Q: I’m supposed to schedule an all-hands meeting for my store this month, and I’m dreading it. Most employees dislike having to come in early or stay late, especially on their day off, and I’m wondering if it’s even worth it. Is there a benefit to an all-team meeting and what content should I include to ensure it’s valuable to my team?

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A: Bemoaning the all-hands meeting is understandable. You are faced with creating content yourself or delivering dry information mandated by your corporate team—and either way, your employees have to sit through it. But when utilized effectively, this time together can help you build and reinforce your culture in a positive way. So, before we even get to the part about content, here’s why you should have an all-hands meeting in the first place and how the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. In our next newsletter, we’ll discuss how you can successfully package and deliver content at your all-hands meeting.

Because psychology

One of your main goals as a leader is to ensure team satisfaction and motivation to continue doing great work. Notably, the factors that cause satisfaction and dissatisfaction are different from each other.

“Hygiene” factors such as obstructive company policies, micromanagement, lack of support, lack of job security and monotonous work cause dissatisfaction while achieving employee satisfaction is linked to recognition of achievement, higher levels of responsibility, promotions, work that matches one’s skill set and ongoing training opportunities. This is called Herzberg’s Two Factor Theory.

Because the causes are different, simply removing the factors that cause dissatisfaction will not create satisfied and motivated employees. Instead, you must also add the motivational factors. Recognition, promotion announcements and training sessions can all happen at your all-hands meeting.

Because biology

In addition to increasing employee satisfaction, an all-hands meeting will also address your team’s needs at a much more basic, human level. As lofty as this sounds, it can be done. Anthropologists have catalogued hundreds of human universals, including those that apply to the workplace. Author Marcus Buckingham clarifies five of them for us this way:

  1. Fear of Death—Need for Security.
  2. Fear of the Outsider—Need for Community.
  3. Fear of the Future—Need for Clarity.
  4. Fear of Chaos—Need for Authority.
  5. Fear of Insignificance—Need for Respect.

As a leader-of-humans, you can have the biggest impact on the need for community, the need for clarity and the need for respect. Addressing the need for authority usually falls on an authority figure such as a parent or long-term mentor and the need for security falls on external factors such as safety rails on roads and baby-proofing of one’s home, etc. While you may become a mentor to your employees for a short time, it’s not likely that you’ll be their mentor for the rest of their lives.

Now that the case for a periodical gathering for your team has been made, we’d like to hear what has made your all-hands meetings successful. Reply to this email and we’ll add your tips and give you a shout out (if you like recognition) in our next newsletter.