How to Run a Town Meeting
A town meeting is a public gathering that allows employees to connect with the senior leadership of the company. During this meeting everyone in the company provides updates, and they discuss the direction the company is headed in the future. The goal is to provide important updates and to offer a platform to collect feedback and input. In a town hall meeting, senior leaders should maintain order, work on controversial issues, and try to build stronger unity within the company.
During a town meeting employees should play a huge role by asking them questions and encouraging them to voice their opinions. Providing a Q&A session can be very effective if you want to ask employees their opinions on key issues. You never want employees to feel like there opinion isn’t important or the company isn’t listening to them. You won’t always know what the audience will say, but you can still prepare. Think through possible responses to a poll together, then coach your executive on how to respond. Town Hall meetings give you an opportunity to discuss what employees can do to help the organization succeed, review all important issues, and figure out where exactly the company should be headed.
Tips for Hosting a Town Meeting
- Remember to welcome all of the employees and attendees.
- It’s important to start with a powerful opening ( by using projectors, screens or video walls) or telling a compelling story (require a great sound system) that will help bring the issues you discuss live.
- Allow for everyone to watch the meeting by providing a live stream virtual option so employees that can’t attend can still view it (worldwide).
- It’s important to make sure the point of the meeting is very clear for everyone.
- A town hall meeting should provide open conversation for everyone (Have a person or two to pass mics in the audience). Never allow just a few vocal people to dominate the entire discussion for themselves.
- It’s also important to check any audiovisual rentals used to make sure everything is working properly.
Identify a Moderator
- A moderator is in charge of facilitating the panel discussion and fielding audience questions to panelists.
- A moderator can keep the agenda moving, and ensure that the speakers stick to their allotted time.
- He is like a referee just like the one in a boxing match. He judges the the things way in advance so that it doesn’t become a bad fight.
Employees’ value having the opportunity to connect with senior leaders. Make sure people have the opportunity to have their voice heard. Higher ups should always be taking detailed notes during these meetings about issues that require further attention. You should always thank participants for joining in the conversation and be open to any criticism. Just remember all of the participants of a town meeting want the company to succeed. A well-run town meeting should have set objectives and outcomes we are trying to achieve in holding this town hall. You should be preparing employees for action, building trust in leaders and confidence in the company. Town Hall meeting should have set topics ready to discuss within a specific time slot. Employees should leave feeling motivated about the direction the company is headed, and know all the issues that they discussed at the town meeting will be tackled in the near future. Once the meeting is over is important to follow up with everyone and develop a plan of action to address all the issues/concerns that were discussed.