5 Agenda Templates for Your next Employee Town Hall

If you’re a regular at organising employee town hall meetings, you know that the agenda of the meeting is vital.

A well-planned employee town hall agenda goes a long way in boosting employee engagement. Whether the meeting is at a country, regional, or international scale, the gathering of a significant part of the company is crucial in shaping the company's organisational culture. It sets the standard of how teams within the organisation communicate to each other, the relationship between managers and employees, and the way an organisation problem-solves, strategises, and celebrates together.

But when town hall meetings last at least an hour, employees could disengage quickly and lose interest. Town hall agendas can be crafted to ensure that the town hall meets your needs, whether to be efficient, motivating, or inclusive.

To help guide you along, here are five agendas that you can use and adapt to your company’s needs.

1. Standard Agenda

The usual employee town hall meeting, or all hands meetings for smaller companies, should always have its basic components. It would look something like this:

Town hall agenda


  1. Opening Address by CEO
  2. State of the company
  3. Topics/initiatives in focus
  4. Q&A

Opening Address

The opening address would usually be led by the CEO or someone from upper management to kick off the town hall meeting. This would outline the agenda of the town hall and include a message

State of the company

Since town hall meetings are meant to help align the team for the next month or quarter ahead, sharing key statistics, such as financials or KPIs, will help back up the reasoning for the company’s strategy and actions.

Topics/initiatives in focus

If you have a short timeframe to work with but a large company, picking out initiatives or topics to focus on could help condense the content.

You could have each team lead share their progress, project leaders share the results from their latest initiatives, or even have the CEO zoom in on a part of the company's culture that they choose to highlight.

Q&A

Never skip Q&A. Even if time is tight, make time to answer at least two or three questions. It is important that employees have that feedback channel for all big decisions made in the company.

Passing around a microphone always works. If people are too shy to speak up, use a live audience interaction tool that allows anonymous submissions and question voting.

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2. Remote Agenda

venveo-745409-unsplashWhen hosting a remote town hall, a different agenda is needed to ensure that everyone is engaged and included in the discussion.

Town hall agenda

  1. Opening address
  2. Introduce town hall ground rules
  3. State of the Company presentation
  4. Q&A
  5. Features/initiatives in focus
  6. Q&A
  7. Survey

Town hall ground rules

Large companies that have dispersed teams can often struggle to stay on the same page, even within a town hall meeting. To maintain conversations that are civil and constructive, try laying out the ground rules first.

Some ground rules could include:

  • Appreciate and accept diverse opinions
  • Leave all questions to the dedicated Q&A session
  • When someone is speaking, no interruptions will be welcomed

Topics/initiatives in focus

For a company with remote teams, this could be a short 5-10 minute presentation from remote workers to talk about what they're working on. This would not only raise awareness of what their overseas counterparts are doing, but also keep them aligned to the same overarching goals.

Post-town hall Survey

To ensure that all parties are engaged and included, check in with them after the town hall is over with a short survey. The survey would be great at not only recognising any communication problems, but also note AV problems that might have occurred during the meeting.

3. Aligning Agenda

misalignment

When major changes occur in a company, its employees risk becoming misaligned. According to McKinsey:

Achieving real alignment, where strategy, goals, and meaningful purpose reinforce one another, gives an organization a major advantage because it has a clearer sense of what to do at any given time, and it can trust people to move in the right direction.

If your focus for your next town hall meeting is to align your team, try this agenda.

Town hall agenda

  1. Opening address
  2. State of the Company presentation
  3. Address Poll results (sent before the meeting)
  4. Features/initiatives in focus
  5. Q&A
  6. Ending points
  7. Survey
  8. Minutes shared and post-mortem

Using a poll

Sending a poll before the town hall could help give a snapshot of where the company is at that point of time. By dedicating some time in the town hall to address these results, either to ask about outlier opinions, or to realign the company to the chosen strategy of the company.

There are a lot more benefits to starting a town hall with a poll, which you can read about here.

Ending points

If you have a dedicated minutes-taker at the town hall, having a few ending points crafted out during the meeting, including some key concerns addressed and follow-up actions, could help ensure that everyone is on the same page when they leave. This could also be followed up by meeting minutes, a summary of all questions asked, and a transcript of the answers.

4. Motivating agenda

Screen Shot 2018-10-26 at 5.29.09 PMSome town halls are to address problems or to stay accountable. Sometimes, you just need to motivate an unmotivated team. If you need to light a fire under everyone, try this agenda.

Town hall agenda

  1. CEO’s presentation
  2. State of the Company presentation
  3. Address Poll results (sent before the meeting)
  4. Team leaders’ presentations
  5. Celebrations and milestones
  6. Q&A

CEO’s presentation

Having the CEO address the team and give a rallying speech is a good way of getting people to feel motivated. Much like a general giving a speech before the troops go into war, CEOs should have the ability to inspire and unite a company to a joint mission.

While it may be tempting to turn to numbers and statistics, Nancy Duarte wrote in a Forbes article that the power behind authentic and persuasive CEO speeches comes from personal stories.

Using a poll

In this case, a poll could be useful in promoting more positive thinking. Instead of asking their opinions about an initiative, try an open-ended poll about what the highlight of their quarter was. Choosing the right kind of question to ask could be great in reframing the way someone thinks, making it a powerful motivating tool.

Milestones and celebrations

In most companies, it can be easy to get stuck on day-to-day work. Celebrating milestones together can help bring the whole company together and foster that sense of community within the company. According to employee engagement author Liz Jazwiec: “The bottom line is that workplace celebrations foster relationship building, improve morale, enhance retention, and encourage employees to achieve results.”

To add a positive spin to the town hall, celebrate birthdays or work anniversaries during town halls. Or, if there’s a successful project or team that has hit a significant milestone, feature it in the town hall to show recognition for their efforts.

5. Fun agenda

H-3

In light of a celebration, whether it’s an end of year break or a big win for the team, try changing up your town hall meeting to be more light-hearted.

Town hall agenda

  1. Ice-breaker
  2. CEO’s presentation
  3. State of the Company presentation
  4. Team leaders’ presentations
  5. Celebrations and milestones
  6. Q&A
  7. Catered networking meal

Ice-breaker

Depending on the size of your company, starting with an ice-breaker could help set a lighter tone during the meeting. This could be a standard prompt to stand up and say hello to the people sitting around you, or a full-on ice-breaker game.

A fun and fuss-free game is a trivia game, which could be played from the audience’s phones. Making the game about the company, such as fun facts about the company or its employees, could also help build company culture. A company that works together and celebrates together stays together.

Catered networking meal

No one hates a free meal. Catering food is a great way of treating your employees and to celebrate.

Sharing a meal also acts as an effective social lubricant. Studies have shown that a shared appreciation for food boosts cooperation and trust, and people who eat together tend to come to an agreement sooner.

 

 

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