Purpose and Key Points when organizing an All Company Meeting
Recently, the phrase “All Company Meeting” has become increasingly common in the business event industry. The company-wide event where all employees gather at the kick-off, year-end, or at the end of the fiscal year is called a “All Company Meeting”, and an increasing number of companies are positioning it as an important internal event.
However, the term “All Company Meeting” originally has a different meaning, and it has become necessary to confirm what the other party means by using the term “general meeting of employees”.
In this article, we will discuss the meaning of “All Company Meeting” and tips for a successful All Company Meeting as a business event.
Two Meanings of the term “All Company Meeting”
Currently, the term “All Company Meeting” has two main meanings: a ‘dictionary definition’ and as a ‘business term’. Since they are quite different, it is important to know both meanings.
1. The definition of the term “All Company Meeting”
When looking in the Japanese dictionary we find the below definition,
shain-soukai 【社員総会】: General Meeting of Employees
<noun> The supreme voting body of an association. It consists of all members of the body, makes decisions and supervises the business of the association. It is usually referred to as the general meeting of an incorporated association or a limited liability company, and in a joint-stock company it is called the shareholders’ meeting.
Reference: The Japanese Language Dictionary (Seisen-ban)
This alone is not very clear, is it?
The definition in the dictionary of the term “All Company Meeting” is the highest decision-making body of an incorporated association (limited liability company, joint-stock company, general incorporated association, etc.), and has the role of electing and dismissing directors, amending the articles of incorporation, and so on.
Originally, it was not an eventful meeting, but a serious meeting that dealt with the fundamental issues of the company, such as appointing directors and the articles of incorporation. However, the “All Company Meeting”, as it is now used in business terms, has almost no such rigid elements.
2. The business term “All Company Meeting”
Although the definition in the dictionary of the term “All Company Meeting” is rather formal, when used as a business term, it has a completely different meaning. In business terms, the term “All Company Meeting” almost always means “a company-wide event held at a milestone time”, such as the beginning or end of a fiscal year, with the participation of all employees. The business term “kickoff” has a similar meaning, but while a kickoff is often used to refer to an event at the beginning of a fiscal year, a All Company Meeting can be held at either the beginning or the end of a fiscal year. In some cases, the event at the beginning of the term when all employees gather is called a “kick-off” and the event at the end of the term is called an “All Company Meeting”, while in other cases, both the beginning and the end of the term are called a general meeting of employees. In other cases, the term “company-wide general meeting” or “company-wide conference” is used to mean the same thing as an All Company Meeting.
Thus, “All Company Meeting” has slightly different meanings depending on who uses it. When using this term, it is necessary to confirm what kind of content it refers to.
The purpose of All Company Meetings
The All Company Meeting in the dictionary sense has a defined implementation and purpose, but what is the purpose of the All Company Meeting as a company-wide event?
An All Company Meeting as a company-wide event is basically held continuously at a specific time each year, such as the beginning or end of the fiscal year. Therefore, although there are some differences depending on when they are held, they are held with the following objectives.
Sharing of vision and management strategy
As the name implies, the All Company Meeting is “an event where all employees gather” and is an excellent opportunity to inform them of the company’s vision and future management strategies. Whether or not employees have a common understanding of their work is directly related to the company’s growth and performance. For this reason, many companies position the sharing of visions and management strategies as the main purpose of the All Company Meeting.
To increase employee motivation and foster a sense of unity
Employee motivation and a sense of unity as a company are indispensable elements in the growth of a company. For this reason, many companies position the All Company Meeting as an opportunity to increase motivation. In addition, companies with a large number of employees and branches have limited opportunities to experience a “sense of unity as a company”, so the employees’ meeting is used as a valuable opportunity to do so.
Opportunities for communication among employees across departments and branches
In companies with a wide range of business activities or many branches and departments, communication among employees tends to be limited to those who are involved in the day to day work. However, good communication among employees has a close relationship with retention and motivation. For this reason, many companies are including communication programs in their All Company Meeting to promote interaction among employees.
What are the main contents of a All Company Meeting?
Let us now take a closer look at the “All Company Meeting” as a company-wide event.
As we mentioned earlier, in business terms, company general meetings are held at the beginning of the fiscal year, at the end of the fiscal year, at the end of the year, and various other timings.
In the case of a All Company Meeting held at the beginning of a fiscal year, the content of the meeting is very similar to that of a “kickoff meeting”.
Now, let’s talk mainly about year-end employee meetings.
A year-end or end-of-year meeting inevitably includes a lot of content that is unique to the end of the fiscal year. The following contents are often included.
1: Announcement of business results
2: Awards ceremony
3: Top management presentations
4: Entertainment content
5: Receptions (Gala Parties)
Announcement of business results
If it’s a company-wide event held at the end of the term, this is an element that cannot be left out. Nevertheless, in the case of a term closing event, there will be a strong element of consolation for employees who have worked hard for the company, so it’s best not to spend too much time on earning results.
