👏 Customer Story: Creating a Live Dialogue with Employees at All‑hands Meetings by Suntory

  • 2 November 2021
  • 3 replies
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👏 Customer Story: Creating a Live Dialogue with Employees at All‑hands Meetings by Suntory
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  • Slido Community Manager
  • 178 replies

 

Some time ago, we talked to Norito Yonezawa, Corporate Strategy Planner at Suntory Beverage & Food Limited, a global leader in producing soft drinks and food products based in Japan and one of our most engaged customers. 

 

✨ We’d like to highlight Suntory’s story of how Slido helped them transform their company culture and gave voice to their more silent employees. 

 

Like any multinational corporation, it’s vital for Suntory to keep its teams aligned. To connect its 24,000 employees with the executive team, it runs quarterly townhall meetings.

Traditionally, in Japanese business culture, people tend to avoid asking questions or participating actively in meetings. Suntory wanted to change that. Its goal was to create a safe space for its employees to open up and start a live discussion during their townhalls.

 

“With Slido, we can see more honest questions that the executives answer from the top of their heads. Hearing what people really think makes the conversation feel more authentic.”

Norito Yonezawa, Corporate Strategy Planner, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

 

The need for a live dialogue during townhalls

 

Suntory’s aim was clear. We wanted more people to speak up in meetings, shared Norito.

But that came with a challenge: overcoming a cultural hurdle.

“The Japanese are more shy and quiet than other nationalities. They don’t often share their opinions during all-company meetings”, Norito explained.

In the past, Suntory tried different ways to make the conversation feel as live as possible.

 

“We would find two to three people in the audience who would ask a scripted question. But it didn’t feel natural. Sometimes it was like watching a play.”

Norito Yonezawa, Corporate Strategy Planner, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

 

The executives’ answers to such questions did bring some value. But as Norito continued, “You could have shared it as effectively in an email. Compared to live interaction, it was a bit boring.”

To insert more interaction into the meetings and give the employees a safe way to voice their real concerns, they chose Slido.

 

Connecting leaders and employees with Slido

 

After the executives share business updates, employees get five minutes to send in questions via Slido. These are displayed on a screen in real-time during a 30-minute Q&A that follows.

 

Suntory also gives its employees the option to send in their questions anonymously.

Throughout the Q&A, the incoming questions are displayed without any moderation. “It helps us get more interesting questions, as well as entertaining ones that spark laughter.”

“Slido is powerful. You’re in an all-company meeting and you feel valuable, as your questions are there in front of everyone. All employees can feel a sense of participation”, added Norito.

 

Collecting feedback effectively after meetings

 

Apart from using Slido to crowdsource team questions, Norito also uses it to collect feedback after each townhall to help his team improve future meetings.

In the past, Norito used to collect feedback via email. He would get over 100 emails back which he had to review and manually copy-paste each answer into a spreadsheet.

Now he uses Slido for this. “Slido helped me save lots of time. I can just download the data in the Analytics and export it with one click.”

 

The result: More trust within the team

 

By creating a live dialogue in the room, Suntory managed to increase its employees’ engagement during the meetings.

As a by-product of implementing Slido, Suntory was able to create more transparency, openness and build trust between the executives and employees.

 

With Slido, you can uncover opinions and ideas from the silent employees. It helps us create a two-way interaction with the participants.

Norito Yonezawa, Corporate Strategy Planner, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

 


 

We absolutely love hearing from our customers and learning how Slido helped them create more interactive meetings, and sometimes even transformed their company culture! 🤗 

 

And, we’d love to hear from you! Please share all the good, the bad AND the engaging stories in comments below 👇


3 replies

Love seeing the cultural differences across countries, I feel like in the States, we have the opposite problem! Everyone wants to ask questions during large meetings to stand out and we get the “this is more of a comment than a question” people all the time…

We had a lot of issues trying to make sure that our allhands stay clear of that and only allow slido questions. Some people were annoyed at the beginning and we got quite a lot of unnecessarily rude questions coming in through slido but after a few allhands people got used to it. Especially when the speakers managed to answer 10-15 questions instead of just 2-3!  

Userlevel 1

Congrats Suntory! Seems like you guys did a great job with improving your townhalls. 

Totally agree with Melissa ^^ in the US, people just love inserting themselves into every conversation and while it’s great to also hear people speak up and not just stare at their screens, it just interrupts the whole meeting for everyone.

 

For us, the biggest problem is that our execs still love to prepare scripted questions for their presentations and want to keep the Q&A highly moderated. The worst thing is that you can totally tell the difference between scripted questions and the ones coming from employees and they very rarely actually take any employee questions but at least they started to answer employee questions via email after allhands. Surprised to see that Suntory keeps the moderation off, that would never pass with our execs…

Guess there’s still a lot we can learn! 

Excited to see others’ perspectives so I’m definitely following this thread!

Josh ✌️

Same here, Josh! 

Scripted questions are the worst and even when we try to rewrite them, they still sound so stiff…

We usually use Slido only for fun activities like icebreakers at the beginning and some of our execs use a poll here and there but it’s been really hard for us to make the speakers use it more. Good idea with the data, maybe we can sold them on that, everyone always wants more numbers 🤣

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