If your all-hands meetings feel dull or unengaging at times, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Making big meetings engaging for employees is a tough job, especially in a hybrid or virtual setup.
There are many factors that rain on your all-hands parade. Be it long monologues of executives or employees sitting passively without a single chance to participate.
You can change that. We’ve collected for you these 8 engagement ideas that will freshen up your all-hands meetings instantly.
- Start your meeting with an interactive icebreaker
- Run a fun quiz
- Celebrate highlights
- Turn your business numbers into a quiz
- Celebrate your heroes and heroines
- Pair and share in breakout rooms
- Keep your team constantly engaged with polls
- Let your employees ask questions
1. Start your meeting with an interactive icebreaker
Start your meeting strongly. If your setup allows for it, spend the first couple of minutes socializing. Start your call some 5 to 10 minutes before the official start of your all-hands meeting and invite people for an informal catch-up time.
To get the conversation started, you can use polls. Just fire a quick poll question in which you’ll ask your team how they are, or how the last month/quarter has been for them. You can use the Slido word cloud poll.
Or, ask your colleagues a fun ‘would you rather question’. That will surely get people talking. Pick a bizarre question and then ask people how they voted and why. Here are 101 ‘would you rather’ poll questions for your inspiration.
But, if we’re talking about starting strongly, you can think way bigger than this. For example, how about a musical number?
At one of our Slido all-hands, we had our very talented colleague Andrew play guitar for us. On another occasion, our lovely colleague Dodo played his piano and sang us a song. It was precious and put happy smiles on people’s faces!
2. Run a fun quiz
During special all-hands meetings such as in the summer, during Halloween, or before the winter holidays, take advantage of these gatherings and run a fun team-building activity such as a pub quiz.
You can easily create a quiz in Slido, invite your colleagues to join in, and run a full pub quiz experience with a timer and leaderboard before or during your all-hands meeting.
For example, before one of our recent all-hands meetings, our colleagues Dodo and Filip ran a music quiz for our teammates. But as quizzes go, the possibilities are endless. Make it your company trivia, Holiday quiz, or movie-themed one – just have fun!
3. Celebrate highlights
Here’s another activity you can try to lift your team’s spirits: Instead of leadership sharing company highlights on the stage, why not ask your employees what they found the most noteworthy?
Slido can help you here: Run an open text poll and ask your teammates to write down their biggest professional or personal highlights of the month/quarter.
To give a public shout-out to all the special moments, display them proudly on screen for everyone to see. Quite a morale booster!
If you have a meeting moderator, have them read some of the highlights out loud or ask volunteers to share what they’ve put in and why this particular moment was so special for them.
4. Turn your business numbers into a quiz
There are plenty of numbers shared during an all-hands meeting; seasonal stats, sales, revenues, NPS, you name it. How about giving it a new spin?
Turn the company stats into an interactive quiz. Let your employees have a guess at how the company was doing in terms of numbers. You can create your quiz in Slido. If you need inspiration for questions, find it here.
Make your quiz even more entertaining by adding fun stats such as “How many hours did we spend on Webex calls this month?” or your company trivia such as “How many people called ‘Michael’ are currently working in our company?”.
5. Celebrate your heroes and heroines
What better occasion to celebrate your teammates’ hard work and effort if not at your all-hands meetings? Give a public shout-out to your company’s heroes and heroines.
Using a word cloud poll, tell your team to submit the name of a colleague who they think went the extra mile or did an exceptional job. Once people cast their votes, show the word cloud on the screen. The more times a person has been voted for, the larger their name gets. Powerful, isn’t it?
Combine the word cloud with an open text poll so that people can also leave a nice comment about a person who they nominated. You can then distribute the encouraging words to their recipients!
6. Pair and share in breakout rooms
A powerful way to create a more engaging experience for your employees during your all-hands meeting is by giving them a chance to actively contribute to a discussion.
A pair-share activity is a great way to bring some meaningful conversations to your all-hands meeting. The concept is simple. Just give your employees a thought-provoking topic and then ask them to discuss it in pairs or small groups.
If you have all your employees gathered together in a room during your all-hands, you may do this in a classic way – turn to the person next to you and talk. If you’re running remote or hybrid all-hands meetings where multiple people are joined remotely, leverage breakout rooms in your video conferencing platform.
As for the discussion topics, it can be anything from brainstorming projects for the next quarter, to cultural questions such as: “How can we make our work environment more inclusive?”
7. Keep your team constantly engaged with polls
Now, besides firing one or two interactive activities, how do you make sure that you’ll keep the team engaged throughout the meeting? Live polls will help you there. Distribute multiple polls during the course of the meeting to re-activate your employees and gather their opinions or feedback.
For example, after running a demo of a new product feature, or making an important announcement, ask for your team’s buy-in. Find out their first immediate thoughts – that’s a priceless insight. Plus, you’ll get an instant pulse check of the room.
Or, you can also use live polls to check how well your team understood what was just being presented. For example, ask about how well your employees understand a newly announced company strategy. It is invaluable to gather this kind of input from your team, especially in times of uncertainty and change.
8. Let your employees ask questions
No all-hands meeting is complete without the Q&A session. Q&A gives people the opportunity to “talk” to the executives and ask what’s on their minds.
Running a Q&A session online is much easier if you let your employees submit their questions via a Q&A tool. You can allow your team to ask anonymously which promotes transparency and gets you more honest questions. People can also upvote questions others posted, so the most relevant ones rise to the top.
And don’t forget to leave enough time for the Q&A, even as much as 20-30 minutes. Q&A sessions might as well become the most important part of your all-hands!
Read also: How to Facilitate a Successful Q&A Session
Over to you
An engaging all-hands meeting is one that revolves around people, celebrates the successes your team has accomplished together, and allows for a meaningful conversation.
We hope that these 8 interactive ideas will help you make your all-hands meetings more engaging, inclusive, and worth every minute and every penny.