Is it time to energize the town-hall meeting?

With the 2020 presidential election cycle already well in motion, town halls have been in the news of late on the Democratic candidate side of the aisle.

The town-hall concept is also alive and well within certain company cultures, according to the Grossman Group, which recently published a new e-book called Make the Most of Your Town Hall: 10 Ways to Unleash the Power of Your Team.

The Chicago-based leadership and communications consultancy–which focuses on organizational consulting, strategic leadership development and internal communications–believes the town hall, face-to-face setting is still a potent way to drive culture messages to employees. That is, if you enliven those presentations and make them more than another dull meeting.

According to David Grossman, founder and CEO of the Grossman Group, today’s town halls, or “all-hands” meetings, are often the centerpiece of a company’s internal-communications plan. Held annually, quarterly or sometimes more frequently, he explains, the meetings are an opportunity for leaders to recognize achievements or talk with employees about business results and future plans. Also, in the best cases, they are interactive and motivating conversations.

Yet, in many cases, employees report that the meetings feel more like a chore, Grossman says, adding it’s partly because employee needs are evolving. It’s also because employees want to feel more personally connected to their leaders and better understand where the company is going and what it stands for. In essence, employees are looking for more reasons to be inspired, he says.

“In our work with scores of organizations of all sizes, we’ve identified a strong interest in maximizing the true potential of town halls to deliver far more interactive, conversational and interesting meetings,” Grossman says. “But it’s not just about having a better and more interesting meeting. It’s also about leveraging those meetings to maximize the potential of employees to get more engaged and inspired to move the business forward.”

Grossman says his firm’s clients recognize that the old ways of conducting town halls aren’t accomplishing the ultimate goal of empowering employees to make a real difference for the business.

The e-book, which requires contact information for a free download, provides context and guidance on:

  • the case for meaningful change to the traditional town hall;
  • the current landscape for town halls, including key insights on employee feedback and trends for making meetings more memorable;
  • leveraging town halls to help drive the critical employee behaviors you need;
  • maximizing new, interactive technology at town halls;
  • incorporating better storytelling to educate and inspire employees;
  • building more conversations among employees;
  • and incorporating new tools, such as gamification.

“This new e-book highlights evolving best practices we’ve encountered, along with new research and cutting-edge approaches to win over your teams with town halls,” Grossman says.

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Tom Starner
Tom Starner is a freelance writer based in Philadelphia who has been covering the human resource space and all of its component processes for over two decades. He can be reached at [email protected]