With the current trend of remote/hybrid work, businesses are highly reliant on virtual meetings to connect with their colleagues and clients. According to Small Business Trends, 83% of employees spend up to one-third of their work week in video meetings.
At the beginning of the remote/hybrid work era, virtual meetings used to be unexplored and awkward for most employees but now the scenarios have changed. Today, it has become a norm for meetings to be held virtually. Furthermore, with the help of advanced technologies like VoIP phones (voice over internet protocol), it has become easier for businesses to successfully conduct meetings through audio and video conferencing while sharing screens and other similar activities
In this article, we have prepared a list of top effective ways that managers/employees can follow to conduct productive virtual meetings. Let’s take a look at them.
01. Invite people who care about the outcome:
Managers sometimes struggle to decide whom to invite or not invite to the meetings. There is a constant battle that goes on in their minds about who is necessary for decision-making and who is not.
Choosing the wrong people who do not care about the agenda or outcome can slow down the decision-making process and bring unnecessary opinions that can confuse the main agenda.
To solve this problem, managers should invite employees who will be most affected by the outcome and sincerely invest their time and efforts.
02. Nail down the agenda of the meeting:
Conducting a virtual meeting on a small or large scale requires prior preparation. Everything should be checked and noted to avoid any uncertainties or missed agendas.
Therefore, employees should make notes on how the meeting will start and end, along with the motive of the meeting. Using bullet points will help avoid missed information.
Furthermore, employees should learn and practice all the technicalities of conducting virtual meetings, such as the meeting software, mute and video button, screen sharing, and microphone, among other things. Lastly, they should remember to set hours of meetings and carry them out according to the itinerary.
03. Schedule and send invitations for virtual meeting:
The meeting scheduler should set the meeting a week before and send invitations to the selected attendees. Doing so will help the employees to prepare for the meeting and decide what to do and say during the meeting.
Furthermore, the scheduler should remember to include the date and time, technological format, meeting instruction (user guide), meeting itinerary, and objective so that everyone stays aware of what is going to happen and prepare accordingly.
04. Keep participants engaged:
Keeping the participants hooked in a virtual meeting is not an easy task. Many employees tend to multitask during meetings and it gets hard to get their attention.
To grab employees’ attention and keep them engaged throughout the meeting, the meeting leader should keep the meeting duration short and involve necessary attendees.
Furthermore, they can also conduct informal meetings and team-building activities to eliminate awkwardness before the main event.
05. Close the meeting with greetings:
In the end, the meeting leader should not just end the meeting by leaving but close it properly by taking follow-up and collecting everyone’s thoughts. They should ask if anyone wants to add or ask anything and summarize the whole meeting for attendees to clearly understand the deliverables.
After the meeting, the meeting leader should send attendees the meeting notes so they can keep track of their duties and work accordingly. They can also conduct a survey about the virtual meeting and collect employee feedback for further improvements.
In the end, keep employees informed, engaged, and valued so that everyone can work together in a collaborative setting while staying productive and efficient.
A virtual work environment can bring various challenges but with effective communication and management, everything can be done effectively.
Keep the mantra “preparation is the key to success” in mind. It can be applied in all forms of work, be it completing a task or conducting a virtual meeting.