Human Resources

What are All-hands Meetings & How Can They Boost Team Morale?

Published on June 13, 2022 • Updated on December 7, 2022 • About 9 min. read

Build an internal communication strategy with Livestorm

Sign up for free
What are All-hands Meetings & How Can They Boost Team Morale

Boosting team morale takes work.

Within large companies and remote or hybrid offices, it can be especially hard to unify cross-departmental teams, leadership, and stakeholders – and experience the company cohesiveness that drives morale.

One solution is to hold an all-hands meeting. But, how can yet another meeting boost team morale?

We’ve asked our internal communications team to tell us:

  • What all-hands meetings are
  • How they differ from other meetings
  • Why you should host one
  • What a typical all-hands meeting agenda looks like
  • How you can organize one, and what tools to use
  • How to make it engaging
  • How to measure the success of your all-hands meeting

Let’s dive in.

Internal Communication Strategies for a Hybrid Work Environment
Webinars Webinars

Internal Communication Strategies for a Hybrid Work Environment

Learn how Guru and Livestorm adapted their internal communication strategies to create higher engagement and collaboration in this hybrid environment.

Read more

What is an all-hands meeting?

An all-hands meeting is an in-person or virtual company-wide meeting organized by upper management, where stakeholders and leaders discuss important company updates and organizational topics with employees.

The purpose of an all-hands meeting is to provide transparency to employees, introduce new team members, celebrate wins, and discuss key projects or priorities – to interactively align teammates around company objectives.

Company all-hands meeting

What’s the difference between an all-hands meeting and a town hall meeting?

All-hands meetings are typically top-down, meaning upper management handles all things business communication – including topics covered and the meeting agenda. These meetings help unify dispersed teams, especially hybrid or remote teams, with important company information, updates, and procedures.

Town hall meetings act as an open forum for employees to discuss issues, projects, company updates, or anything they want – and aren’t necessarily run by upper-level management. They open up the floor to employees so they can ask questions, improve processes, understand company updates, and get real face time with executives.

What’s the difference between all-hands meetings and team-building meetings?

Whereas all-hands meetings are information-based meetings run by company executives or upper management, team-building meetings are focused on building trust among teams with games or activities that help employees get to know each other and build rapport.

What are the benefits of an all-hands meeting?

All-hands meetings are an integral part of many companies’ internal communication plan and come with many benefits:

  • They foster a sense of community culture through team and company alignment: having everyone in a shared space brings out a more human side of the business and lets employees put a face to executives’ names.
  • The opportunity to build a collaborative team environment by removing bureaucratic barriers and engaging directly with employees – adding to their sense of belonging.
  • They enable businesses to share unified key updates and information with teams, which helps employees rally around a common goal and boost team morale.
  • Virtual all-hands meetings can be a cost-effective alternative to in-person events.
  • They bring a sense of cohesion around company objectives, and how much interdepartmental collaboration is required to meet goals – which increases team building, productivity, and morale.
Internal Communication Strategies for a Hybrid Work Environment
Webinars Webinars

Internal Communication Strategies for a Hybrid Work Environment

Learn how Guru and Livestorm adapted their internal communication strategies to create higher engagement and collaboration in this hybrid environment.

Read more

What does a corporate all-hands meeting agenda look like?

Corporate all-hands meeting agendas differ depending on what you want to disclose and achieve, but here are some ideas on what to include to boost morale.

All-hands meeting agenda template

Here’s a sample all-hands meeting agenda template you can use to delight your employees:

  1. Welcome address or icebreaker by an executive or senior leader (that’s running the meeting) to set the mood. Keep this short to make sure all meeting topics are discussed and not waste anyone’s time.
  2. Present the meeting agenda to everyone present so they’re aware of what to expect during the meeting.
  3. Introduce new team members so they’re ready to participate in the meeting and feel welcomed by the team.
  4. Share business updates, news, or key announcements with your team to promote unity and cohesion.
  5. Share specific project updates, priorities, and wins to ensure cross-departmental alignment and mobilize teams around common objectives.
  6. Spotlight a certain team, employee, or client-success story to foster a sense of collective achievement.
  7. Closing remarks and key takeaways to thank employees and leave them with notions of value gained.
company-wide meeting with four people

What should you cover in an all-hands meeting?

Topics you should cover in an all-hands meeting include introductions to new employees, company news updates, departmental progress reports, project priorities and success stories.

  • Introductions for new employees and sharing employee news: Create a sense of belonging for new employees and share a bit about their background. Sharing information about your employees humanizes your team and breaks the ice for future employee contact and even friendships.
  • Business updates, news, or key announcements: Keep employees informed about important company news, updates, or announcements – from client acquisition to financial achievements – to promote transparency and build trust.
  • Department progress reports: Connect teams by honing in on each team’s specific challenges, growth opportunities, and accomplishments, to boost empathy and interdepartmental understanding.
  • Project updates, priorities, and wins: Keep employees up to date on key projects, their success, and when or if priorities change. This helps keep everyone on the same page and unifies teams around common goals.
  • Success stories: Let your team know when they’ve done a great job, or share any client-success stories, to boost morale and inspire collective cooperation.

How do you organize a great all-hands meeting?

