"Ask me Anything," (AMA) sessions seem to be a trend that started in online forums, but their value is quickly being interpreted into a much wider business arena. The main idea is to create a completely open floor, where engaged employees can freely express themselves, with no fear of judgement.
How to Create Contact
One of the basic questions CEOs and senior executives face in today’s competitive world, is how exactly to keep employees engaged. Increased engagement has many benefits including increased productivity (by 56%), reduction in a likelihood of switching jobs by 37%, and an increased ability to provide creative ideas by 35%. But, even with the world becoming more connected, ensuring that employees feel engaged within an organization is still proving to be a big challenge. AMA sessions conducted physically or virtually through apps such as Hyphen can come to your rescue here.
AMA sessions can be conducted as a public meeting, or through private forums, set up by the company itself. Although an "in-person" AMA can be very effective, you might not necessarily engage the silent majority at your company might not be comfortable asking questions in large gatherings. Virtual AMA sessions have the advantage that you and your employees can ask and answer anytime from anywhere.
How to Get the Ball Rolling
AMAs can be done through bi-weekly, or monthly meetings, and provide a forum for your employees to bring up topics and questions that matter most to them. Virtual AMA's solve for the typical busy schedules. With virtual AMAs, you can stay engaged with your employees even in the middle of business trips that might take you across the coast or across the globe.
In addition, with AMAs, answering a single question can get you the multiplicative effect of engaging with all other employees who engage with that question. This can be a great channel for you to explain further nuances in your business strategy or basic operational decisions.
Organizations need to try new approaches and technologies to ensure engagement with employees and knowing how to engage with your employees is the first step to a transparent business approach. If your employees know where you are coming from, they'll always be on your side.
In addition, it’s important to know your workforce and their drivers. For example, in a survey by Deloitte, "Six out of ten millennials said a sense of purpose was part of the reason they chose to work for their current employer." Communicating about issues that you know are important for your employees and reinforcing the company culture and values through the AMA sessions can help you reap rewards in the form of engaged employees and higher retention rates.
In the end, how well you communicate with your team about your company’s strategy, goals, and culture will be a big part of how successful you will be in achieving them. A team that is regularly updated and feels connected will always be in your corner fighting every inch of the way for you!