Measure town hall engagement levels to improve future meetings


Picture it: the town hall is done and you’re basking in the positive responses. But you ask yourself, or perhaps your CEO beats you to the punch, “Was it worth it?”

When I review surveys that assess town halls, I’ve noticed that questions tend to focus on the experience: Rate the speakers. How was the room? Did you like the food?

While answers to these questions will provide clues about satisfaction with the event, they won’t help you demonstrate impact. Instead, move away from things you know (for example, you’ll know if the mini quiches weren’t cooked or if one of the senior leaders needs presentation coaching) and focus on what you’re trying to achieve.    

Your survey questions should fall into these four buckets:

  1. Participation. There are two parts to this one: A. Employees attend (because they find the meeting valuable). B. And they have the opportunity to contribute during the meeting; for example, providing ideas or asking questions.
  2. Key topics. What level of knowledge are you trying to build by the end of the town hall? For example, awareness of a new corporate strategy or in-depth knowledge of the customer first initiative.
  3. Attitudes. What attitudes are you trying to influence? For example, employees feel energized to take on challenges for the new year.
  4. Actions. Do attendees understand what to do after the meeting?

Tip: Write the post-meeting survey BEFORE you start gathering information and lining up speakers for the town hall. It will force you to think about objectives and help you design the meeting differently. For example, if your goal is to build in-depth knowledge of the customer first initiative, you’ll need opportunities for discussion and idea sharing (breakouts), not just a series of talking heads.

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