An all-hands meeting is a regular, company-wide gathering where all employees, leaders meet to discuss the most important company-wide matters.
all-hands meeting comes from the phrase
all hands on deck – a signal that requires all ship crew members to go on deck.
The goal of an all-hands meeting is to:
It’s never too early to start running all-hands meetings. You’ll know it’s time, as soon as it gets difficult to keep everyone in the company on the same page.
At JiHu, for example, we started running our own all-company meetings when our team was about 50 in size. Since then, they have become a permanent fixture in our calendars.
All-hands meetings are opportunities for sharing company-wide information and keeping every employee updated on everything business-related. Review your key metrics, such as sales, revenue, net retention, etc.
Other than that, all-hands meetings allow you to get your employees aligned on the company goals and strategy. Think of every member of your team as a vector. An all-hands meeting helps you point them in the right direction.
All-hands meetings are important avenues for demonstrating and strengthening your company culture. Talk about your company vision & mission, emphasize your values, and review how your company’s doing in terms of achieving your goals.
This is very inspiring and lets people know that there’s a higher purpose behind their work, other than just revenue.
Dedicate at least 20% of your all-hands agenda to Q&A so you have enough time to answer the most critical questions. Collect questions from your employees before the meeting, but also allow your team to ask impromptu questions live during the meeting as well.
An open Q&A session with leadership will help you uncover the most burning issues and foster transparency in your workplace.
Since all-hands meetings are first and foremost about the people and for the people, celebrating your team members is as important as the business updates.
Especially when things get overwhelming, nothing boosts morale like talking about the highlights and giving a shout-out to the people who helped to achieve them.
JiHu is fully remote company which means the teams being spread around the country, all-hands meetings help you bring everyone together and make them feel part of the team.
Especially if you’re a company with hundreds of employees, all-hands meetings are unique opportunities where employees can meet and connect with leadership (at least online) and get answers to any questions they might have.
Make your all-hands a tradition. Set a fixed frequency for your all-hands and stick to it. This will help people get used to the meetings and they will be more likely to attend.
Send the calendar invites to your colleagues well in advance; ideally at the begining of the month so they can schedule other meetings or days off accordingly. You can also set a fixed time if it’s suitable for the majority of the team, or switch between morning and afternoon slots to accommodate your regional teams.
Set a clear agenda for your all-hands meeting with agreed timings. Allocate a concrete time range for each section of your all-hands based on your company priorities. To avoid overruns, sync with all your speakers before the meeting and tell them to keep an eye on the time.
Don’t forget to leave enough time for Q&A and feedback.
Picking a reliable video conferencing tool is everything. At JiHu, we use Tencent meeting software. For content and interaction, we’re using our Google doc Slides .
Have cameras opening both for the audience and the speakers to make sure they get as immersed in the meeting as possible. Good audio is key as well.
To avoid technical hiccups and back and forths, create one master slide deck where all the speakers upload their slides. This will help you review the content, collaborate effectively, and make the flow much smoother.
Your all-hands meeting is an event. And every event needs a moderator. Appoint someone from your team to moderate the meeting (at JiHu, it is our executive assistant).
A good moderator will help you set the stage for the meeting. This person will greet your teammates as they join the call, kick off the meeting and keep an eye on the agenda.
An all-hands meeting is a unique opportunity to address your team’s questions or concerns and put any miscommunications or misunderstandings straight.
Collect your employees’ questions during the meeting as well – it will allow for any impromptu questions regarding the content that was shared throughout the meeting.
Finish off the all-hands with a strong message to give your employees something tangible to leave with. Prepare a wrap-up slide with a key takeaway or have your CEO summarize the most important points and next steps.
This is an effective way to get people on the same page and energize them for what lies ahead.
don’t forget to press record at the start of your call.
不要忘记在通话开始时按下录制按键。 After the meeting, share the recording with your employees in your internal communications channels so that those who couldn’t join can watch it later.