Monday, December 15, 2008

Welcome: All-Hands @ 30,000 Feet

And I’m not referring to a meeting in the Airbus-380! Just kiddin'…

Well, it’s just that it’s a lot tougher to comprehend an All-Hands Meeting (AHM) that has discussions like a 100,000 light-years away from my current work! Really! It’s tough to understand the CxO talking about long-term vision, mission, goals and objectives from 30,000 Ft. While all along, employees are doing their best to relate the topic with their work-plan. The question that comes to mind is:

What should the AHM address?

Off course, the AHM is an integral part of the Company’s initiate to share company’s growth-plans, revenue figures, future product/project road-map, year’s accomplishments and a horde of other developments. It serves as an open-channel to get high-visibility to work that gets done at the Senior Management Level. It throws light on every department’s current standing and challenges that might come up - to go to the next level. Honestly, there’s no doubt that the AHM is needed!

However, the challenge in any AHM that arises is the way data is comprehended by the 1000 (at times even 10!) people in the audience. I’ve had the chance to sit through plenty of AHM’s and honestly, the end result is the same! Everyone goes back to work telling themselves – “It was just another meeting with the Boss!” It’s not ‘just’ another meeting. Is it? The real intent of the AHM is lost if that is the employee-perception.

Can we make it more interactive? More personal? More understandable? More informative?..

Yes! A simple way would be to break the AHM into various sessions addressing one business group in specific per session. It’s time consuming, but worth it! What better time can a CEO ask for than to spend time with the employees? Understanding their work is of utmost importance. The employees on the other hand will surely like these sessions, since it will be very specific to their department and work. Queries can be answered more precisely. It’s more like a department ‘one-on-one’.

In the end, it would be great to run a survey asking employees for their feedback on the AHM sessions. It will help modify the program for next time.

Now...Please fasten your seat belts – we are ready for landing!

- The HR Store