Last week FirstService Residential in California hosted its bi-yearly Town Hall meeting for our 1,400 California associates. Associates from across the state tuned in via Webex to hear our team of leaders discuss our year in review, milestones and goals for 2020.
This was my first time hosting a Town Hall meeting of this caliber. My experience thus far involved organizing in-person Town Hall meetings with under 300 attendees. This Town Hall meeting was streamed live to associates in our regional and on-site offices.
The hour and a half long Town Hall meeting included a live Q&A via chat and call-ins, video and presentation with five different speakers. It also required a high level of pre-event promotions and communications to ensure all associates knew how to call in, how to ask questions as well as where to view the Town Hall.
Associates could submit questions in advance, ask questions live, watch the broadcast as their desks or watch in groups.
This Town Hall was particularly unique because it was the last Town Hall of 2019. Additionally, I incorporated a couple of innovative ideas to encourage attendance and discussions after the Town Hall was over.
This year, I drafted an email to all California senior leaders with a few tips on how to encourage their associates to participate in the Town Hall. Suggestions included:
- Talking about the Town Hall during FirstCall (a daily touch-base with teams).
- Encouraging associates to submit questions in advance.
- Organizing a group Town Hall viewing party in a conference room.
After the Town Hall meeting was over, I sent out a Town Hall Highlights document (prepared in advance) to all FirstService California supervisors that included tips on how to continue the conversation and to give their associates a Town Hall recap. Suggestions included:
- Forwarding the Town Hall highlights document to their associates.
- Talking about the Town Hall in FirstCall, team meetings and during one-on-ones.
- Asking open-ended questions such as:
- What did you think of the Town Hall?
- What information did you find most valuable?
- Encouraging associates to ask questions via our “Ask an Exec” form on our Intranet site, FirstSource.
These additions were intended to increase communication between supervisors and their teams, provide guidance and suggestions on how to have these conversations with their associates and to encourage associate engagement.
Though it is hard to measure how many associates tuned in (as many watched in groups), the feedback from our post-event survey was overwhelmingly positive.
As this was my first Town Hall hosted with the company, I know there will be opportunities for innovation and improvement in the future.