While remote work has its benefits, it also poses the challenge of keeping employees engaged and fostering cross-functional awareness. To tackle this issue, we maintained our weekly all-hands meeting called “Ask Me Anything” (AMA), even after we became fully remote.
AMA at HackerOne
This is a weekly meeting where we aim to share important information with our employees and also have some fun. Employees value this weekly connection, and it could have to do with the way we organize our agenda:
- An employee volunteers to host the 60-minute meeting every week by signing up on our intranet. This gives everyone a chance to facilitate the conversation.
- We use this meeting to introduce new employees, celebrate anniversaries, and share deadlines for the week.
- The next 30 minutes are dedicated to up to five lightning talks. Employees sign up for 3-5 minute lightning talks in advance and share team updates, policy changes, or any other topics they wish to discuss (like The Art of Brewing Beer at Home).
- After that, we open the floor to live questions and questions posted on the #ama Slack channel. Our motto for AMA is “An honest question receives an honest answer.”
- Finally, we finish the meeting on time, within 60 minutes. Though, sometimes we end early!
- As we are a global company, the meeting is recorded and available for employees at a later time.
The Importance of All-Hands Meetings
A weekly meeting isn’t always a great solution in a remote workplace when so much can “just be an email,” but we have found that coming together every week helps us stay connected and work as a team. This is especially important when working remotely, as it can be challenging to maintain a sense of unity and cohesion. Here are some of the benefits of having an all-hands meeting for a remote team:
Fosters a Sense of Community
Remote work can sometimes leave employees feeling isolated and detached. The weekly AMA serves as a virtual gathering place, allowing team members to come together, answer fun questions (we start each meeting with a unique question, like “is a hot dog a sandwich?”), and reinforce a sense of belonging. These meetings allow everyone to see the faces behind the emails and build personal connections with other Hackeronies.
Strengthens Transparency and Communication
One of our values is Default to Disclosure because we believe transparency builds trust. Leaders use this platform to communicate updates, reinforce company goals, and drive strategic insights directly to the entire team. This transparency helps align everyone with the company’s vision, mission, and current priorities, ensuring every team member is on the same page.
Celebrates Success and Recognizes Contributions
Remote work can sometimes make acknowledging and celebrating individual and team achievements challenging. We share anniversaries, highlight employees with an Execute with Excellence segment, and spotlight outstanding contributions with lightning talks. Recognizing and celebrating success boosts morale and reinforces a positive and rewarding work culture.
Addresses Concerns and Provides Support
HackerOne creates channels for open dialogue. AMA encourages employees to voice concerns, ask questions, and seek support. Our CEO, Marten Mickos, is often the first person to join the meeting, and the executive team prioritizes attendance each week. They openly address common challenges the team faces, provide solutions, and demonstrate their commitment to the well-being and success of every team member.
Enhances Company Culture
Company culture is the glue that binds a team together. AMA reinforces and promotes the company’s values and culture. By sharing project updates, team stories, or showcasing cultural initiatives, these meetings contribute to developing and maintaining our vibrant and positive company culture.
Improves Employee Engagement
Engaged employees are more likely to be productive, innovative, and committed to the company’s success. Employees are encouraged to contribute ideas, share feedback, and participate in discussions each week. This inclusivity fosters a sense of ownership and pride, leading to increased overall job satisfaction.
The weekly HackerOne AMA has been around since 2014, when the company was smaller. But it has become an important part of our culture since we became a digital first company. The meeting keeps everyone connected and is an effective tool for nurturing the community, promoting transparency, and encouraging engagement.