If you’ve been in the workforce for more than a year, there’s a good chance you have attended an annual company meeting. Typically, this means a face-to-face event where everyone from the company (or a certain team/department for larger organizations) gets together to discuss last year’s progress and plan/set goals for the year ahead.
In today’s working environment, as more and more employees work remotely, the importance of in-person meetings is increasingly important, not only to reinforce your company’s culture and employee engagement, but for team building and bonding among remote employees.
It’s interesting speaking to people about annual company meetings. I’ve spoken to individuals who say, “My company is far too small for an in-person meeting. We Slack/talk to each other all day every day anyway!” Others have taken issue with the expense – “We just don’t have it in the budget right now.”
At Dots & Lines, we could use both excuses, but we’ve held an in-person annual company meeting since year one. Why do we feel so strongly about this? Here are a few reasons we’ve found beneficial in holding annual company meetings, no matter the size of your company:
Increase your team’s engagement and satisfaction.
As humans we are all wired differently; some of us are talkers, some of us are action based, and some of us just want to be in the room, taking it all in. Understanding the differences among your employees also means understanding the different nuances to celebrating, brainstorming, and growing with each individual. Quality talent needs to feel appreciated and respected by their company. Investing in team meetings, whether annual or more frequent, shows your team that you value their contributions and can help bolster an employee’s confidence, moral and drive.
Review your company purpose.
Holding an annual company meeting at the end of the year allows everyone to focus on what your company means to them, and to explore the company’s values, its culture, with one another in person. In a perfect world, everyone would know and live out their company’s core values on a daily basis. In today’s modern environment of information overload, however, it’s important to have a discussion with your employees to make sure everyone is on the same page in what they are collectively working towards. After all, multiple studies have suggested that employees place greater value on completing work with meaning than a higher salary without a mission they can get behind.
Set your goals and develop a game plan to achieve them.
Sharing what your company’s goals, ambitions and future plans are for the next year is, for most organizations, the main reason for having annual meetings. Holding an annual meeting allows everyone to discuss their ideas and have input in the goals for the company, including what they want to see changed, expanded, or improved in the next year. Discussing this face-to-face puts your team on the same page for a great start to the new year.
Take a moment to recognize your hard work.
Sometimes in the hustle and bustle of everyday work, you forget to stop, take a look around, and recognize the good things your company or department has achieved over the past quarter or year. I know I have been guilty of “finding” impressive documents in my files that I later remember I myself created! Needless to say, an annual company meeting is a great time to not only recognize collective successes but celebrate individual accomplishments.
Enjoy each other’s company!
Last but certainly not least, introducing new team members, or discussing new projects and clients/customers in person is so much more meaningful than through cyber communication. Having new additions meet veteran team members face-to-face allows everyone to get a feel for who they are working with on a daily basis, and allows them to work better together on team projects, proposals and engagements.
If your company is small and you don’t think it is “worth it” to get together at least once a year for an annual meeting, I hope you’ll reconsider. It’s an investment that not only has the potential for significant positive returns in impacting employee engagement and retention (reducing turnover costs), but is our team has found incredibly beneficial.