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Town Hall Meetings

by Mark McClanahan

A hot topic lately seems to be the cultural needs of millennials. It makes sense considering their convergence into the workforce and the desire to make sure all the generations work well together. As a business leader, I feel it’s important for me to find ways to connect with all generations. Being a Gen Xer, I regularly deal with people older than me, the same age as me and younger than me. How I communicate is critical for success.

As we continue to find innovative ways to improve the culture at Mosby, a proven technique implemented this year is the town hall meeting. In March, we had our first such meeting. After the event, an overwhelming majority of the attendees praised it as one of their favorite company meetings. The employees were fond of the open agenda and candid dialogue.

To make these meetings a success, here are the four key things we learned and implemented:

1) The agenda should be driven by the employees, not the leadership team. Before the meeting, make sure to ask the employees for discussion topics. Try using a service like SurveyMonkey.

2) There should be a fluid environment. Allow the agenda to meld into the direction the attendees push it. Give them plenty of time to ask as many questions as necessary.

3) You should be 100% honest with your answers and not hold anything back. The only caveat is the protection of privacy and confidential information about individual employees. Clearly define this rule in the beginning and during the meeting.

4) It’s best to make this a volunteer, after-hours event with food and nonalcoholic beverages. If your employees care about the company and its future, they will come. The food and drinks are a way to thank them for their time and create a casual, relaxed atmosphere.

Mark McClanahan (mmcclanahan@callmosby.com or 314.909.1800) is the president at Mosby Building Arts.

Submitted 3 years 214 days ago
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