Why town hall meetings are a must for businesses seeking to build trust with employees, and examples of how gyms are using the meeting format.
Your staff likely has a multitude of team meetings every week and month — some effective, and some not so much.
But according to Entrepreneur, there is one meeting all companies should be making time for. That is a monthly or quarterly “Town Hall” meeting where company leaders share insight on the company’s overall direction and goals or special projects, and seek feedback from employees on the front lines.
Author John Boitnott explains, “While still inherently hierarchical, modern workplaces are becoming more democratic in that corporate leaders more often seek ideas and viewpoints from all areas of the organization now, rather than just giving strict top-down decrees. Copying the town hall tradition in your company-wide, all-hands meetings will help increase communication between managers and other team members. These events not only let you share results and upcoming initiatives, but also allow for dialogue between groups that might not normally engage each other.”
Here are more reasons why town hall meetings can be effective for a business, courtesy of Entrepreneur:
- A town hall project shows you value employees and their ideas.
- Town halls align everyone with what’s happening at the business.
- They are motivational.
- Town halls indicate overall employee satisfaction.
Gyms across the industry are adopting this practice, and in some cases, are even opening the town hall meetings to members.
For example, during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Weymouth Club held
Zoom town halls that gave them the opportunity to address member fears and concerns, and update members on new safety protocols.
“We generally had anywhere from 50 to 65 RSVPs,” said Jeff Linn, the executive director of Weymouth Club, in the July 2021 cover story. “And we’d have about 45 show … that had a big impact for people.”
Jon Brady, the president of Midtown Athletic Clubs, shared in a recent Club Solutions Mastermind Group meeting they also do virtual town hall meetings every six to eight weeks for employees, and anyone in the company can join the call. They typically have around 500 to 600 people join.
During the call, they discuss Pulse survey results — employee satisfaction surveys — and go over company objectives. Anyone can ask questions, and no one is muted.
With this in mind, consider adding town hall meetings to your line up.
“Team members whose ideas are valued tend to feel valued themselves,” continued Boitnott. “When they feel appreciated, it leads to high employee engagement, improved performance, reduced turnover and greater job satisfaction. Creating a space for people to ask questions, and for you to provide answers, shows you are invested in all workers.”