How To Engage Remote Teams At An All-Hands Meeting

Getting everyone at your company in sync and moving in the same direction is not easy. Only 7% of employees fully understand their company’s business strategies and their role in achieving the company’s goals.

Creating organizational alignment is one of the most important things for growing your business. As Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff explains: “Rowing teams know that if you row together in sync, you’ll go faster.”

All-hands meetings are the perfect vehicle to disseminate critical information throughout your organization and ensure that everyone is working to meet shared goals. Keeping people in the room engaged is a challenge on its own. Things get even more complicated when your team is global. So how do you engage employees? To help your employees and colleagues get the most out of all-hands meetings, you need to make sure that they have the right tools to interact and speak up.

 


THE BENEFITS OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

1. Highly Engaged Meetings Are More Impactful

Meetings are costly. As a result, business owners need to maximize their impact with real engagement. “People in an audience who are emotionally involved get more out of the event. They learn and retain more,” says Corbin Ball, a meetings technology consultant.

2. Remove Miscommunication

As the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, said: Internal communication can easily turn into a “corporate telephone game, which as we all know, is a great source for misinformation.” If you successfully involve your employees in the conversation, all-hands meetings can be the right place to address and fix any communication noise and employee misinterpretations.

3. Send The Right Message

There are updates, milestones, and strategies that you need to communicate. Just because the meeting ends in applause doesn’t mean your message was understood. Creating room for two-way communication allows you to gauge the opinion of your employees and identify points that might need further clarification.

 


HOW TO CREATE MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT

1. Start Engagement Before Your Meeting

The first rule of an all-hands meeting is to invite everyone including your remote team. Don’t stop there. As with most things in life, preparation can help you maximize the effectiveness of your meetings. Along with sending the invitation, encourage people to submit their questions during the week leading up to the meeting.

Yahoo uses its own “Yahoo Moderator” while our clients use our tool Slido to collect the questions via a URL link beforehand.

To make your meeting even more focused, you can run a live poll to identify the most crucial topics. One of our New York clients has their team vote on the three hot topics prior to the meeting. Based on the order of topics in the list, the management is able to prepare in advance and prioritize the time accordingly.

2. Broadcast Your Meeting

At the risk of stating the obvious, if you want to involve your remote team, you need to share the content live. Nothing beats a live broadcast and you don’t need an entire crew to create an engaging livestream.

At our last all-hands meeting, we used the Mevo camera by Livestream to bring content to our remote colleagues. Mevo creates the appearance of a multi-camera shoot, all edited live in real-time on your mobile device. You can stream to Facebook Live or to your own website, allowing you to control the viewer experience.

3. Use Q&A + Live Polls To Enable Participation

You’ve got the camera rolling and your remote colleagues are focused on their screens. Now it’s critical to give people the tools to voice their questions and thoughts. We partnered with Livestream to give business leaders a secure, easy-to-use platform for crowd-sourcing employees’ questions and collecting instant feedback with live polls.

As one of our U.S. clients shared: “With constant changes in our company, Slido provides an engaging way for employees to ask tough questions and voice their opinions and concerns.”

While having a tool to submit questions is important, there is another element that has an impact on the quality of the questions. After analyzing almost 10,000 questions, we learned that 78% of employees prefer asking anonymously. It’s no surprise. Raising a hand and asking about the company’s bonus structure is not easy, but it doesn’t mean that people don’t have questions. They prefer doing it under the veil of anonymity so that they don’t feel embarrassed or have to worry about being penalized .

Confirming this hypothesis, anonymous questions received on average 75% more upvotes than questions tagged with names. We can conclude that the anonymous questions revolve around topics that employees find really important to discuss as the submissions gain a larger support among meeting participants.

4. Create Space For Interaction

While sharing information is important, all-hands meetings should be about your employees and their questions. Dedicate a sufficient part of your meeting to the Q&A session so you can have a real conversation. This enables you to get to the heart of what keeps your employees up at night.

A few tips that we use internally to create great meeting participation:

  • Proactive facilitation: Ask people to take a moment to discuss in pairs or small groups before submitting their questions or other type of contributions such as personal highlights, feature ideas, etc.
  • Have a mid-meeting Q&A session: Don’t wait until the end. Create regular mini Q&A or brainstorming sessions to take the employees’ questions and make them a part of the talk.
  • Collect feedback in real time: Use polls to check the pulse of your team and gauge what your employees think about what you’ve just presented. The poll results are a great conversation starter, giving you a natural incentive to prompt volunteers to elaborate on why they voted the way they did.

To make sure that everyone is moving in the same direction, it’s critical to bring everyone together to sync on a regular basis. With livestreaming and interaction technology, you can now reach out to your remote teams and make them part of the all-hands meetings which, if run effectively, will enable you to create alignment and boost your business growth.

This guest blog post was contributed by Juraj Holub, US Marketing Director, Slido.

 

Keep your employees engaged, no matter where they are. Download our PDF to learn more about livestreaming solutions for enterprise brands.

This Week on Livestream | February 12, 2018

Watch live as Carolina Herrera reveals her Fall 2018 collection, Roxane Gay visits the Hammer Museum, The Greene Space discusses climate change, and Jazz at Lincoln Center celebrates Valentine’s Day.


Fall 2018 #HERRERALIVE | Carolina Herrera
Monday, February 12
8 PM ET
“With almost four decades in fashion under her belt, the iconic Carolina Herrera will step down as creative director of her brand following tonight’s reveal at New York Fashion Week. Watch the Fall 2018 collection on Livestream and carolinaherrera.com.”

Some Favorite Writers: Roxane Gay | Hammer Museum
Monday, February 12
10:30 PM ET
“One of today’s most astute cultural critics, Roxane Gay is the author of New York Times best-seller Bad Feminist, the novel An Untamed State, and the short story collections Difficult Women and Ayiti. Raw and beautifully written, Gay’s most recent book, Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body, is a remarkable work about pain, healing, strength, and coming to terms with oneself and one’s body.”

Citizen Now: Climate Change | The Greene Space
Tuesday, February 13
7 PM ET
“2017 was the second-hottest year on record. The impact of climate change – from rising sea levels to rising food scarcity – continues to grow. Join The Greene Space as they hear from social entrepreneurs about how they’re working to make clean energy accessible and affordable to communities everywhere, create a workforce of sustainable ocean farmers, and mitigate the rising effects of climate change.”

Tayari Jones | An American Marriage with Stephanie Powell Watts | Author Events
Tuesday, February 13
7:30 PM ET
“Focusing mostly on the urban South, Tayari Jones‘s four novels include Silver Sparrow, The Untelling, and Leaving Atlanta. Her new novel follows a husband and wife who seem to embody the new South but are unmoored by false accusation and imprisonment.”

Valentine’s Day: Songs We Love featuring Vuyo Sotashe and Brianna Thomas | Jazz at Lincoln Center
Wednesday, February 14
7:30 PM ET
“Joining Brianna Thomas this year is fellow vocalist Vuyo Sotashe, a recent second-place winner of the Thelonious Monk International Jazz Vocal Competition, a rising star in New York City, and an in-demand special guest at Jazz at Lincoln Center.”

TAKING FLIGHT | National Geographic
Thursday, February 15
2 PM ET
“National Geographic discusses Bird Migration and Conservation Across Hemispheres.”