Use this guide to keep you on target while organizing your all-hands meeting:

  1. Determine what topics or updates you want to cover during the meeting and which executive will be leading it: they should be experienced at moderating meetings and well versed in public speaking.
  2. Plan the meeting agenda and allot a time for the meeting. Make sure you select a realistic number of topics given the timeframe, to limit a backlog of (not-so-relevant) topics.
  3. Prepare a presentation, slide show, or visuals to accompany your material.
  4. Set a date and create an event in your company calendar.
  5. Promote the event using internal communication tools and software.
  6. If you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid meeting, test out the tech required for a seamless virtual experience. If you’re using a browser-based platform like Livestorm, attendees can simply click the meeting link without downloading anything.
  7. Share the agenda and send out automated reminders before the meeting.
  8. Record the meeting and send it to attendees and no-shows after
  9. Survey attendees to get feedback about the event, and analyze your engagement analytics.
Hybrid all-hands meeting

How can you engage employees during an all-hands meeting?

You don’t need to hire a live band to make an all-hands meeting engaging – but, you can use these helpful tips. These include breaking the ice, defining topic segments, using an engaging video platform, including quizzes, and putting a spotlight on employee success.

Break the ice in all-hands meetings

Since all-hands meetings are top-down meetings, it’s that much more important to engage your audience. Using an icebreaker to open the meeting or asking icebreaker questions (for example, unusual snack preferences, or off-beat movie recommendations) engages employees from the start and adds to a more relaxed atmosphere.

Have defined topic segments and supporting visuals

For more structured meetings, such as all-hands meetings, having defined topic segments with relevant visual support helps keep employees’ attention on the topic at hand, and breaks up the information presented into more digestible pieces. The more visual aids and topic variation, the higher the engagement.

Use an interactive video engagement platform

If you’re looking to host more engaging online meetings, you’ll need an interactive platform such as Livestorm to promote easy company communication across the board. Use our polls to gather attendee feedback, live chat feature for instant employee responses, or reaction emojis to quickly gauge attendee sentiments.

Arming your employees with the tools that help them respond and react fast to key discussion topics gives them more reason to participate and engage (here are some more virtual event ideas to boost engagement).

Hosting an all-hands meeting using Livestorm

Include games or quizzes

Break up your meeting with interactive games or quizzes to fuel employee engagement. Make them simple and quick, so employees can jump in and out of the game or activity without disrupting the flow of the meeting.

Spotlight employee success

Give employees a shout-out in front of all their colleagues to spark joy and motivate teammates. Simply highlighting a job well done can encourage employee engagement and healthy competition, and lift morale.

Save important announcements until the end

There’s nothing more engaging than anticipation – so use it to your advantage. Save the best announcements for last to compel employees to engage until the end. Topics like company trips, bonuses, added benefits, or team building events are a great way to boost engagement and leave employees on a high note.

What tools do you need to host an all-hands meeting?

There are many tools you can use to host an all-hands meeting – and the tool stack you choose largely depends on where you’re hosting it.

For in-person meetings, use Google Slides or Microsoft Powerpoint to display your meeting materials and visuals as you’re presenting.

For virtual or hybrid meetings, you’ll need a high-quality video engagement platform like Livestorm to ensure a streamlined virtual experience.

Livestorm’s easy-to-use, browser-based platform quickly connects and engages teams with features like: polls & surveys, virtual whiteboards, file & media sharing, emoji reactions, and live chat functionality.

Livestorm polls feature for all-hands meetings

The best part is that it integrates with all the tools you need for effective meeting management and hosting:

  • Mailchimp: sync email lists with attendees’ emails
  • Typeform: send pre-meeting surveys and build up your registrants
  • Google Analytics: monitor analytics from your personal event view
  • Slack: set up pre-meeting and new registrant alerts

Pro tip: Go beyond all-hands meetings and use Livestorm to host a webinar or virtual event and maximize engagement opportunities to delight employees and boost morale.

How do you know if your all-hands meeting is successful?

To measure the success of your all-hands meeting, gather feedback from attendees with an anonymous survey to highlight areas of improvement and further engagement opportunities.

If you’re using Livestorm, you can access comprehensive meeting analytics for registrations, attendance, and participation rates – to make data-driven decisions with real impact.

Livestorm’s analytics dashboard

Boost morale with all-hands meetings

When balancing internal vs external communication, you’ll find that all-hands meetings are essential for the company-wide alignment and cohesion that builds morale.

Engage employees with fun icebreakers and shout-outs, inform them of important updates, and outline key objectives for company-wide adoption and motivation. If you’re hosting a virtual or hybrid meeting, use Livestorm to help you interactively engage attendees, track meeting performance, and integrate useful tools, all from one place.

Frequently asked questions about virtual all-hands meetings

How often should a company host an all-hands meeting?

A company should host an all-hands meeting every week to keep employees up to date with daily operations.

Can you hold an all-hands meeting over Zoom?

You can hold an all-hands meeting over Zoom, but the need to download and install the software is an obstacle that hinders participation, and it has limited engagement features. Instead, use a browser-based video engagement platform like Livestorm to easily connect and engage your audience.

What should you prepare for an all-hands meeting?

For an all-hands meeting, you should prepare a meeting agenda and a visual presentation, and set up an event page with a registration form.

How should you promote an all-hands meeting?

You can promote an all-hands meeting over your company’s internal communications channels, like Slack, social media channels, or email.

What are some important questions to ask in an all-hands meeting?

Important questions to ask in all-hands meetings involve asking each team leader about departmental results and big updates. Since all-hands meetings aren’t a two-way exchange between leadership and employees, like town hall meetings, keep questions minimal and focused on key updates.

What are other names for an all-hands meeting?

All-hands meetings are sometimes called “forums”, “all staff meetings”, and “company-wide meetings”, They’re often confused with town hall meetings, but a town hall meeting is more question and answer based while all-hands meetings are generally more focused on conveying a message and making a key presentation.