Any business manager with offsite employees knows that a virtual meeting can be an inexpensive and efficient way to interface.
Unlike a traditional meeting, which may require travel costs and sometimes elaborate scheduling, managers can hold a virtual meeting with only an internet connection or data plan.
But for those who have never held a virtual meeting and don’t know where to start, the challenge may seem daunting.
Having a game plan for virtual meeting preparation and execution can help ensure that an amazing staff attends the meetings and that business is conducted in a thorough and timely manner.
Here are five sure-fire steps to holding consistently efficient virtual meetings.
1.) Make Sure Your Prep Is on Point
A dynamic virtual session begins long before your employees sit down at their home desks. Virtual meetings require planning to ensure the meeting runs smoothly and a schedule to make sure the team stays on task.
During preparation for a virtual meeting, managers should double-check the simple things first: Have all the needed employees been notified of time and date? Is my video connection secure? Is my information ready to present to the employees?
Next, it may be a good idea to create a “talking points” memo for a virtual meeting to ensure that the group stays on topic. These talking points can include some room for discussion and even time signatures to indicate a new item is up.
2.) Help Employees Connect
Having an offsite staff could prevent employees from feeling comfortable around one another during a digital meeting. That’s why it’s crucial that you as a manager take some time to make them feel comfortable.
A few helpful strategies could include icebreaker games or going around the virtual table to allow each employee to introduce themselves. Once multiple virtual meetings have been held, it’s important to keep more quiet employees engaged feeling like their voices are heard.
3.) Keep Employees Engaged
Part of a successful virtual meeting is ensuring that employees are staying on task. That can be difficult when the staff is at home where distractions abound.
Managers should consider holding virtual meetings by video through software like Zoom or TrueConf. Holding meetings by video means managers can visually track their employees and make sure they are staying engaged throughout.
4.) Take the Temperature of the Room
During a virtual meeting, it’s possible that emotions run high during specific topics or discussing group performance.
That’s why it’s crucial to keep track of employees’ moods and opinions on presented topics, even if they haven’t previously spoken. Staying ahead of employee needs will help make virtual meetings more useful and welcoming.
5.) Process Feedback and Lead into Future Meetings
When a virtual meeting comes to a close, a manager has a natural segue into the virtual meetings to follow.
Take notes of what was left undecided at the virtual meeting and give employees an opportunity to say what they took from the meeting and how it could be better conducted in the future. With proper feedback, managers can maximize their virtual meeting time.