Need help on how to organize an all-hands or town hall meeting for executive assistants? We’ve got some easy tips to help you execute it successfully.
Transparency is a value frequently echoed in organizations, and for good reason, it aligns people toward a common goal. A company is made up of individuals who make decisions (micro or macro) that either take the business closer or farther from its target.
Executive assistant and admin teams are no different. If anything, working with C-Suites, Executives and VPs uniquely position admins to access opportunities that can create bigger contributions to the company. Something that other non-managerial roles may not necessarily have.
Whether you’re a team of EAs working for different Executives or you’re the head of an administrative department in your company, being deliberate about conducting an Executive Assistant all-hands meeting can be pivotal in driving your team’s performance and organization forward. Imagine having a group of strategic Executive support fully committed to the big-picture goal and hyper-aware of the needs of their Executives? The opportunity for growth and performance is promising.
Town hall style gatherings can also give everyone a chance to relate to challenges or situations in a field where people often feel siloed. Did you executive ask for a calendar audit too? How are you tackling that? How do you respond when your Executive is constantly asking you to reschedule meetings? The knowledge sharing during this type of gathering is limitless.
In case you’re looking to conduct an all-hands meeting for the first time or simply looking for new company town hall meeting topics, we’re here to help you get started.
Here are five tips to help you organize an Executive Assistant all-hands meeting effectively.
Define your agenda.
The main points of an all-hands meeting is (1) to bring every member of the EA team onto the same page with corporate goals and (2) to create opportunities for personal growth through collective wisdom. So, it makes sense to iron out your agenda to make sure people have a chance to speak and learn.
An example of one such agenda could be:
- Rapid-fire updates from every EA (if a smaller group) or one representative from each department
- Discuss major company initiatives and how everyone is aligning with those
- Recognize milestones and celebrate wins within the previous period
- Offer an opportunity for people to ask for help with major roadblocks or challenges
This agenda could be a recurring template that is customized each month or quarter, or it could stay consistent. We recommend consistency.
Change hosts or facilitators periodically.
Different people bring with them different insights. So, be strategic when it comes to how you manage the speakers of each meeting. You can rotate resources within your internal executive assistant team and invite Executives from time to time.
If you have a network beyond your organization, you can also opt to invite other experienced executive assistants who can bring with them insights from different fields, specialties, and experiences. Cabinet has periodically spoken at town-halls and shared strategic calendar management tips with teams of Admins.
Iron sharpens iron, and learning knows no boundary. Adding variation to your presenter list can be a smart way to increase knowledge-sharing and growth within your organization.
Transparency is two-way, and this is where allowing opportunities for healthy dialogue comes in. This is especially important in the current work landscape where teams typically follow a hybrid setup. A virtual all-hands meeting must allow a clear platform for open communication and ideation among members. Following a webinar-type format to the meeting can leave your team disengaged, but an active Q&A session can result in clarity and a greater feeling of ownership within their spaces. Ensure that the facilitator reaches out to people who are being quiet and encourages them to share their thoughts or opinions on a topic.
If you’ve got limited time, you can opt to collect questions before the meeting. That way, you can stay organized and retain some control over the duration of your EA all-hands meeting.
Consolidate your meeting notes.
If your all-hands meeting is done online, then recording every session is imperative. If not, assigning someone to take care of note-taking is needed.
The information discussed during your all-hands meeting can result in strategies or action plans that you might need to revisit periodically, so make sure you organize everything in one place. With the volume of files and information that executive assistants deal with every day, having a consolidated place to store all your meeting notes can make a difference in making your life easier.
Implement a feedback loop.
Last but not least, ask for feedback.
You can’t improve what you don’t know, so deliberately asking for feedback after every meeting can be helpful. Chances are, your all-hands meetings won’t be perfect the first few rounds but that doesn’t mean it’s not effective. Getting honest feedback from your attendees can help you identify areas for improvement and bridge the gap into a better delivery the next time around.