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Is your company having its first town hall meeting?
It’s a big deal. A town hall is usually hosted by the executives of a company to connect with the employees.
All employees of a company attend a town hall meeting to connect with the higher-ups. Also, employees may get answers to any of their questions as town halls typically have Q&A sessions.
To make an impression during a town hall, you can either be a company executive or ask questions during the Q&A.
If you’re reading this, you’re probably not part of the company’s executives, leaving you with the option to spam the town hall with questions.
We can help with that. Here are some questions to ask a CEO in a town hall to make a good impression in the company.
What’s the purpose of a town hall?
Before asking any question at a town hall meeting, you should know why the company is holding a town hall meeting in the first place.
A town hall bridges the gap between the top executives in a company and the junior employees. Since your CEO won’t be coming around your offices randomly, the town hall is the best avenue for interfacing with the higher-ups in the company.
It can also be an avenue for celebrating success and relaxing from the strenuous day-to-day tasks of the company. Town halls that take place towards the end of a fiscal season tend to go this way.
Before planning questions to ask your CEO during a town hall, it’s crucial to evaluate the purpose of the town hall to plan questions adequately.
You don’t want to ask overly serious questions at a town hall meant for celebrations and relaxations, and you don’t want to ask personal questions in a business meeting.
In short, all of the questions below may not pertain to your specific kind of town hall. Filtering the questions below to meet your needs is an extra step you need to take to ask relevant questions.
That said, let’s get into the extensive list of questions for your CEO during a town hall meeting.
Questions to ask a CEO in a town hall
1- What are the major challenges facing this company?
The main reason why every organization has a CEO is to help solve the challenges facing the company. However, CEOs alone can do nothing without the collective support of the employees.
Asking what the CEO thinks is the major challenge facing the company shows that you’re concerned about the company’s stability and future.
While you may not get plenty of detail about what the CEOs consider as challenges for the company, you will make a positive impression as someone who cares about the company’s long-term development.
Depending on the details of the answer to this question, you may even ask some secondary questions based on the items put forward.
2- What are consumers saying about our company?
If you don’t work in a department that interfaces directly with the customers, a town hall can serve as an opportunity to learn about the organization’s public perception.
Knowing what customers think about the work you’ve been doing is a yardstick to help you determine how well you’ve been working and what you need to improve on.
You can also ask about reviews about your specific department and how the CEO has handled it.
Since every business executive understands that customers make the company, they will appreciate that you sincerely care for the customers, making you appear as a hardworking member of the staff.
3- What are the major projects coming up? How can we accelerate the success of this project?
If there are any credible rumors within the company, there is no better place to confirm them than in a town hall meeting. CEOs make the most decisions for a company, and they know all the present and coming plans for the company.
They may never see the need to share the details of these upcoming projects with the employees until it’s time to implement them.
However, asking them about the upcoming projects and plans for the company, especially as it relates to your specific work division is a valid discussion point.
If any projects are coming up, you should ask how you can contribute to the success of the plans or project. You may also ask for tips on accelerating the project’s implementation to show you care about the company’s long-term growth.
A secretive CEO may decide not to share the details of upcoming plans for the company, but skimming over the surface gives you some idea of what to start preparing for.
4- What are the criteria for promotions?
This question requires some courage but is the most productive question of the lot. While executives never readily tell employees how to scale through the ranks, asking them about it makes them feel compelled to let out some hints.
You’re likely to get an informational response, as company executives like to be transparent. They need you to understand they always make transparent decisions crucial for the overall good of the company.
This question is even more crucial if you plan to stay with the company over the long term.
It doesn’t only hint at what you need to do for accelerated success, but it also shows the top executives that you’re committed to the company and not seeking out.
5- What are the biggest strengths of this organization, in your opinion?
If you need to know the priorities of the CEO in the company, try asking: what are the company’s strengths.
Many CEOs will say that the employees are the biggest strength to motivate them to work harder. However, you want something more specific and detailed than a vague compliment.
Also, they should list some of the qualities that make the company stand out and encourage other employees to work harder for the company’s greater good.