While some companies, such as sales-driven companies, hold the awards ceremony as a stand-alone internal event, there are many cases where it is held within the All Company Meeting. The details are explained in “Tips for Success” below, but this content is very important and essential for companies that do not hold a separate awards ceremony.
We explain more about award ceremonies in another article. Please take a look from the link below!
Like the awards ceremony, the top management presentation is one of the highlights of the All Company Meeting. For large companies with nationwide branches, this is a valuable opportunity for the top management to deliver their words directly to all employees. In the case of an end-of-term All Company Meeting, it is recommended to include an element of appreciation for the employees’ hard work in the top management presentation.
We have a separate article on top management presentations, so please take a look at that as well!
Since the end-of-term employee meeting often stands in the same position as the closing ceremony at school, it is recommended to include entertainment content to raise the spirits of employees, rather than just hard content. Since it is the end of the term, it is suitable to include a raffle, a performance by an artist, or other entertainment content that can be enjoyed by the employees with a relaxed mindset.
As of January 2022, it is difficult to achieve this in real life due to the Covid pandemic, but a Gala with “job-well-done party” element are also indispensable. By celebrating the hard work done during the term and interacting in a friendly atmosphere, we can expect an increase in motivation for the next term and beyond.
Should All Company Meeting be held live or online?
When you say “All Company Meeting,” what comes to mind is probably a live event where all employees gather at a large venue. Until the outbreak of the new coronavirus, the term “All Company Meeting” was used to refer to a live event where employees in the thousands or tens of thousands gathered from all over the country.
However, as you know, the 2020 coronavirus disaster has made it difficult to hold events in the form of large gatherings. Since the timing of the employees’ meeting is almost fixed, we cannot use the means of ‘postponing the meeting until things settle down’.
For this reason, employee meetings are rapidly moving online from 2020 onward. Online events have the advantage that there is no upper limit to the number of participants, and with no traveling, less time consuming, and lower costs are the benefits.
Even after the new coronavirus outbreak settles down in the future, All Company Meeting will continue to be held both online and in real life, depending on the decisions made by the company.
What specific content examples are available for online All Company Meetings?
No. 1: Add movement to management policy presentations utilizing captions to attract attention
This is an example from an All Company Meeting at the beginning of the year.
An important presentation was held to announce management policies for the year ahead.
The speaker is in his or her most passionate part of the presentation, but when viewed online, the participants tend to get a little bored because there is not much movement on the screen.
Therefore, instead of just projecting the materials, we displayed the message we wanted to convey with motion captions.
The key to online events is “how to make the screen interesting and into something people want to see”. Even if the content is as rigid as a presentation, you can still attract participants with a little ingenuity.
No.2: A unique online stage production based on a TV show!
It’s never appealing to anybody if we just proceed in the usual event design, so we wanted to do something unique at an online event and held a company-wide general meeting in the motif of a famous Japanese TV program.
The MC was the actual celebrity just as in the original TV show, and the studio set was designed by the TV show’s art team. The company meeting seen through the screen is just like the famous TV show itself!
The online All Company Meeting was meaningful precisely because it was viewed on a screen, just like watching TV.
Key to a Successful All Company Meeting
Since all employees attend the All Company Meeting, it is an event that has a great impact on the entirety of employees. If you can capture the hearts and minds of your employees, it will lead to higher motivation and better results in the following years.
For example, the following elements will make your company’s general employee meeting more attractive.
The All Company Meeting is a valuable opportunity to communicate the company’s vision to all employees. By including it not only at the beginning of the term, such as the kickoff, but also at the end of the term, the vision can be expected to penetrate more deeply into the company’s operations. It is also a good opportunity to share the vision in a different way than at the beginning of the term, such as by recognizing employees and projects that are in line with the corporate vision.
An absolutely essential part of the All Company Meeting as an end-of-term event is to “show appreciation”. By not only recognizing employees for their achievements, but also “showing appreciation to all employees”, you can motivate all employees and foster a spirit of company loyalty.
Preparation of content that provides a sense of togetherness and unity
Since the All Company Meeting is a rare opportunity for employees to experience a sense of unity, it is recommended to include content in which all employees can participate and enjoy. However, events at the end of the fiscal year have a stronger “job-well-done” element, and employees may be on vacation right after, for the New Year’s, so the employee’s mindset and motivation may differ from those held the beginning of the fiscal year. Be sure to choose content that is appropriate for the time of year in which it is employed.
Provide thorough support for the online viewers
Although often forgotten, it is very important to fully support the viewing environment for online viewers for All Company Meetings. The streaming environment and viewer’s devices are different from person to person. Some may only have a smartphone, others may not have wi-fi access at home, and even now that zoom conferencing has become widespread, not everyone is “online ready”. Therefore, when holding an online company meeting, it is important to check the viewer’s environment for all employees before the event, and to assign a staff capable of providing technical support for participants.
With teleworking becoming more of a norm and the original style of daily communication becoming less frequent these days, the role of All Company Meetings where all employees gather is becoming increasingly important. Please refer to this article and plan out and brush up your employee meeting!