Holding an Effective All-hands Meetings for Small Business

How to plan for an all-hands meeting

The word “meeting” can be unpopular in the business world. Work meetings have a reputation of being boring and a waste of time. However, if you take time to plan, you’ll be able to stay on topic and prevent the discussion from drifting too far off course. Here are some helpful steps you can take to help you prepare:

  1. Prep your team in advance

If all-hands meetings aren’t a regular occurrence in your organization, rumors surrounding the cause of the meeting might start to fly. Let employees know the main reason for the all-hands so you don’t set off alarm bells when scheduling. A good way to set the stage is to include an agenda along with the meeting invite.

  1. Keep your all-hands short and on time

Think short and to the point. If a meeting drags on and on, the participation and engagement of your employees can drop off. Show respect for their time by sticking to the meeting schedule.

  1. Focus on the right topics

Share information that is relevant and interesting to everyone who contributes to your operation. You might also want to touch on the overall industry and other news that can affect your business.

  1. Share both successes and opportunities

With your entire company gathered in one place, it’s an excellent time to share team project progress or outcome, present learning opportunities, or recognize employees who have gone above and beyond.  In addition to sharing the good news, don’t be afraid to share challenges and strategies to address them.

  1. Wrap up with a Q&A

Before the meeting, ask your team to submit questions about business-related items they might be curious about. Carve out a few minutes near the end of your all-hands meetings to address questions.

  1. Make it inclusive for all employees

When you’re hosting an all-hands meeting, make it inclusive for all employees. As many businesses pivot towards remote work, be sure to include those not on site. These days, technology makes it easy to bring people together from around the world.  Recording the meeting can also be helpful so attendees can review or those who were absent can still get the information as presented.

  1. Ask for feedback

An important factor in running effective all-hands meetings, and ensuring that they are effective, is getting feedback. You can use an easy, online, anonymous questionnaire like Survey Monkey® ( Ask your employees what they enjoyed about the meeting, what could be improved, and what they’d like to see changed for the next all-hands. This helps your team feel respected and heard, which can lead to better employee engagement.

Final thoughts

Today’s remote working environment can make scheduling an all-hands meeting challenging. Be aware of different time zones so you accommodate employee schedules. For guidance on employee management when working with remote team members, review our article here: 16 Tips for Managing Remote Workers. We outline challenges you might face and solutions to keep your team performance from dipping.

In addition to sharing business information during an all-hands meeting, end with something fun, social, or interactive. This can even be done in a remote environment. Our blog posts give ideas you can use to lighten the mood and get employees engaged.

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