Holding An “All Hands” Company Meeting

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blacknight-custom-mugs-2015

One of the things that we needed to address for a long time, as I’ve mentioned previously, was our internal communications.

The more we’ve worked on this over the last couple of months the more I’ve come to realise how important it really is. If people internally don’t know what’s going on and what should be prioritised, it’s very hard for them to really perform their jobs, or to do so in a fashion that works well for everyone else and the company itself. So focussing on “fixing” the internal ultimately helps with addressing external issues.

Over the past couple of months we’ve made several changes.

We’re currently using Slack company-wide. While we *might* end up moving to an alternative software solution the way that Slack works has been very beneficial. Jabber is great for one on one instant messages, but there’s no “history” (and no, trawling through logs doesn’t really count, though I’ve had to do it in the past!) and there are quite a few other limitations. Yammer is “ok”, but it never really got much “buy in” internally, so we’ve pretty much abandoned it. With Slack we’ve been able to improve a lot of collaboration in some teams, as well as across groups within the company. I also love the way that I can start a conversation in a desktop app and continue it seamlessly on mobile. And for someone like me being able to use mobile is key, as I’m not in the office that much..

We’ve also launched an internal newsletter which gets sent to all staff once a week (usually) with a mixture of updates, news and information that hopefully helps keep all staff up to date on what’s going on. And there’s nearly always a lot going on .. both internally and externally.

But one of the things we really wanted to do was to hold a meeting with all our staff.

Why?

So that we could share some things with all staff at once, instead of trying to get information to smaller groups of people in dribs and drabs. Also, it’s important that we get “buy in” from everyone on the company’s overall direction.

But also it’s something we had never done. Sure, most of the company come together a few times a year at various social events, but we hadn’t organised a meeting with all staff ever. Crazy if you think about it.

So yesterday morning at around 9am we kicked off the first ever “company wide” / “all hands” meeting.

It wasn’t dramatic or anything, but it did give us an opportunity to do a few things:

  • Give all staff an overview of what we’re currently doing and possibly why we’re doing it
  • Give everyone an overview of some of the stuff in the pipeline. There are several products and services as well as improvements planned.
  • Share some ideas on where we’d like to take the company in the future
  • Review some of the company’s history (history gives context)
  • Announce a couple of changes to staffing
  • Recognise a few of the team for their hard work
  • Distribute the custom Blacknight mugs (2015 edition) to all staff (see photo above)

And since it was an early morning meeting we also provided breakfast to everyone…

Following on from the meeting we’ve been getting some input from staff on a variety of things, which is helpful.

Let’s see where it takes us …

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