their expert input, but also talk about their personal experiences and emotions / lessons learned in the topic they are presenting. We try to openly talk about the struggles and approaches to give everybody the chance to learn from another.
In addition, every part links to how it affects the team’s work, impact or purpose.

Generally speaking, we always kick-off by introducing the newbies (and even have come on stage and say a few words), congratulate on promotions, babies and/or weddings.
We end every all hands with a Q&A (using slido), mostly include videos and never take ourselves too seriously. Laughter / humor is an important driver of our company, and therefore we do allow puns and inside jokes… even when talking about our KPIs or company goals.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for all of the great suggestions everyone! I have several concrete ideas to consider here.

The key is to ask your employees how they want to engage both locally and globally. In a former company, we had local culture & engagement teams led by a local leader and then held global events via video for company-wide news. A virtual tool was used to have the leaders on screen and someone was assigned to managing online chat questions to feed to the leaders.

Transparency, honesty and frequent communication is what wins over the trust of employees.

There is also a great article on Inc. about internal communications for 2020.

Hey Ian,

  • Invite submissions from different teams
  • Diversity of speakers
  • Flex to different timezones; vary the host location
  • Ask Me Anythings
  • Viewing parties
  • Mix up the medium
  • Have a dedicated All Hands channel in Slack or Teams

Good luck.

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