I'm having my first all hands meeting in about a week and I'm beginning to develop the presentation/Agenda. This is a 1.5 hour meeting and I'll be providing lunch as well. Does anyone have a suggestion on the topics that I should address? Right now it looks like this:

Introduction: Who am I
Project reviews: Review of each of the projects in the Department
Personnel Announcements: Weddings, Graduations, Births etc.
Conference Review: I attended a conference recently and I want to set the standard that when someone attends a conference, they're expected to present back to the department useful information about at least one session and the conference as a whole.

bflynn's picture

Two suggestions on content -

1) List the changes that you intend to make - people will be a little unsure what is coming out of the all-hands and whether you're going to announce something big that impacts them. If the answer is nothing, then I'd state that up front so everyone can relax a little. Otherwise, they're likely to be hanging on every word and looking for something big to jump on - "Is that the big change? No, how about this" and won't really be hearing what you're saying.

2) I always liked seeing some kind of report card on the company and/or department. In smaller, privatly owned companies I've been in, that has sometimes been financial numbers - there could be very good, legal reasons you can't do that now. Personally, I very much liked seeing the results of our work ($$ earned), it was motivational and I'm not a results person, contrary to what it appears.

From reading your agenda - it appears you're a very process oriented person. Try to work some "hard facts" in for the results oriented people in your organization. If its all about "what we do and how we got here", the High Ds and Cs are not going to take away as much as they could.

Hope it helps - Brian

Mark's picture
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So sorry I didn't get to this sooner! If you've already had the session, my apologies. Next time, ping me again if you like... sometimes, I just miss some posts.

The first thing to do is to decide how long you're going to let them eat, or whether you're going to start talking right away. My recommendation is to state up front that everybody will get 30 minutes to eat and chat, and then start. people do NOT hear well in the first 10 minutes of a meal, for a lot of reasons. Sit with them, and engage with the folks around you.

I think the intro is a great idea. Unless you truly know everyone, ask them to help you with THEIR names in the coming weeks.

I don't know how many projects you have, but the review makes it very much like a standard meeting. Unless you have something different in mind, I'd consider shelving that.

Not a big fan of personnel announcements. If you are, go for it... but maybe initiate them in the second round of all hands.

LOVE the conference report. Damn right the company should get a report. If it were me, and anyone who went had ANY interest in development, I'd ask them to present to me first, for feedback and polishing.

I'd give some sort of overview. (If this is what the project review is intended to do, okay... but I'd still recommend abstracting it a level higher. Results, measures, etc.

Time for questions? You MUST have that on the agenda, or they may assume they're just getting briefed.

On the first one, the big thing is start and finish on time, introduce yourself, allow questions, and keep it light unless the ship is sinking.

Kudos for doing one. Sorry again if this is too late.


gakirag's picture

Hello Team,

I am planning to start weekly meeting with all the staff in the org, to get updates from them, and give updates of the last and this week. Are these meetings all-hands?

If not, can you define the difference of one and the other.


Mark's picture
Admin Role Badge

No, what you're talking about is a staff meeting, unless there's only one layer below you, in which case, interestingly, your staff meeting IS an All Hands meeting (sort of).

All Hands are with everyone downstream from you. If a CEO did an All Hands (and they do, but staggered and called Town Halls, usually), EVERYONE would be there.


gakirag's picture

Thanks Mark for your reply.

Sorry, my question was incorrect for lack of knowledge. What I wanted to know is:

If staff meeting is a meeting with all my direct reports (about 4), then how often these meetings need to happen?

If an All-hands is all people in my org (about 20), how often these meeting will happen?

What is the difference between the agenda of one and the other?

Thanks for your time, and again great forum.


trandell's picture

Typically, staff meetings are weekly. I've seen bi-weekly meetings, but very rarely.

All hands meetings might be monthly or quarterly. It depends on how much information there is to share.

Showtunes's picture
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Hey Manager Tools Forum Friends,

You guys rock! Thanks for all of the wonderful conversation in the forums.

Have you listened to the Town Hall Part 1 & 2 yet? I'm confused. Is a Town Hall different than an All-Hands meeting? I'm part of an executive team and we have our next All-Hands meeting in July. Wondering if the term All-Hands and Town Hall are interchangeable? Which would lead me to ask: is there a podcast on All-Hands meetings? I feel pretty confident that they are interchangeable, but thought I'd get this all cleared up.