Tips for holding more effective all-company meetings

Maybe you need to give an update on quarterly performance or introduce a new PTO policy – but whatever the reason for holding an all-company meeting, you better make sure you put on a good show. Because while in theory these gatherings are the most effective way to share important information with a large group, in reality, they're far more often a real drag for employees to sit through and a big missed opportunity to unite your organization. 

However, you're not doomed to holding uninspiring all-company meetings forever – just follow these tips:

Be a transformer, not a transaction-er

Make like Optimus Prime in your all-company meetings – not physically per se, but in the sense that you're a leader who inspires others to do their best. Before this analogy goes off the rails, we're actually talking about being a "transformational leader" and not a "transactional leader" in your company-wide meetings. Transformational leaders are open to feedback, excited about change and transparent – and they create trust between company and employee, as the Society for Human Resource Management explained. Transactional leaders, on the other hand, see things in black and white: an "I boss, you employees" mentality, so to speak.  

Think about the agenda and content of your meeting in a transformational way, as opposed to a transactional one. Establish ample time for people to share their thoughts and ask questions, and explain how the information that's being presented is beneficial to employees' well-being, not just the company's bottom line. 

Connect remote workers with a webinar 

The internet is supposed to connect us – not leave sales guy Joe in Timbuktu with no idea what's going on with his company. The age of the remote worker is upon us, and that means that businesses need to be leveraging technologies that keep everyone on the same page. By hosting your all-company meeting as a webinar, you can ensure that all employees can join in, no matter how far flung they are around the world. Go one step further and record the meeting, too, so both in-office and remote workers can watch the meeting later if the proposed time isn't possible for them. 

Show them the money, but in helpful ways 

"This went up, that went down, here's some numbers, now meeting dismissed" is unfortunately the gist of far too many all-company meetings. Everyone knows how tempting pie charts can be – hey, we think it's fun to play around with the colors, too – but pointing to a bunch of graphs during a company meeting isn't doing anyone any favors. Make sure you present sales figures, revenue and other data in easy-to-understand ways and that you also provide context for such numbers. 

Follow these tips to avoid snores at your next meeting – and make it a productive use of both company and employee time. 

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Beth Toeniskoetter

Beth Toeniskoetter is the director of product and marketing at ReadyTalk, a cloud communications company. She loves to see how ReadyTalk enables their customers to create connection through communication. Prior to joining ReadyTalk in 2011, Beth worked as an account manager for a mobile payments start-up and as a product manager for the prepaid gift card program at First Data. Outside of the office, Beth loves to spend time with family and friends, practice her baking skills, and run.

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