Townhall meetings, forums, or “hands-all” meetings are company-wide regular gatherings. These meetings are vital elements in an organizational context to ensure better management, recurrent pronouncing of an organization’s value and culture, delivering all the updates first-hand, and providing a platform to share feedback or inputs or inquire about anything. As its other moniker suggests, hands-all meetings are for everyone to attend, the employees and the leaders held at the end of the quarter, season or year. In this article, we provide some examples questions to ask your CEO in a town hall
Questions to ask executives(CEO, COO, CTO) in a town hall
Speaking of assigning enough time for Q&A sessions, one might wonder what sort of questions could be asked at a town hall meeting to make an impression. Here’s a list:
If the company is facing any challenges? If yes, what are they?
First up, this question makes it seem that you truly are concerned about the organization’s future. Whatever the answer you get, detailed or sappy, you note and see how you or your department can reduce those forthcoming challenges.
What are the major upcoming projects the company is taking?
Like the earlier question, this question also makes it seem that you are really concerned and interested in where the company is heading shortly. Make a note of the answer you receive and ponder how you can be a resource inefficiently taking up those projects.
What are the steps being taken for gender diversity in the company
Gender diversity should be the key focus for the companies and asking this question will help you to understand the focus for the company
Growth and Hiring plans
Every employee needs to know the growth and hiring plans of the company. Based on the reply from the executives, you should drill down to get a detailed answer.
What work plan is the company executing to overcome current market crisis or challenge?
The question can put the employer(s) in a sensitive spot since they cannot deny that the company is suffering due to imminent market conditions. Their answer will be very vital, for it will hint towards the actual work-plan the leaders have decided to carry the company through tough situations.
How are the issues surfaced to you and other leaders?
As an employee, it is your right to know how your troubles and concerns are floated upwards to your leaders. Knowing this, you might put forward your grievances better so that they reach the right person, and the employers will be compelled to initiate better and reliable channels for hearing and solving those grievances.
On what certain criteria are promotions made?
Asking such a question will unfold several layers of facts. The speakers will be compelled to answer, and their answer will reflect how they think one qualifies to be promoted. It will help the employers in two ways- first, they will get to know what is expected from them to move up in ranks. Second, their response will ensure no biases and arbitrary decision-making is involved in making promotions.
How do you think the latest measures taken by the board will add value to the organization?
The question is direct and crisp, just as how it should be. Either it can be a standalone question or a follow-up question. There might be some exclusive announcements made in the meeting and you putting such a question makes you appear attentive, curious, and concerned all at the same time.
What will be your course of action if the strategy you proposed backfires?
The question is direct, practical, and undoubtedly a significant one. The response you get will give everyone an insight into your leaders’ mindset and how foresighted they have been in employing the proposed strategy. It will also give you an idea about your and your department’s role if the plan backfires and the company is faced with a crisis.
Do you regret any decision you made last quarter or season?
The question demands the speaker to be vulnerable. Asking such a question will leave the impression that you wish to grasp your employer more.
What, according to you, are the biggest strengths of our company?
The answer to this question will automatically influence the morale and outlook of the employees. While counting the strengths, a leader cannot forget to mention the people who work for him/her. Praising the employees boosts their morale and guarantees more dedication, hard work, and more fruitful outcomes.
How can I, as an employee, help you?
Asking this question shows that you are devoted to the company, are responsible, a hard worker, and strive to bring more success to the organization. It shows that you really are interested in and moved by their speech or presentation and wish to contribute to achieving the desired goals with utmost dedication.
How are you doing?
A little personal but an easy and simple question like this can actually create an impact. You asking this question to your leader shows that you acknowledge that even they can not be okay, and that is okay. Such a question can lighten the forum’s serious atmosphere and make the speakers feel a little at ease. They will remember you as a caring and compassionate person.
What are your outside interests?
Again a little personal, but the question is apt to ask if the meeting is more of an ice breaker session for the employees and the employers. Getting to know your employers personally gives you an indication about their personality, temper, and how much involved and connected they wish to be their employees by opening up to them.
Well, now that you have an idea about what kinds of questions one can put up in a company town hall meeting, you might as well discuss some Dos and Don’ts to make sure you leave an impact on the speakers so that they remember you.
- Make sure your question is well-phrased, meaning it is precise, direct, and devoid of any fumbling.
- Maintaining eye contact while asking your question with the person you wish to address gives the impression that you are solemn and curious.
- Be professional and respectful, and make sure to do some research about the speakers and the topic they presented or spoken on beforehand.
- Make sure you look presentable, for the leaders might remember you if you ask the right question.
