One highly effective strategy to engage employees at scale is through a company town hall.

Much more than a problem of low morale or behind-the-scenes grumbling, disengaged employees cost the world a jaw-dropping $7.8 trillion in lost productivity. That’s equal to 11% of global GDP. According to a recent survey from Gallup, nearly one in three employees are disengaged at work. On the flip side, companies with successful employee engagement realize about 23% greater profits.

Company town halls can help keep your employees connected and engaged, especially in dispersed work environments.

What is a company town hall meeting?

A company town hall is typically an organization-wide meeting in which the leadership team connects with employees, shares critical business information, recognizes employee efforts, and promotes company values. These meetings can be held in person, virtually, or in a hybrid format.

Unfortunately, the challenging logistics of travel and planning an in-person town hall prevent many companies from holding them. This is especially true for companies with large-scale workforces and multiple business locations. Virtual town halls provide an effective, scalable solution for bringing employees together.

The value of a virtual town hall

While in-person meetings will always provide value in certain situations, video is the ideal medium for company town halls for a number of reasons:

  1. Sense of community: At their core, company town halls connect employees and leaders, fostering a greater sense of community in your organization. If you have a large company with several offices, making these meetings virtual is a great way to boost camaraderie across different geographies.
  2. Better reach: We spoke with Akamai’s Senior Global Events Manager Simon Gerzina about how his team dramatically expanded their reach with virtual town halls: “We used to fly executives around to major offices worldwide to go on a whistlestop tour over the course of two or three weeks. During the pandemic, that became a virtual program. As a virtual program, we had much better adoption because we could actually touch everyone. We went from only being able to get in front of maybe 50% of our population, to being able to get in front of 100% of our people with the recording and 80% live” (Case study: How a global tech provider scaled video production without increasing its budget).
  3. More inclusive: Greater reach yields greater inclusivity. Virtual company town halls provide better accessibility to employees who work remotely, manage caregiving duties, have a different learning style, or are unable to come into the office due to an illness or disability.
  4. Flexibility: Video recordings enable employees to watch your company town hall on their time. For example, some employees may have conflicts during the originally scheduled meeting. Others may want to reference the recording later. Company town hall videos also make great onboarding resources.
  5. Audience engagement: Many employees don’t want to speak up in front of their entire company and therefore remain silent during large, in-person meetings. Virtual town halls, however, allow for chat and polling functionality, creating a lower stress audience engagement option. Employees can even pre-record messages of themselves to play during the town hall (How to create authentic employee spotlights with cloud-based video).

Finding the right virtual town hall meeting platform

Employees have grown increasingly fatigued with the standard video conference experience. To keep them engaged, video meetings need to become more intentional and dynamic (6 reasons why recording content on Zoom is coming up short).

The right virtual town hall meeting platform should strike a balance between production quality and ease of use. Socialive’s all-in-one cloud platform, for example, provides intuitive tools that enhance production value and transform communications across the enterprise. From beginners to full-fledged video experts, Socialive enables anyone in your organization to easily create branded, immersive town hall experiences that inspire, inform, and engage employees.

Plus, one-click integrations ensure you can distribute broadcasts directly to all your social media accounts, meeting and event platforms, file hosting sites, marketing automation platforms, and video editing tools.

Tips to improvement company town hall engagement

Now that we’ve covered the importance of company town halls and what to look for in a virtual solution, you’re probably wondering how to make the content of your presentation more engaging. Luckily for you, we’ve got a few tips:

Pre-record content

Eliminate on-air stress and give yourself ample time to add finishing touches by remotely recording your content in advance (Why remote video production is the future of enterprise communications). Not only does this method better accommodate executives’ busy schedules, it also enables you to hear from more voices across the organization.

Include interactive live components

Connect an audience engagement tool like Pigeonhole with your Socialive account to add live chat, polls, Q&As, reactions, and more to your company town hall program.

Amplify diverse voices

Source pre-recorded content from your employees (Guide to capturing video content in the field), which can be seamlessly interspersed with live and other pre-recorded videos to showcase more perspectives across your company.

Prep your presenters

You might assume leaders are naturally good on camera, but they can often use a little coaching to make sure everything goes smoothly (8 ways to improve the thought leader experience in talking head videos).

Experiment with delivery formats

Psst! Your company town hall doesn’t need to be live. Experiment with the way you deliver your presentation to see what resonates best with your employees. For example, you could pre-record the entire town hall, then set up a 30-minute live Q&A session to answer any questions employees might have after they watch the recording (Asynchronous video communication: How to prepare for the future of work).

The business impact of company town halls

Working to improve employee engagement through an engaging company town hall delivers enormous business impact. Virtual town halls can help you maintain strong connections with employees and re-engage employees who have become disconnected from your company’s leadership and objectives.

Take a quick, self-guided tour of our platform to see how Socialive can help you produce studio-quality company town halls that keep your team connected and engaged.

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