Town hall meetings are usually where leaders interact with a group of people in an open forum to hear what’s on their minds or discuss something specific. When leaders take time to field questions, despite juggling multiple responsibilities and having busy schedules, it promotes transparency and builds trust.
So how does this translate into a digital workplace?
We at Zoho Connect looked for cues in the way our work culture has evolved over the years. As an organization, we’ve always stood for transparency. Our top management would often use the Forums in Zoho Connect to conduct something called “open house.” Their post would simply say, “I am here for open house.” Any employee could post their questions as comments and get them answered by the management.
From our internal policies to economics and market updates, we’ve had sessions on a wide range of topics that have been both fun and educational—as well as ones that have given rise to creative ideas. Some of our new employees have made significant contributions to these sessions. The management also gets a clear idea about the issues that we, as employees, face. As discussions became more open, the more cohesive we became as a company.
This simple, yet powerful, post has been instrumental in shaping our work culture. Which is why we decided to build town halls into Zoho Connect.
Town Hall is a tool to conduct a virtual, all-hands meeting or Q&A session, either within your team or for your entire company. Here are a few ways you can benefit from it:
Conduct AMAs in your company
A typical AMA (Ask Me Anything) session is where a famous personality, like a politician, artist, or athlete, takes over an online discussion platform for the day and answers questions from the public. Similarly, an AMA within your company or your team can be held using Town Hall.
Develop the dialogue
Start a town hall around an issue or a topic and add experts in your company as panelists. Get discussions going by letting panelists answer questions from the members. Members can upvote questions so panelists understand which ones need to be prioritized.
Archive of Q&As to learn from
Completed sessions act as a library of Q&As that employees can refer to when needed. This can also help new team members better understand the culture or specific subjects. Bookmark important questions and any that pique your interest for easy reference.
Take Town Hall out for a spin and share your experiences with us in the comments below, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org