The future of work is here! A bit sooner than we expected, right? Are you and your team ready for it? Try these five concrete tips for how to improve engagement in your remote meetings.
It’s safe to say that remote meetings now make up a substantial part of most people’s work lives. Teams are spending more time in meetings with more participants on average and many are struggling to stay engaged. Zoom-fatigue, multitasking, and lack of phycological safety are all taking their toll on meeting engagement levels. Here are some of our best advice on what you can do to help your team get engaged again in this unprecedented time of disruption.
1. Meetings are a team-based activity. Perhaps an obvious statement but it speaks to the fact that meetings cannot be “fixed” by any one individual. The starting point for establishing an engaging and productive meeting culture is to have an open discussion with your team. Discuss how you can make the most of your meetings. And remember, remote work is new to many of us.
2. Think through if you really need a meeting in the first place. Number of meetings and number of participants is up across the board in 2020. In order to make sure that the team has enough time for deep work, we need to be even more mindful of time. If you only hold meetings when really needed, people will notice and become more engaged. Before you book your next meeting, ask yourself if you can
replace the meeting with an email, Slack message, or phone call
record a video of your message which can be viewed when it suits each team member
3. Invite the right people. Selecting who to invite to a meeting can be a politically delicate task. Think through who you need active participation from and who you can keep informed of the outcome. To keep the number of participants down, consider asking people to collect input from colleagues/managers ahead of the meeting. If the purpose of the meeting is to make a decision, make sure you have the necessary mandate in the room.
4. Set ground rules for your team. Here are a few examples:
Choose duration with thought. Don’t opt for an hour by default. Parkinson's law stipulates that "work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". Estimate the time needed for each agenda item and if it sums up to 50 minutes, book 50 minutes.
Always have a clearly communicated purpose of the meeting as well as a time-boxed agenda
Use the last minutes of the meeting to summarize outcomes, decide on the next steps and assign actions
If appropriate, given the type of meeting and the participant’s role in the meeting, encourage people to walk and talk.
5. Encourage feedback. Regardless of which advice you decide to try out with your team, it is essential to allow for continuous feedback. Start by leading by example. Ask participants in your meetings if there is anything you can do to make the next meeting better. You’ll be surprised how encouraging it can be to be asked to give feedback.
At Allting, we help our clients make the transition to remote work as productive, engaging, and rewarding as possible. Allting works like an activity tracker for your team, dedicated to improving your meetings. Don’t miss your chance of getting early access to Allting.