For Town Halls, access the meeting via a video chat. This is a powerful way of creating a shared experience across the entire company, wherever they are.
Town Halls are a great way to hear about what different teams and departments are working on by setting up demos, or sharing statistics with the entire company. In the absence of in person communication day today, it’s easy to run into the trap of different teams feeling siloed and out of the loop. It is also a good time for management and executives to reiterate the bigger picture in terms of company priorities.
The first card read aloud is called Town Hall Announcements. The 10 items in the checklist on this card are akin to the “10 commandments” for the company. These state the core philosophies of the company and the company culture. At the beginning of each Town Hall, someone reads these 10 principles out loud so that they are reiterated to the entire company. We always have a new hire read the list so that they become familiar with these philosophies.
The goal of a Town Hall is to have a transparent company wide meeting with an open forum for any employee to be able to ask questions, voice concerns, celebrate great contributions, or update the company on their work.
Anyone can add a card to Announcements/Questions with the goal of addressing every single card on the list during the town hall. If you add a card to the list, add yourself to the card so that the meeting moderator can call on you when your card comes up.
Town Hall meetings are not all business. The meetings are a rare opportunity when the entire team is together, which is especially novel in distributed companies. Take the time to build your employees up by establishing fun traditions and finding different ways to celebrate successes.
Of course, once a town hall is done this doesn’t mean it should be forgotten. Meeting Minutes from the Town Hall should be easily accessed by all employees after the meeting is over.
At Trello, everyone at the company is in attendance at Town Hall meetings. They are an open forum for all employees to ask questions, discuss what’s on their mind, or share what the team is up to. No matter their role, everyone is on the same level during these meetings. “We have found Town Halls to be a powerful way to convey company priorities, promote cross-team communication, and, most importantly, create a thriving, unified culture throughout our distributed team.”
To facilitate openness and transparency at these meetings at Trello, we created a Trello board that is open to everyone at the company to add to the meeting content.
Read more from Trello on how to run effectively all hands-on meetings.