Why Justworks holds a weekly all-hands meeting, and as well as suggestions for your all-hands meeting agenda

Why Justworks Will Always Hold A Weekly All-Hands Meeting

Posted June 21, 2016 by Adrienne Smith in Justworks Love
We share our learnings on hosting a weekly all-hands, so your company can pick up a regular all-hands meeting, whatever your team size.

The Justworks all-hands meeting has been a core part of our company culture since day one. While the meeting agenda has shifted as we’ve grown to over 130 employees, the goal remains the same: to provide a weekly opportunity for everyone to discuss, connect, and learn as one collective team.

Having everyone in one place at the same time feels like such a unifying force.

We’re growing so quickly and things are changing so rapidly. All-hands is a chance to back up, look at the big picture, and make sure everyone has the knowledge they need to excel. - Isaac Oates, Justworks founder and CEO

That opportunity has proven benefits for employees. Only 32% of U.S. employees are engaged at work, Gallup reported. But improving employees’ confidence in leadership and pride in their company can improve engagement.

So we’ve shared how and why we conduct our all-hands, in the hopes that you can integrate the same tradition into your company.

What Is an All-Hands Meeting?

The all-hands meeting is essentially a gathering of everyone within a company. As Marc Rosenberg, our product support specialist, put it: “all-hands is a great, unfiltered chat where everyone can feel like an equal and no questions are off the table.”

Ideally, your all-hands is held routinely and with a regular host. At Justworks, our CEO Isaac Oates hosts the hour-long meeting weekly, at the same time each week. If Isaac is out, another team lead takes on the MC responsibility.

Everyone in the Justworks office congregates in our common space around a large screen, while remote employees dial in on video for the discussion and presentation. Contributing team members are asked to finish their slides one business day before our all-hands to ensure the presenters are prepared and there isn’t a last-minute scramble.

What Does Our All-Hands Cover?

Our meeting agenda has grown with the company. Marc shared what the all-hands looked like in 2013 when Justworks was just 10 people.

We had our all-hands meeting every Friday to wrap up the week and provide updates on what was going on in our very early stage. As one of the first client-facing hires, I’d provide updates to the team on the product they were building. Despite the fact that we all sat in the same room, it was still a moment where I felt like I was contributing and could share my voice in a positive and different way. - Marc Rosenberg, Product Support Specialist at Justworks

Currently, the all-hands meeting agenda pulls from any (or all) of the below categories. But no matter the agenda, all-hands always kicks off with music to get the team amped up.

Team Building:

We introduce new employees to the company each week. We also recognize internal job changes and promotions, Justworks anniversaries, and birthdays — the latter often warrants a horoscope reading by Isaac.

Business Updates:

Isaac upholds his belief in transparency by sharing how we’re tracking against revenue goals, board meetings slides, company objectives, and company-wide blockers. Operational updates on the office space, hiring, or upcoming events are included as well.

Learnings:

Justworks teams rotate through presenting evergreen concepts each week. For instance, the marketing team taught everyone our messaging, voice, and tone guidelines. Our engineering team has walked through our site architecture and our security policy.

Guest Speakers:

Occasionally, guest speakers join our all-hands. Guest speakers range from customers to new partners to board members. The format is flexible; we’ve seen presentations, simple Q&As, and “fireside chats.”

Q&As:

We always end all hands with time for general questions or announcements.

Why We Hold Weekly All-Hands Meetings

Essentially, getting everyone in the same space helps everyone get on the same page.

As we’ve grown, teams are becoming more and more autonomous. They each have their own microculture - and that’s amazing to see. All-hands is the weekly opportunity to bring everyone together and also reinforce company values in a holistic way. - Isaac Oates, Justworks founder and CEO

By openly sharing the above topics with the Justworks company, we ensure that everyone at Justworks:

  • Feels like a part of the Justworks community
  • Understands how each team works
  • Knows what’s coming up for the business
  • Is united on the company’s goals and mission
  • Is invested in the company’s success
  • Learns the ins and outs of running a business

Having this weekly mainstay has helped us hold onto our company values as we scale. Have stories of how all-hands have improved your company culture? Share them with us on Twitter @JustworksHR!

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This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.