Real-World Results: Thermo Fisher Scientific Launches Town Halls that Work

Linda Dulye's picture
How do you change a meeting from event to experience? Thermo Fisher Scientific found the answer in an improved Town Hall Meeting program for its global sites.
This $10-billion-plus global company with approximately 34,000 employees at hundreds of sites around the world chose Dulye & Co. to partner on a program to improve the productivity and impact of Town Hall Meetings.
Core to the improved program was shared ownership for the meeting process by engaging leaders and employees to work together in planning, conducting and following-up on actual meetings. Dulye & Co.'s Spectator-Free Workplace™ solution had three key elements:
1. Action teams of front-line employees who joined with senior leaders to manage the Town Hall Meeting program and changed the paradigm of the meeting as an “event” driven solely by management
2. Simple message tools to improve content relevancy of meeting messages and help site leaders build their communications skills
3. Measurement practices to calibrate meeting results, impact and required follow-up actions to support better understanding by employees of the business, company objectives and performance and, most importantly, how individuals contribute at their site to the organization’s success.
Thermo Fisher leadership identified two pilot sites to work with Dulye & Co. in developing, testing and refining the new Town Hall process before introducing it across the enterprise. Additionally, we worked with the client to establish two new resource sites on the Thermo Fisher intranet:
  • One containing information developed by Dulye & Co. on how to recruit members for the Employee Support team, team member roles and responsibilities, sample Town Hall meeting agendas, etc.
  • Another for leaders only. It contains links to the archived webcast training as well as the client’s slide library with companywide messaging, including a summary of the company’s quarterly financial report, posted on the day of the quarterly earnings release.
A few months after the initial launch of the new Town Hall process, Dulye & Co. conducted a follow-up assessment with site leaders to measure the progress in implementing the new process and collect data on meeting improvements. Some key findings:
  • More than 50 percent of the sites had established an Employee Town Hall Support Team, meeting the client’s goal for the first year.
  • More 20 percent of the leaders surveyed said the biggest improvement was in the quality and effectiveness of the Q&A segment of the meeting and the feedback received during the meetings, and another 31 percent said the biggest improvement was in employee engagement and participation
  • The percentage of sites using a formal feedback / measurement tool at their Town Hall meetings jumped from 9 percent before the improvement program was launched to almost 50 percent.
  • Perhaps just as telling were some of the comments received from the Thermo Fisher site leaders who responded to the follow-up assessment: "The biggest improvement is in employee involvement and 2 way communication. Employees are also giving positive feedback that these are the best meetings they've seen in years."
Listen to Dulye & Co. President Linda Dulye’s podcast at with Thermo Fisher Scientific’s director of employee communications, Ginger Kuenzel, to learn more about the company’s award-winning Town Hall program.

Or, read the full case study here.


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