A good, constructive online meeting provides value. It’s scheduled ahead of time, and aims to solve a problem. It’s a virtual space provided for collaboration, creativity and goal-setting. When an upcoming online meeting seems daunting, when the wrong people are invited, and when no conversation is flowing during the session, these are indicators that something is wrong. There’s a block. When team members are silent, and not contributing, that’s usually a sign they’re bored.
This happens when employees are dragged into last-minute meetings during working hours. Their workflow is disrupted which means they have to pick it up later, either after hours or on the weekend. When this is a regular occurrence, the work-life balance isn’t steady and can cause feelings of resentment, with less time spent doing things that make workers happy outside of work. Family time is reduced and hobbies are put aside. The result? Demotivation, lack of enthusiasm and burn out.
To keep your team from disintegrating before your eyes, be vigilant about low-value meetings. Here are a few ways to keep syncs more exclusive:
- Meetings require time carved out of the day. They take time which is money, which is dollars spent for every meeting. Being discerning about who you invite to a sync will save both money and time in the long run. If it’s not an important meeting, including a “not attending” option on the RSVP invitation gives employees a choice in the matter.
- Let employees decide if they need to show up. If it’s not imperative to join the online meeting or if they can just watch a recording when they have time, does it really matter if they attend the actual event? Their deadlines and workflow will be affected, and unless it’s mandatory attendance, they should be able to make a decision based on their deadlines.
- Rely on technology to help automate and make tasks more efficient. Cut downtime by setting up an online meeting rather than in person. Use video conferencing features to invite, record, store, and more, making for a much more engaging online meeting that is purposeful. No long email threads, and no commuting required!
- Ask for feedback and keep track of what works and what doesn’t. Perhaps a conference call is better in some cases rather than video conferencing. Maybe it’s the other way around. Determine whether your remote sales pitch might require less presenters, especially if one lead has had more visibility throughout the process, rather than including absolutely everyone who had a hand in the project.
- Make use of the collaboration tools that encourage more dynamic contributions. Use the Online Whiteboard to share concepts or the Screen Sharing tool to explain a process.
- Follow simple online meeting etiquette that seems like a no-brainer, but can easily get forgotten:
- Be punctual by starting and ending on time
- Have an agenda that outlines what needs to be shared
- Invite only the people who can benefit from a sit-down….
- …. Or have a 15-minute stand-up meeting that sticks to the essentials
- Politely cut off people who ramble
- Only answer a certain amount of questions and ask for the remainder be included in an email
There’s no band-aid solution for making every single online meeting fully effective, but there are ways to be more aware. A little discernment can be the difference between happy employees who engage and add to the conversation, and those who sit in silence.
Let Callbridge make meetings run more smoothly using features that ensure your online meeting is scheduled in advance (or on the spot, in case of emergency!), runs on time, and provides a detailed follow-up with Smart Summaries from the AI-bot, Cue™. Feel in control with technology that keeps meetings in check and work flowing.