5 things about Townhall meetings
As an employee, you may think your company either does too many of the ‘Townhall’ meetings or too few. As someone who leads a company, you may think about issues like the frequency of “Townhall’ meetings or just how much information you should reveal to all.
Here are 5 things we would like to share from our experience that you may find useful:
1. What to talk: Employees would be interested in knowing about future prospects of the business. The company would like to talk to them about future business targets they got to work with. While many such meetings focus on the big picture in many companies, it is a good idea to tell it like it is. There is no reason to mask any bad performance or exaggerate success here. The idea is to align employees to the company’s strategic interest. You need to ensure that everyone in the team is aware of challenges that lie ahead.
2. How much: In the short duration of the meeting, it is not possible to do it all. It may be a good idea to give quick functional updates on human resource initiatives besides the financial performance. An important point to note is that employees are interested in action like as managers we are too. Hence, a quick update on announcements made in the previous meeting and their delivery status would be welcome.
3. Why Town hall: Very few people like surprises at the work place. Very often, businesses hold Townhalls for special occasions or during crisis. But just like shareholders, employees are stakeholders who are hungry for information on business prospects. Their future depends on that and your future depends on them. It is a good idea to institutionalise the information flow. As a company, it will set standards and expectations among employees.
4. Rewards and recognition: Praise in public but reprimand in private is a famous management mantra. This is an important aspect of employee motivation. Many employees are motivated to do well after looking at other achievers. Yes, good performance rewarded can actually rub off and spread among employees. Make it an event that people in your company would look forward to.
5. Engagement: It is a good idea to prepare well for the meeting. Ahead of the meeting, you may take queries from employees for the senior management. Employees can choose to stay anonymous. Encourage all employees to ask difficult questions. While it is not possible to incorporate all of them, you may want to figure out a way to bucket them. Every company will have own way of doing it. At Bajaj Finance, our employment surveys have consistently suggested that people look forward to our quarterly event ‘Confluence’. There is something right happening in terms of engagement then.