Not all of us have the desire to communicate, but some of us have no choice–especially those in leadership positions.
CEOs have an important and unique role of ensuring employees are motivated, informed, inspired, and achieving the right goals. This isn’t always easy for a CEO, especially if communication isn’t their strong point.
One way for CEOs to connect and engage with employees is through a town hall style meeting. A town hall meeting is an organization-wide corporate meeting in which an executive speaks and then employees or guests have the opportunity to ask questions. A town hall meeting allows CEOs to interact with employees in a meaningful way that facilitates strong and productive conversations.
If you are new to town hall meetings, or are searching for ways to enhance your organization’s town hall meetings, here are a few tips:
The best town halls are defined by the amount of questions being asked — both by the attendees and the hosts (including your CEO!). Lots of questions and answers tells you that both the attendees and hosts are fully engaged and learning. When people think of town halls they envision attendees and participants asking questions. Yes this is true, but a good town hall should also include the CEO asking questions as well. An enterprise video platform makes it easy for employees to not only ask questions, but to respond to questions as well. By simply launching a poll, your CEO can ask specific questions to ascertain how employees feel about a particular news or event. At the conclusion of the meeting, have them ask the most important question: Did you enjoy this meeting? Or, did the meeting meet your expectations?
Make it dynamic
Even the best speakers can easily lose an audience’s attention. This is why it’s important to be as dynamic throughout the meeting as possible. One way to achieve this to include video within your presentation. This could be a year in review video, an in depth product announcement, a pre-recorded greeting from a remote office location, or simply the highlights of all the funny things that happened at the last Christmas party — when those images come up we all are looking to see what embarrassing moment we’re in.
There is an old saying that says ‘the worse the dress rehearsal the better the performance.’ Make sure you rehearse ahead of time to go over minor details–check the audio, verify technical connections, launch a few test polls, and ensure the chat functionality is working. It’s important that your CEO is present during this rehearsal, so try to schedule this as far out as possible to accommodate their schedule.
Send out post video survey
Part of the reason town hall meetings are successful is because they allow employees to participate. Don’t let that participation end when the meeting is over. Send out a post meeting survey to enquire from your employees how they felt the meeting went, and if there was anything the CEO can do in the future to improve the meeting. If possible keep the feedback anonymous– this will encourage more employees to complete the survey.
Have a plan
Even if your CEO has done dozens of town hall meetings in the past it still is important that they have a plan. Ask for them to share the agenda ahead of time so you have the opportunity to scan it for any foreseeable problems.
Make it a team effort
Even the best technology isn’t going to do the hard work for you. Make sure you have a strong and dependable team to allow for the best chance of success. Have colleagues to assist for technical challenges, speech proofing, and a potential back-up plan in case anything goes awry.
A town hall meeting is the perfect opportunity for CEOs to show employees they are committed to an open, honest, and transparent culture. Have you planned your next town hall?