Within the past year, virtual meetings have become the new norm. Organizations have learned to adapt, and companies across the country are using virtual meetings in place of traditional, face-to-face meetings due to social distancing measures caused by the pandemic. The challenge now facing leaders and colleagues alike is keeping everyone unified to run an effective and productive virtual meeting. Today we’ll be sharing some smart virtual meeting tips for you and your team to remain as productive as you would speaking face-to-face.
How to Engage Remote Meeting Participants
Different rules apply when you host or attend a virtual meeting versus a meeting in the office. Hiccups can occur, like poor sound or video quality, so it’s important to conduct virtual conferencing the same as you would conduct in-person meetings. To help you achieve this as smoothly and efficiently as possible, we’re sharing some virtual meeting tips and rules for a successful remote collaboration.
- Know your tools
- Have a plan B
- Share the agenda in advance
- Invite the right people
- Introduce everyone
- Have an icebreaker
- Give people things to do
- Ask everyone to contribute
- Be engaging
- Send a follow-up
Utilizing these intelligent tactics will help you understand how to engage remote meeting participants and set your team up for success.
Virtual Meeting Etiquette
Look at the meeting rhythm of your company. Quarterly or Annual meetings should be held. However, to be effective, to hit your goals, and to grow at the rate you want, daily, weekly, and monthly meetings should also be held. Why? Because these meeting agendas drive the deliverables outlined to hit the quarterly or monthly goals. These meetings allow everyone to be on the same page, addressing issues, planning actions, and empowering employees to the plan. In today’s world, this is especially true, so you can ensure everyone on your team is on the same page.
Your meetings should be short (20 to 30 minutes), have structure, and include an effective agenda. If you ever go into these meetings without all three of these sentiments well-defined and implemented, you have just lost your team and have caused more harm than good. Work ON your business within these meetings versus IN your business and always keep the agenda crisp and focused on the quarterly targets.
Now that you are armed with how to engage your remote employees and you understand why that is so important, the next step is figuring out how to do it effectively. Here we share a few helpful actions and ideas.
- Daily meetings – Set them up and run them for 30 minutes. Try setting the time at an irregular hour such as 8:07 AM or 4:33 PM. You will notice your employees may be more attentive to being on time when you do this.
- Setting – The perfect setting might not be achievable at home, but that’s okay. If you’re presenting, try to have good lighting, dress for the part, and make sure everyone can hear and see you clearly.
- Attendance – Make these meetings required. If you have a morning staff and a different afternoon or evening staff, have two meetings with the same message and same agenda for the second audience. A little time now will save you unmeasurable time later.
- Facilitator – Pick someone who can run an effective, structured, punchy meeting. Your facilitator can guide the conversation, take the “pulse” of the group, and ensure that all voices are heard.
- Agenda – Remember this is critical, especially when people are working remotely. The agenda must inspire, drive, engage, and provide motivation. A suggestive, effective agenda could include:
- Good news – 5 minutes
- The Numbers – 5 minutes
- Customer / Employee feedback – 10 minutes
- One issue or “Big Rock” to address – 10 minutes
- Do not get caught in trying to resolve or address all issues. Pick one per meeting to address and stay with it to resolve. Then move on to the next “Big Rock”.
- Closing – End each meeting with the attendees summarizing in one or two sentences their reaction to the meeting. This will provide you with an understanding of the message being received and the buy-in or not from the team.
If you would like to learn more about mastering virtual meetings, reach out to a local business strategist at FocalPoint.