4 key tips to increase productivity in internal online meetings
Even as remote work and daily video conferences have become a new norm of communication, it’s still difficult to conduct online meetings efficiently. Companies are challenged to manage remote employees, provide a better virtual experience, and make much more calls or follow-ups to explain all the details clearly. During internal meetings, participants tend to feel more secure, they are familiar with their environment, sometimes even being not that formal with their colleagues. Due to this and many other challenges (such as at-home distractions or technology trouble) the productivity level and overall performance can drop drastically.
Therefore, we have prepared 4 key tips to help you raise productivity levels while participating in the internal online meetings:
#1 Prepare and keep up with the agenda
Take your time to fully prepare before the meeting – form a clear structure to increase the chances of having a productive meeting with distinct action items. Whether you are the host or the attendee of the internal meeting, you are ought to have a plan with specific items to cover and stick to them.
We offer to create agenda that includes:
> key points to discuss;
> its structure in timeframe (time spent on every subject, the schedule to start and end each point);
> individual tasks for each participant that should be completed before the meeting;
> documents, articles and files that will be used at the meeting.
Sending out agendas and goals of the meeting in advance results in people developing curiosities on it before the meeting takes place. There is time to figure out the fields they should prepare in, find an adequate information. This could help introverts, those who are not so brave to speak out loud or are reticent to raise issues live, to feel more comfortable doing that just by sending a private message before-hand.
Also, by sharing a well-structured agenda with others, their contribution would be ensured. Everyone would be having a constant reminder to stick to planned points and time periods. If off-topic discussions come up, the host should suggest a separate meeting for that purpose and go back to the agenda. Therefore, getting off-topic conversations would be avoided, and no one would lose focus. As a result, the precious meeting time would be spent focusing on the ideas to come, rather than just thinking about them.
#2 Organize separate discussion groups
Even if the internal meetings are private (including the employees inside the business) to have a conversation with more than 7 people at once can be really complicated. When the number of employees reaches more than 50 in the organization – online discussion tends to attain miscommunication. While waiting for the turn to share ideas, a person might forget or get distracted by others dominating the discussion. It is also common to suppress thoughts when few are actively talking.
Therefore, internal online meetings should consider creating discussion groups, dividing employees into groups of 3-4 people to discuss the matter on hand, brainstorm and develop ideas. Separate rooms of a more comfortable virtual space have advantages for each person’s contribution.
After the workshops, each group should summarize their main discussed points in the general meeting. In this way each employee would have a voice and not feel left out, feeling more productive and valued.
#3 Engage in the meeting chat
It is not a secret that everyone wants to be quicker with their projects of the day but finishing up writing an article or answering emails during the call is not the best option. It is better to postpone all the other tasks and focus only on the meeting.
However, during the online meeting, you are encouraged to use the chat in the platform. It is one of the best practices to share information and interact, decide on the subject using the poll feature and so on. The speaker can also keep an eye on the chat and refer to the comments and questions quicker.
#4 Build a process protocol
It seems that actions are far less likely to be done after the online meetings compared to the real ones. Even though each person has the responsibility of their own deadlines and assignments, it is quite difficult to control it and build trust virtually. In order to proceed, employees should agree on the process of how the words would be converted into action items. It could be listed as tasks in the project management software, also followed-up and reviewed after the agreed deadline.
The whole discussion must be summarized, main points highlighted, and passed on to people who had been absent. It will ensure that everyone is updated and there will be no need to explain things again.
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Want to learn even more tips on how to boost online meetings efficiency? Download our free eBook “Effective Online Meetings” here and master the art of online meetings!