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Creating a Live Dialogue with Employees at All-Hands Meetings

Slido brought our executives closer to the employees.
Norito Yonezawa, Corporate Strategy Planner, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited
Creating a Live Dialogue with Employees at All-hands Meetings at Suntory.

Suntory Beverage & Food Limited is a global leader in producing soft drinks and food products based in Japan.

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.

In this story, Norito Yonezawa, Suntory’s Corporate Strategy Planner, shares how Slido helps him strengthen the connection between executives and employees.

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

Getting Slido on board transformed Suntory’s townhall meetings.

Thanks to Slido, we now receive 30 to 40 genuine questions from our employees. Compared to the two to three scripted ones that we used to get before, this is a huge improvement.
Norito Yonezawa, Corporate Strategy Planner, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

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.

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.

Suntory meeting.

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

Slido allows people to come out of their shells and overcome their shyness. It helps us uncover ideas from silent employees.
Norito Yonezawa, Corporate Strategy Planner, Suntory Beverage & Food Limited

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.

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

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

Top 3 benefits of using Slido

1. Activates interaction

The biggest value of Slido for us is having more lively, interactive meetings. Without Slido, it would just be the executives talking one way.

2. Intuitive and user‑friendly

Slido is intuitive and simple. Our employees got it instantly without any special instructions. And it’s easy for me to manage. The user experience is excellent.

3. Downloadable analytics

The option to download all the collected insights makes the organizer’s work and follow up after the Q&A easier and more effective.

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