Remote meetings have become a necessity in today’s world. A large percentage of employees are still working from home. Recent studies show that out of those employees who say they can work from home, 71% are working remotely. That is a massive upswing from 2019 numbers when three-quarters of the workforce had never worked from home.
The remote work model has been a boon to employees and employers alike. However, because it’s so new and many of us had to jump into it feet first, there are still inefficiencies in many work-from-home systems. One area that many employers hear complaints about is meetings.
Ten Strategies for Effective Remote Meetings
Meetings are vital to ensure coordination and cooperation among team members, but they can also be dull, embarrassing, and inefficient for groups. This is true with in-person and remote meetings, but it is particularly true in remote meetings.
With that in mind, we have put together ten strategies that you can use to make your company meetings more productive. Here they are:
1. Ensure any shared material is ready in advance – and try to make this material available before the meeting as well.
Many meetings come with necessary materials that need to be shared. This includes an agenda, whiteboards, presentation slides, and more. The earlier this material is available to attendees for their review, the more effective they can be in the meeting.
2. Define roles in the meeting in advance.
Determine who will lead the meeting, which attendee will keep time, and who will take notes before the session begins. This allows all participants to transition smoothly into the body of the meeting without interruption from discussions that could have been completed prior to the meeting time.
3. Be selective about invitees.
You don’t need to invite the entire team to every meeting. Participants can share the highlights and any task assignments with team members after the meeting.
4. Set up rules in advance to ensure meetings are productive and helpful to all attendees.
Talk to your team and find out what is working for them – and what is not. Then establish rules that everyone can follow to have productive meetings.
5. Establish a meeting goal.
Ensure your meeting has a stated goal and remind participants of that goal at the top of the discussion. This will help to keep everyone on the same page right at the outset.
6. Create a process for recurring meetings.
Even if they are meant to spark creativity, recurring meetings can become a burden if there is no process in place to ensure the endeavor is a success. Set up a meeting process that minimally includes the above four points to help boost productivity and create more efficient meetings.
7. Have the small talk in advance.
Most people want to have a productive and brief meeting – and then get on with their workday. Use a communication platform like Slack or Teams to have chitchat and small talk before the meeting gets underway. You can set up a channel in your communications app to allow team members to chat and “break the ice” before the meeting gets started. This can help avoid things like “ice breaker questions” that can make a certain percentage of your team feel put on the spot or uncomfortable.
8. Engage participants.
Unless a meeting is really a lecture, it is essential to get all participants to contribute. Ask engaging questions during the meeting, like:
– What interests you about this most?
– If you could change anything, what would it be?
– What is the one thing that would increase your satisfaction in this project?
– What needs to be done to develop this idea further?
– What is the next step you will be taking on this project?
Ensuring everyone is on the same page, contributing, and engaging in the meeting will make it more productive in a shorter time.
9. Keep to the defined time.
I have yet to meet someone who enjoys going over the established meeting time. Be sure to keep your meetings within the stated timeframe. If the meeting is a creative, “spitballing” type of meeting that often goes over, give that information to participants beforehand and try to book more time than you think you will need – rather than less.
People rarely complain about meetings being under time, but going over leads to participants not engaging and dropping out to attend to other time-sensitive duties.
10. Ensure action items are recorded, and appropriate team members are on top of the tasks discussed in the meeting.
After a meeting, a certain amount of follow-up is necessary to ensure everyone has their tasks clarified. This can be done very quickly from meeting notes by sharing the notes and asking for confirmation on commitments made within.
Are you ready to supercharge your meetings? Would your business benefit from systematization? Get in touch with Business Success Consulting Group. Our team will work with your company to document meeting processes and beyond.