- Introduce yourself and mention which department you work for before asking the question.
- Make use of a mic, if provided, so that your question is loud and clear enough for everybody without you uttering it more than once.
- Make a note of the points you think need more clarification so that when you put up the question, it is direct and appropriately phrased.
GOALS OF A TOWN HALL MEETING
A town hall meeting, when done right, will serve major goals like increasing transparency, reinforcing culture, sharing updates, etc. But when done wrong, they can turn out to be absolute blunders or just a waste of everyone’s time.
Some of the goals that a company town hall meeting should aim at are:
- Bridging the gap between the employee and the employer: Town hall meetings can serve as amazing ice breaker sessions for both the employees and the leaders. Townhall meetings manage to bring everyone to the same table, encourage interaction, and share ideas, updates, and experiences. On the employees’ part, they get to understand their leaders’ mindsets, grasp the needed actions for the betterment of the organization, and get motivated to achieve bigger goals. Employers get a sneak peek into their employees’ mindsets, understand their struggles while working, get to know their future aspirations, and praise the employees for boosting them.
- Reinforce the company’s cultures and values: Town hall meetings are efficient in communicating from one end to another. Address help reinforce the culture of a company and the values that it endorses. Building culture can be a lot easier in town hall meetings. A clear layout can be communicated that apprehensively discusses how one can redress an issue, share a message, and go about hearing it and solving it.
- Promoting teamwork: One of the most important factors that ensure a company’s success is the spirit of teamwork and collaboration. Hands-all meetings provide a stage to re-address and re-assert the importance of working as a team to harp immense capital benefits on both organizational and individual levels. Leaders get to interact with their employees equivocally and instill in them the need for teamwork and collaboration for the good of one and all.
- To get unfiltered feedback: Town hall meetings are a little on the informal side of gatherings. Since no one is needed to be prim and proper, one can expect to get some honest and organic feedback about a certain something in the company. If the leaders want to get to their employees’ pulse and want to know what they really think of the workplan or a strategy, a town hall meeting can be a boon if and when conducted smartly. The math behind it is elementary- when one feels relaxed and not bound to act prissy or with dignity, one naturally tends to express himself honestly.
- To celebrate success: Hands-all meetings need not serve a strict goal. Sometimes a meeting can be about relaxing, celebrating, and getting to know your colleagues. A little break is necessary, and these sorts of breaks improve teamwork as light-hearted conversations take place.
HOW TO HOLD A COMPANY TOWN HALL MEETING
There are no standard rules as to how one must go about holding a town hall meeting. Here are some Dos and Don’ts that can help one plan a successful town hall meeting:
- Plan on venue and audiences: You need to keep in mind that a single meeting will have to cater to two audiences. The First will be the speakers or presenters, and the second will be the employees. Discuss at length the timeline the speakers would like to use so that you can plan better around those timelines. Try to schedule a town hall meeting mid-week as employees are most available then. Choosing a venue when holding the meeting at an offsite location will require foresight. An ideal venue must provide catering, production, and technology.
- Do not organize it all alone: If the number of attendees exceeds 30, you certainly need to get yourself a team to help you plan and execute. It is always good to have extra pairs of hands and eyes to organize an event like this. Small things, like editing slides, handling catering, equipment testing, or spotting a question in the audience, can make or break your meeting.
- Allow ample time for Q&A sessions: Sometimes, you get engrossed with timelines of speakers and presenters and time for refreshments, that the amount of time that should be assigned for a fruitful Q&A session cuts short. It is critical to plan the event so that ample time is assigned for such sessions as interactions are what such meetings aim at.
Conclusion on questions to ask in a town hall
A town hall meeting, also known as a hands-all meeting or town hall forum, is a meeting an organization holds every season or year where everyone participates, employees as well as the employers. Such a gathering aims at bringing everyone to the same table. Employers get to know their employees’ plans, problems, and concerns, and vice versa. Secondly, to instill the spirit of teamwork and collaboration and how the two are essential for a company’s success. And thirdly, to celebrate success and relax for a while. A town hall meeting when done right and right questions asked in a town hall will reap multiple benefits bit when done wrong will result in a mere waste of time and resources. So to plan a successful event, one must be careful of some points. Working with a team reduces stress and increases efficiency; carefully picking the venue with all necessary equipment and catering will bust major issues and such. Then, to make it engaging, assigning ample for Q&A sessions is essential. As an employee, town hall meetings are golden chances to stand out and make an impression for yourself in the eyes of your employers. Asking precise and impactful questions in the right way will help you in doing that.
Comment below other questions to ask in a town hall and we will update the list
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