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