Even before COVID-19, organizations worked to design programs to aid productivity as employees sought to work remotely. One issue? How to conduct effective virtual meetings while encouraging engagement, interaction, feedback accountability.
With offices currently closed to employees as a result of COVID-19, organizations must help employees be productive while working remotely. Take these five steps to ensure your virtual meetings are effective.
5 steps to productive remote meetings
- Invite purposefully
Invite only required attendees. The greater the number of attendees, the greater the probability of reduced accountability.
Explain expectations regarding preparation and participation.
- Leverage technology
Technology, when used effectively, can create near replications of in-person meeting experiences.
Test the technology before the meeting and have a back-up method. At the start of the meeting, inform attendees that you will distribute a new dial-in number via email if necessary.
Encourage attendees to use the chat and/or raise hand feature during the call to ask questions or make comments. Remember to regularly check for feedback.
Use features such as the laser pointer in PowerPoint to highlight references.
Avoid bright and white backgrounds.
- Be personable
During video meetings, maintain eye contact with the camera.
Be animated. Be thoughtful about your inflection, tone of voice, volume and speed.
Use words expressing emotion, e.g., “I’m excited to share…” and “I understand frustrations…”
Be liberal in your use of visuals and stories.
- Engage attendees
Pause frequently to allow for questions and comments. Provide more time than usual so attendees can unmute to speak.
Wait until you have participation where expected; don’t be uncomfortable with silence. Add a prompt if needed.
Ask individuals — not groups — for input.
Use names to refer to something said previously, e.g., “As Heather stated…”
- Conclude actively
Document and distribute notes, action items and follow-up expectations.
Seek validation that you achieved the desired objectives, and ask if more information is needed.
When uncertainty is the new normal, standing still isn’t an option. Address changes in your working environment with strategies you can control. Executing deliberate and immediate steps will move your organization toward resiliency.
Principal, Business Change Enablement
+1 205 302 2212
Manager, Business Change Enablement
+1 215 531 8632