6- What are your interests outside of the company?
Since this question is more personal than business-oriented, it is only appropriate for celebratory occasions if you’ve had previous interactions with the CEO.
Also, their answer to this can reveal a lot about their personality. Asking this question is one of the best ways to know what the CEO wants from their employees.
In addition to that, this question strengthens the relationship between you as an employee and your employer. However, you don’t want to ask this question at a business-oriented town hall meeting for obvious reasons.
7- How can I help you grow the company as an employee?
This question puts you at the center and not as part of a department or even the entire company. Most employees tend to think that they should always work and act as part of a collective team.
While teamwork is essential for the success of an organization, the decision-makers at any company see their employees as individuals and not a team.
When was the last time you heard that a company fired an entire department?
That’s why offering to help the CEO make the company better is crucial to your general perception of the company.
You may not get a direct answer right away, but this question will draw the CEO’s attention to you and not in a negative way.
8- How can we help with the long-term growth and stability of the company?
Unlike the previous question, this question makes you a part of the majority. You’re essentially asking what role you can play in the company as part of a team or department.
This question elicits a more direct response, and the CEO should acknowledge your department’s hard work and successes over the years.
At the same time, you’ll get some actionable tips on how to get better recognition and forward the company.
While this question doesn’t highlight your commitment to the company like the previous question does, it shows that you value teamwork. Teamwork is a crucial value for any organization’s development.
9- What are the main challenges you face as a CEO? How can we help?
CEOs face a lot of challenges over the day-to-day running of a company. Every decision a senior executive makes is crucial to the company, and they all have to make many decisions every day.
Hiring employees is just as tasking as firing them. Ensuring that the customers are satisfied with a company’s products or services is a lot for one person to wrap their heads around.
Asking about the challenges they face as they carry out their daily duties shows that you care about them and want to simplify their job as the CEO.
Even if they don’t have any main challenges that you can help with, they understand that you’re willing to help if there are any, thereby entrusting you with more tasks and accelerating your personal career growth.
10- What do you think are some of our weaknesses?
Growing a company isn’t all about dominating the industry and offering the best services. Sometimes, you need to identify and review your weaknesses and devise strategies to conquer them.
A way to start is knowing what those weaknesses are. What do customers mostly complain about?
The CEO works directly with the public relations department, so he should have sufficient knowledge of the company’s problems.
However, it doesn’t stop at asking the question and getting an answer. You should also devise a means to overcome the weaknesses if it’s up to you.
What You Shouldn’t Ask a CEO in a Town Hall
CEOs are pretty intelligent individuals. Putting an entire load of an organization on your shoulders is no small work, and that’s what they do on a daily. So, they know perfect ways to avoid answering uncomfortable questions.
The questions you shouldn’t ask the CEO of your company aren’t necessarily uncomfortable. They are questions that make you come across as someone who isn’t genuinely interested in the company.
Also, some questions signify that you want out of the company, and you’ll be open to offers outside of the company.
You should generally avoid questions relating to bonuses, pay, holidays or options and work from home options.
These questions show that you have little interest in the day-to-day company activities, and you’ll sign out if the option is available.
When preparing the possible questions to ask your CEO in a town hall, add questions with positive sentiments. These questions show that you’re comfortable working with the company and deeply care about its overall growth.
However, questions that show you’re interested in the long-term growth of a company are always welcome.
Also, you can ask questions relating to your career development if they also relate to the company’s development as a whole.
Over the years, CEOs are turning to regular town hall meetings to meet and interface with other employees in the company.
While a town hall is usually informative and educative, it is also interactive, as most town hall meetings feature a robust questions and answers session.
The questions and answers session is a perfect way to show your commitment to the company and learn about some projects the CEO is planning for the company’s future.
However, choosing irrelevant questions could have opposite effects on your career growth.
In this article, we listed ten relevant questions to ask a CEO in a town hall meeting. Also, we added some guidelines for questions you should avoid asking a CEO and why.
After studying this post, you should be with plenty of questions, ready to take center stage in your next town hall meeting.
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