How to run a motivational AHM and keep your employees engaged

Pankaj / 26 Nov 2018

AHM - All Hands Meetings are a step to build transparent culture and align the team on the same page. A few pointers that will help managers run a motivational AHM and keep your employees engaged through the meeting.

All Hands Meeting or AHM is a traditional meeting method that we have been following for more than a year now. It can be one of the regular meetings during your first few meetings, but as you progress you notice the importance of it. The takeaways from AHM are incredibly valuable and it is important to keep the employees engaged throughout the meeting. As a manager who hosts a motivational AHM, here are a few key points to remember.

AHMs should become a monthly custom. At the end of every month or at the beginning of every month, host an AHM. Split the responsibilities. The one who organizes the AHM and the one who hosts it has to be different. The person organizing the AHM is responsible for scheduling the meeting, setting up the place and setting the context of the AHM. The Host of the AHM will be the key speaker, and it has to be the CEO.

  • Pre-AHM preparation:
    • A week before the AHM send out an email requesting a preferable date and time. Finalize the date and time at least five days ahead.
    • Any AHM would easily require 2-3 hours. Be prepared to exceed that as well.
  • Prepare an agenda for the AHM.
  • Send out calendar invites with the agenda attached.
  • Remind the team about the AHM two days before and the day before, as well.
  • On the day of the AHM, ensure to setup the meeting room.
  • Have stickies, note-pads, pens, pencils, and enough stationery stocked in the room.
  • The agenda can be around this:
    • Start with the Keynote.
    • Walk the team through the past month’s happenings and provide updates of the current status.
    • Go over team updates.
    • Go over individual updates if any.
    • E.g. agenda:
    • Keynote by the CEO.
    • Marketing team updates
    • Sales team updates
    • Backend team updates
    • Management updates
    • Requirement request (resource requirements, tools requirement, office supplies, etc.)
    • Idea minutes (Speak about new ideas that can be tested)
    • Feedback - can be either open-house or run a online survey on the spot
    • Queries
  • For a smaller team, it can be individual. But for a larger organization, have one person from the team get the status and speak in the AHM, representing the team. The representative can be different every month.
  • Trying having small talks with the new people during the AHM. These small talks will build a relationship within the team, and the new people joining will become familiar and comfortable to work with.
  • Have a management person talk about the process being followed and talk about any new process/tool that was adopted or is to be adopted.
  • Have more than one person take the notes of the meeting.
  • Post meeting follow-ups.
  • For every week until the next AHM, send updates on the points addressed during the AHM and the status of them.
  • Send out a MOM of the AHM to everyone in the team.
  • Start the next AHM by highlighting few points and implementations from the previous AHM.

Collect feedback about the AHM without fail. Allowing anonymous feedback on the AHM will make it more genuine. Have the MOM of the AHM accessible to the team anytime by posting it on a common platform, like Basecamp boards. Before hosting the next AHM or setting the agenda, the host can refer this MOM.