All-hands meetings can sometimes be boring, one-way communications from leadership to the company. We’ve created a better way to do an all-hands that makes it easier to prepare ahead of time and more convenient for everyone who watches. We've experimented a lot over the past year on how to create a more compelling and engaging virtual all-hands.
Here are the five lessons we’ve learned on how to make a great all-hands video.
Video is not the same as IRL
Video is not a poor substitute for in-person things, in the same way that a music video is not a lesser version of a concert. Video has its own superpowers and its own advantages, so think video first.
There's no rule that says your all-hands has to be live. We invite people to record segments days or even weeks in advance so they can record when it suits them best. And because they're not presenting in front of a live audience, they can perfect their delivery.
Keep it under 30 minutes
Keeping people's attention is hard. Remember that many TV shows are 30 minutes or less. So brevity is always appreciated, but don’t go too short. Anything less than 10 minutes risks feeling insignificant.
Focus on timely topics
Your all-hands should feel like the pulse of the company. Give people information that's relevant to them now and relevant to everyone. Celebrate the arrival of new hires. Create opportunities for your leadership to address important topics of the whole company and invite teams to have conversations to share what they've been up to and what they're working on.
Go beyond work
Instead of just doing updates, get creative and talk about things other than work. Use the time to honor and recognize important holidays, or bring your colleagues together for some fun challenges and quizzes.
Bonus: Encourage engagement
One extra lesson: Think of your all-hands video as a conversation starter. Open up chat threads and invite real-time collaboration and participation so that viewers can share reactions, add additional information, have some fun, and just generally add to the culture.
I hope these suggestions help guide you to building the virtual company all-hands that your team will love. Try recording your next all-hands with mmhmm and ask your team whether they prefer the recorded version to your standard meeting. We hope you have fun!