Here at MANN+HUMMEL USA, we have established annual All Employee Meetings at our locations in Dunlap, Tennessee and Portage, Michigan. These meetings bring everyone together to review our performance for the year and to explain the company’s plans for the future. They are also a way to acknowledge the contribution our colleagues make and, during the events, we recognize how employee suggestions have improved our workflows, performance and, ultimately, our bottom line.
A Planning Committee, made up of five representatives from various departments within the company, ensures the smooth organization and running of the meetings. Planning starts a full six months in advance as venues and activities need to be agreed upon and booked. And with Dunlap over 500 miles away from Portage, organizing the meeting from a distance tends to pose some logistical challenges.
Having just started my position with MANN+HUMMEL USA in September 2015, I joined the committee half way through preparations for that year’s meetings. From my previous position, I have experience in organizing corporate events such as Family Days and Christmas Celebrations. However, I had never tackled an event of the scale and complexity of the MANN+HUMMEL All Employee Meetings. It was great to work as a team with other members of the Committee – I could bring in some new ideas and I learned a lot from my colleagues. It was hard work but also fun!
A packed schedule
The All Employee Meetings themselves start in the afternoon. After some formal presentations including reports about performance and plans for the future, we then take some time to have a bit of fun, promote team building, and give back to the local community. This year, the Planning Committee took inspiration from the American TV series “The Amazing Race”, which is based on the idea of a treasure hunt. Employees split up into pre-arranged teams and had to solve clues that lead to the next location on the hunt. Once there, the team had to complete a task to win donations such as clothing, toys, books, non-perishable food, and personal hygiene items. The hunt finished on stage in the venue’s Grand Ballroom and all the items collected were then given to a local charity. To round off a successful meeting, participants had the option of staying to enjoy a tasty pizza buffet dinner.
Feedback via a questionnaire distributed after the meetings was, on the whole, very positive. We are always looking for ways to improve – for example, by making the presentations creative and changing up the activities. It is difficult to find the right balance to satisfy everyone; I think, though, that we are heading in the right direction!
Celebrating our employees
In just a few months, we will start planning the 2016 All Employee Meetings. As it is MANN+HUMMEL’s 75th Anniversary year, we want to focus on our employees and give back to them. The Planning Committee and I are currently thinking of how we can achieve this. Of course, if anyone reading this blog article has any ideas or has done something similar in your location, I’d love to hear from you!