The companies look forward to the best of the talent in the world when it comes to project management. Hiring talent across the globe gives the organizations the leverage of getting the latest technologies and ideas on board. This in turn increases the productivity and ROI of the organizations.
To effectively manage the talent across various geographical locations, it has become a norm to organize virtual team meetings to keep the employees engaged and for better coordination of work. Of course, this brings along the challenge of ensuring that the meetings are as effective and productive as it is expected from an in-person meeting.
collaTo overcome these challenges, we first need to understand the benefits of having virtual meetings.
- Providing a remote work facility saves on the travel cost of the employee
- Virtual meetings give employees the flexibility to work at their comfort providing more personal time.
- As there is no location constraint, it is as good as having a face-to-face meeting.
- Saves on infrastructure cost as lack of conference rooms does not hinder the meeting.
- Large group meetings can be organized at one go.
- People are more attentive on video calls as compared to phone calls.
To effectively organize a virtual meeting and to reap the maximum benefits, you can follow a set of below-mentioned guidelines:
- Prepare For The Meeting: Once you have decided that you need to meet the team, pre-plan the following:
- Send the calendar invites well in advance with the option of accepting/not accepting the meeting request.
- Set up the reminder for the notification of the meeting at least 30 minutes prior to the start time.
- Set up the video conferencing tool in advance to avoid last-minute mishaps. Check on the internet connectivity.
- Send the meeting agenda before the meeting for the participant to be prepared for the meeting with their inputs and queries. This will also ensure that the members will respect the timeline and the agenda.
- Set up the ground rules for the meeting, for example, no one can be off the camera, participants should not use their phones, etc.
- Checking-in: At the start of the meeting dedicate time for:
- Introduction/ice-breaking session by letting everyone share their highlights of the week.
- Assign tasks related to the set agenda to various participants for their involvement.
- Communicate the objective of the meeting clearly.
- Engage everyone to ensure that everyone is mentally present in the meeting. This can help in cultivating a bond amongst the team members.
- Include the reports generated through project management software to ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- Meeting Material: Give the presentations that include visuals, quizzes, polls, etc. This ensures maximum participation even by the introvert team members. Visuals also help increase attention and memory. Include gamification, if feasible, as this is the best tool for two-way communication.
- Etiquette: As virtual meetings are replacing face-to-face meetings, one should try to follow the basic etiquettes of a formal meeting:
- Dress up appropriately for virtual meetings as well.
- Speak Clearly with natural gestures.
- Avoid checking e-mails, social media, taking phone calls while the meeting is on.
- Look into the camera while presenting or attending the meeting.
- Wrapping Up: It is equally important to wrap-up the meeting as formally as you started. The best way is to agree upon the next steps like the future action points based on the meeting outcome, deadlines, tasks allocation, etc. Discuss the best suitable time for all for the follow-up meeting, if required. Make it a habit to send the minutes of the meetings after the meeting to all the participants. This will ensure that no one has missed any point.
Conclusion: Hoping that the above-mentioned tips will help you in making your virtual meetings more effective and fun by keeping everyone’s energy level high.