Get the Most Out of Your All-Hands Meetings With This Ideal Agenda

Let’s face it, all-hands meetings are a lot of work and can sometimes fall flat. But they don’t have to! By including the right agenda items, you can help ensure that your meetings provide real value to your organization and don’t become another cog in the wheel of pointless meetings. When planning an agenda for your next all-hands meeting, use this ideal agenda as a guide to maximize the time spent at your meeting, make sure everyone who attends walks away with something valuable, and you achieve team alignment.
All-Hands Meetings

Let’s face it, all-hands meetings are a lot of work and can sometimes fall flat. But they don’t have to! By including the right agenda items, you can help ensure that your meetings provide real value to your organization and don’t become another cog in the wheel of pointless meetings. When planning an agenda for your next all-hands meeting, use this ideal agenda as a guide to maximize the time spent at your meeting, make sure everyone who attends walks away with something valuable, and you achieve team alignment.

Key Business Announcements & Updates

New products and new initiatives are important, but they shouldn’t be all you talk about. Include news and notes about acquisitions and recent hires (and, if possible, keep that news brief and fun — nothing bores employees more than watching someone read off a list of names). The bottom line: The agenda should cover both your business goals (what you want to accomplish) and recent updates that will excite and align the team.

Wins & High Fives

It’s easy to get so busy you forget to celebrate.  Every meeting agenda should have at least one win and high five to celebrate, like achieving a major milestone, a new product launch or new customer.  A big win is something everyone in your company can rally around and celebrate. A “high five” is acknowledgment of something outstanding, worth mentioning and exemplifying.  Don’t let great news and stellar performance go unnoticed.  Either way, highlighting wins and giving high fives are going to make people want to get up and cheer!

Team Shoutouts

Star performers set the bar for your company, and they should be celebrated.  The all-hands is a great opportunity to give shoutouts to individual members of your team who contributed to a particular milestone by going above and beyond.  Get loud, turn on the spotlight and be sure to celebrate your star performers with gusto!  

Questions AND Answers

I totally get it…. you want to filter your Q&A, right?  The problem with this is that everyone knows you are doing it.  To create a healthy team culture, encourage everyone and anyone to ask questions during your meetings. If you don’t have time to answer them all, it’s OK to say I’ll have your answer later, tomorrow, or even next week, but do make sure you have a system for getting back to people. Keep track of questions or feedback that comes up during your all-hands meeting so you can address them afterwards. Aim for NO unanswered questions at our next meeting! That way everyone feels heard, and their worries are addressed in a timely manner (without creating unnecessary back and forth).  This also avoids the potential for incorrect assumptions and gossip.  

Logistics

The next time you’re about to organize an all-hands meeting, start by making a list of upcoming milestones and priorities. This should give you an idea on what to cover during your next meeting.   Ideally, agenda items are limited to one or two tasks per team member—you don’t want to be that manager who talks for 30 minutes about each task, leaving little time for questions and small talk.

Like any agenda, make sure it is clear and succinct; no one wants to sit through an hour-long meeting. A 30-minute meeting should suffice in most cases. And we recommend following immediately with team or department meetings, so your executive team can harness the creative energy while news is fresh.  
Ready to rock your next all-hands meeting?   Let’s chat!