The Power of All Hands Meetings for Team Building

Ben Aflalo
Ben Aflalo

Head of Product at Gloww

Struggling to keep everyone on the same page? Finding it difficult to bring new employees into the mix since you’ve made the jump to remote working? An all hands meeting is the way to go. 

With all hands meetings, you get to bring the whole gang together, no matter where they’re based. While it’s a fairly casual way of keeping people connected, a good all-hand meeting can be incredibly productive. 

In fact, they’re so productive that they can reduce the need for regular sessions between departments, freeing up everyone’s schedule for more productive tasks. Unsure of how to implement one virtually? We’ve got all the information you need. 

All Hands Meetings Explained

The name says it all, with all hands meaning exactly that. An all hands meeting welcomes everyone with your company to the same session. Most of the time, these business meetings are chaired by company directors or senior managers. Ideally, you should be aiming to hold them regularly. If you can’t make it a weekly thing, a monthly schedule is a must. 

While some businesses rely on emails to share important emails with employees, there’s no guarantee that everyone’s going to read them. An all hands meeting provides you with the perfect platform to let everyone know what’s happening. They also make it easy to let employees know about where the business is heading, identifying growth opportunities and outlining goals. 

Just because you’ve moved online, doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to the Employee of the Month initiative. Use an all hands meeting to acknowledge outstanding contributions from star employees and standout teams. You can also use one to welcome new starters and bid farewell to employees who are moving on or retiring. 

Most importantly, it’s an open forum, letting senior staff field questions from junior members of the team. This creates a culture of openness and encourages clear lines of communication. 

Why You Should Be Holding Regular All Hands Meetings

Regular online meetings are a staple of businesses that have embraced a remote working model. Adding yet another one into the mix can seem like overkill, but an all hands meeting is one virtual get-together you can’t afford to neglect. 

Want to foster a culture of inclusivity? By hosting a monthly meeting and allowing everyone to have their say, you’ll go a long way in letting your employees know that they’re valued. Quarterly business reviews are valuable for the same reasons. However, it’s not just about bridging the gap between managers and their direct reports. All hands meetings let people connect with their peers. If teams are feeling isolated because of remote working, an all hands meeting brings the social side of work back into play. 

Finally, with an all hands meeting, you benefit from maximum coverage. It’s all too easy for key messages to get missed in company newsletters and email chains. While some employees are going to be absent because of vacation days or ill health, the vast majority of your workforce is going to be in one place for all those important announcements. 

Creating an Agenda for an All Hands Meeting

Never held an all hands meeting before? Putting together an agenda is easier than you might think. Below are some of the important all hands meeting ideas to attach to your first session. Just be wary of time when creating an agenda. Ideally, you don’t want to pull people away from their work for more than an hour. 

1. Essential Updates

Have you recently welcomed new faces to your teams? Get the introductions out of the way as quickly as possible. It not only breaks the ice but motivates new starters to feel more comfortable in contributing to the session. As well as new additions, take a moment to acknowledge anyone who has left your company. It lets everyone know that you’re an organization that values its people. To keep track of time, try and limit this section of the meeting to around five minutes. 

2. Important News

Here’s another vital addition to any agenda. Concentrate on the most important changes and developments that have happened in the past month. Discuss new acquisitions and lucrative deals. You can also use an all hands meeting for team building announcements. Again, you’ll need to keep things brief. Most months, this part of the meeting can be wrapped up within five minutes. 

3. Performance and Progress

Now you’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty of an all hands meeting. It’s all about showing how well your business is doing. There’s room for recognition here, but save the applause for later.

Use visuals to keep things interesting. Simple charts are going to be a better tool for letting teams know how things are moving in the right direction. However, there will be times when you’ll have to deliver bad news. If some areas of the business are underperforming, it’s worth addressing. 

That being said, nobody wants to be publicly bashed in front of their peers. Rather than rapping teams on the knuckles, opt for constructive criticism instead and ask them what they need to turn things around. Interactive elements like word clouts and polls can be useful ways of motivating people to contribute. 

4. Recognize and Reward Employee Contributions

Everyone loves being told they’re doing a good job. An all hands meeting lets you credit teams and individuals who are going above and beyond. Simply thanking someone can go a long way to boost morale, but you may want to consider offering incentives. You’ll need to speak with team leaders ahead of time to find out which employees have been delivering. 

Other Activities to Consider

If your meeting agenda is looking a little light, there are other ways you can make the most of the hour. Try adding some of the following meeting elements into the mix.  

1. Testimonials From Happy Customers

If you’ve received glowing feedback from a happy customer, let your teams know about it. It can be a general thing that showcases how well the business is doing, or specific to an individual employee who’s gone the extra mile for a client. 

2. Give Team Leaders a Chance to Talk

Even the most down-to-earth CEO won’t have complete oversight of what’s going on within a company. While it’s a good idea for the most senior members of a company to chair all hands meetings, team leaders should also be invited to share their two cents. 

Let these employees offer their own summary of progress and performance. It not only lets you enhance the meeting with more relevant content, but it also breaks things up and keeps attendees engaged.

3. Quizzes and Contests

Once the bulk of a meeting is over, it’s time to have some fun. Use an online quiz to wrap things up. You can even test how well people have been paying attention by setting questions on what was discussed during the hour. Try and make this a regular thing with updated leaderboards. You can then offer a prize at the end of every quarter to the individual or team who comes out on top. 

4. Virtual Games

As well as running weekly challenges, think about mixing up longer meetings with bite-sized virtual games. To make things more personable, frame these games around employees themselves. 

Why not hold a weekly guessing game where everyone has to identify one of their peers from a baby pic or yearbook photo? 

5. Promote Togetherness

Just because everyone is working online, doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to a sense of togetherness. Keeping everyone engaged can be tricky when you only meet in virtual spaces, but it’s by no means impossible. During longer meetings, clear some time for employees to introduce themselves. 

Rather than a simple shoutout, put a fresh twist on it by getting attendees to discuss their favorite things and passion projects.

Using Gloww to Step Up Your All Hands Meetings

If your business isn’t holding regular all hands meetings, now’s the time to start. Don’t think this is achievable now you’ve made the move to remote working? Think again. With Gloww, you can bring together up to 500 participants virtually! Our all-hands meetings include the all hands pastel template, all hands purple template, and the colorful all-hands meeting template.

Our all-in-one video conferencing solution is browser-based, meaning employees won’t have to download any complicated software to get started. Simply prepare your session with one of our ready-made interactive presentation templates or create your own. Add clips and audio to make things more interesting, or introduce word clouds, polls, and quizzes to make your session as interactive as possible. 

Want to learn more about Gloww can help you? Check out our pricing plans or start using Gloww today. Need to talk through your requirements in more detail? Send us a message via the online contact form.

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