Traditional meetings already had potential to become a quick headache before the age of COVID. People were dispersed across locations, making it hard for traditional meetings to be conducted. This difficulty has reached a new level post COVID; however, communication through technology can overcome the physical boundaries that have been placed on businesses due to the Coronavirus. Skype, Zoom, or other online meeting platforms allow for people to attend necessary meetings from any location with internet or phone access.
Here are some general Best Practices for Conducting Online Meetings:
- Be on time and stick to it. When conducting a meeting, have your room ready for attendees to enter 10 minutes before the start of the meeting. This will allow time for your group to sign in and get their audio situated prior to the start time of the meeting.
- Invite only who’s necessary: When scheduling a meeting, consider the best time for the most important person in attendance and schedule around that availability. If you’re holding a meeting with a client, schedule around their availability. Put them first. Always confirm their schedule/availability before offering a time that you can meet with them.
- Plan. Plan: Planners are responsible for making sure the meeting runs smoothly. This includes ensuring all required parties will be in attendance, all supplies are readily available, all technological aspects are set up for success, materials are accessible, etc. In the age of Coronavirus, groups are relying heavily on technology so make sure everything works and that you are comfortable using all technological features.
- Set an agenda and a clear purpose: Use an agenda to help manage time effectively. Keep a timer. If you start to run over the time on an allotted section, bring the discussion to a close and consider creating a next step after the meeting.
- Forget the small talk. Stay on track with your agenda to ensure you do not go over on designated time for a segment.
- Have an assigned note taker. Having a designated note taker to capture content accurately during your meeting is very beneficial to document clear and actionable items. It is important to capture items that need completion and who oversees ensuring their completion.
- Have a “clock keeper”, someone who can keep everyone on time and on task.
- Headphones are a must (if background noise is unavoidable). Background noise can not only be annoying but also disruptive to the flow of the meeting. Using headphones and muting your mic whenever possible is a good way to keep distractions to a minimum.
- Be presentable (if using video). Obviously, many workers have switched to a work from home situation but that does not mean that the professionalism stops. Keep a professional appearance when conducting a skype meeting.
- Share your screen carefully. Have a professional background for your desktop as your attendees may see it once you share your screen. Also, only have what is necessary for your meeting on your screen. Have what you need to share prepared and ready for immediate sharing once needed.
For help running fewer and more productive meetings in the workplace, partner with the HR experts at Resourcing Edge. Our certified HR professionals can help you set standards and establish guidelines for running effective meetings. We also offer in-person and webinar training and a library of online courses for staff and management. Contact Resourcing Edge today for a free consultation!