Yawn! Are your town hall meetings too predictable?

Yawn! Are your town hall meetings too predictable?

February 28, 2013   Category: Town halls

(Here’s a photo of our kitten, Sandy. I’ve been trying to figure out a way to integrate the cute cat into the blog . . . finally did!)

We’re in the midst of several employee communication measurement projects, and an interesting trend has emerged: Employees say town hall meetings are too formulaic and repetitious. The result? You guessed it: Boredom.

“Every town hall is the same as all the others,” went one typical comment. “Even the information doesn’t change much from one meeting to another. So I don’t really learn anything new.”

“I don’t stay for the whole thing,” confessed another employee. “I just tune in for the opening remarks—when the CEO might say something interesting—and then I leave the web meeting on in the background and focus on other things.”

And a third comment: “There are no surprises. I already know almost everything that’s covered. I only go because I think I should.”

The problem, of course, is that when you run every town hall the same way, the sessions become predictable, expected, boring. And, even more fundamental is the fact the primary objective should not be to disseminate information. The value of town halls is in the experience. 

So, if you’re getting employee feedback that town halls are—yawn!—same stuff different day, it’s time to shake them up. Ask yourself: How can I create energy? How can we get participants involved? What are some ways to excite, delight and surprise employees?

I’d be happy to answer your questions or give advice. Just let me know how I can help.
 

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