Improving engagement at Colleague Townhall Meetings
We have conducted the townhall meeting quarterly and would like to enhance our colleague's engagement during the meeting. I'd love to hear engagement ideas you may have that would help enhance this.
We expect this meeting is a chance for mutual communication with colleagues, culture sharing and fun.
There are so many ideas, first of all keep in mind your organisations purpose and the purpose of the town hall - so keep your objectives clear - if you mind map keep that in the centre.
I have assumed you are operating face to face for your town halls.
Put yourself into your audience's shoes, what are they hoping for, what might they be fearful about (for example, don't do trust falls as people will rarely engage in such activities and will want to try to avoid future events).
Add to your mind map spokes about how you can make the content fun and engage:
- Team-based activities rather than solo
- Reduce too much open space talking to all (imagine you are one person in the room who really hates speaking and the limelight is put on you to talk about something for a minute)
- The power of 3, small groups of 3 people is an ideal number to have conversation, be heard and listen to others
- Be creative - use areas of the room, get people to move and use resources such as flip charts, paper, even balloons so long as the purpose links back to what you're aiming to achieve
How you might do this.
Before everyone arrives stick a coloured post it note under each chair.
Welcome all and sign post that they will be in for a different experience today, you want to make these more interactive. Reassure of participants safety and that they won't be asked to stand up and sing or be put on the spot in the whole room, etc. Ask for people to engage in what they find fun and interesting and thank them in advance for their willingness to try something a bit different.
Ask them to look under their seats and pick up their post it note, write one word on the post it note about how they'd like to feel at the end of the event.
Guide them to introduce themselves to their neighbour and their post it note. Allow 1 minute and use an audible bell. Next encourage a mingle introduction where they find someone they don't know and this time they get 2 minutes with the bell. Then rotate. Do this a max of 4 times.
Ask everyone to pop their post it note on a wall - the wall should be full of good feeling, the energy they got from sharing their intention should have created a boost in emotion. Signpost "Thanks so much, look you're buzzing already, if you can do this in 10 minutes I'm excited to see the rest of the day! Thank you".
Then move to group activities with a purpose and a way to capture the outcomes so people know that they contributed to or learnt something valuable WHILST having fun too.
After, they tell others, who are keen and curious to attend. Mix it up each time so there's an element of 'safe surprise'.