With a lot of people in the UK working from home, meetings and catch-ups are continuing to take place although for some, in a slightly different format. With software like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Whatsapp, and Skype for Business frequently becoming the new normal for many organisations.
In this blog, we share our recommendations on how to make sure that you are holding a great remote meeting with your teams and ideas on how to maintain your employee engagement.
Set a goal
Ensuring there is a dedicated reason for the meeting is a great way to remain focused. It allows your team to come prepared if necessary and enables you to clarify expectations and outcomes to enable quick decision-making. Make sure that if you are the ‘owner’ of the meeting that you bring discussions back to your points and try to keep everyone focused on the topic at hand.
Another way to ensure focus is to request cameras be on during the meetings. Not only does this bring some sense of accountability to the work you are discussing, but it also conveys more of the human element that conference calls often miss. This is not about how you look but allows people to see non-verbal cues that feed contributors to feel engaged with and encourage. Also remember to mute yourself, when others are speaking.
Schedule for success
From a technical perspective, schedule your calls off the hour where possible. Choosing to make a call at 10.10 for example, will often ensure that your meeting is not being held at the same time as the rest of the UK and assist in some way with beating the congestion. This will also help to guarantee that bandwidth is not affected as much as possible. Similarly, the more often that you schedule and partake in these calls, the more at ease you and your teams will feel with the technology, soon adapting to the new way of communicating.
Make time for small talk
Alongside heavy decision-making calls, catch up calls and general hangouts are of equal importance to maintaining healthy employee engagement levels. Making time for the small talk that you would usually partake in around the office is key to continuing to build relationships within your teams. Some tips for ensuring this continues include hosting a virtual pub quiz. Pure held a pub quiz on a Friday afternoon, which included a few short rounds of questions to encourage us to come together and take the time to reconnect. It was also great to see our teams families getting involved.
Other ideas for making sure there is a short “icebreaker” at the beginning or end of your meeting. Consider introducing members of your household whether that be partner, spouses, children or pets. Take turns for a few minutes to show of your new working space, from the dedicated home office to the absurd office in a cupboard. Other ideas being shared on social media include “Facemask Friday” or a “hat competition”, adding a sense of fun and helping your team to feel a little more at ease in this usual situation.
All of these small ideas will help make sure that even if there is a specific agenda of the meeting that needs to be covered, these human interactions may curb some of the loneliness and isolation that team members may be feeling at the moment.
Whilst many will be adapting to the new normal of a remote meeting, these small changes will go a long way to ensure that you and your team are holding great meetings and feeling engaged.
If you would like support with your team meetings or have questions around employee engagement especially at this difficult time, then our consultants would be happy to help and pleased to talk to you. Contact your local Pure office today.