Holding online meetings is now a common practice in most organizations. Companies with a remote working system hold scheduled online meetings for better interactions with staff. Online meetings are great as long as you have effective ways to make your employees feel connected during the meeting. Online meetings functioned as a replacement for face-to-face meetings. It also complements physical meetings.
Since the pandemic, most organizations now prefer online meetings to face-to-face interactions. That is probably because most employees now work remotely.
Organizations are adopting online meetings as a means to continue operation while still observing social distancing. It helps to accommodate several preventive guidelines.
Companies use different online meeting platforms to discuss policies, strategies, and other work-related issues.
However, some of these platforms have their advantages and disadvantages. But that is not what we are discussing today.
Business owners often find it difficult to come up with effective ways to make employees feel connected during online meetings.
Participants of online meetings are in different locations. So, they tend to feel disconnected from what is happening.
It can be frustrating when you are the only one talking, and nobody is making any valuable contribution. It could defeat the essence of the interactive session.
So, here are some ways to connect with your employees during meetings;
#1. Give Room For Regular Feedback
Whatever happens, do not allow your online meetings to become boring and off the point. One way to make employees feel connected during these meetings is to give room for feedback.
Whoever is anchoring the meeting should always ensure that everyone is on board.
Furthermore, employees should be allowed to ask questions, make observations and suggestions.
Also, the feedback should be interactive. Ask other people what they think and note their inputs as well. If silence is beginning to build up, you can ask individual participants questions about the meeting.
#2. Make The Agenda Of The Meeting Known
What will be discussed during a meeting? In what order will these discussions occur? Who will anchor each discussion? These are all information that the participants of a meeting need to know beforehand.
Ensure your employees have this information before the meeting starts. Also, try as much as possible to stick to the agenda during the meeting. That way everyone knows what is happening at every point in time. It’s one of the ways to make your employees feel more connected to the meeting.
In some cases, a meeting cannot have a definite agenda. However, it is important to have some form of structure. It gives your employee an idea of what the meeting is all about and can make reasonable contributions.
#3. Delegate Tasks If Possible
It’s important to delegate tasks to everybody involved in the meeting. It will make them feel involved in the proceedings.
You can appoint someone to handle the technical setup. Another person could prepare the presentations for the meeting, etc,.
Delegating tasks is very crucial. It ensures that everyone is part of the process. They feel that they are contributing to the success of the meeting.
Delegation is one of the ways to make your employees feel connected not just in the meetings but also to each other. It fosters unity among your team members.
#4. Try to Minimize Technical Glitches
The software you are using to host your meetings is very important. It will go a long way to determine the success of your online meeting. So, try to opt for a user-friendly platform.
These days, most companies make use of video conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Meet. The platform you are using depends on the size of your team. You could also use Whatsapp and Facebook calls.
Irrespective of the platform you choose to use, ensure that the participants get the information on time. It will help them prepare for the meeting and get the platform or software on their devices.
If possible, have a support person around to help handle any technical glitch that may pop up. All preparations should be done a day or two before the meeting.
Smooth participation in meetings is one of the ways to make employees feel connected during online meetings.
Meetings that are full of technical glitches will eventually become boring and participants may lose interest. Glitches may also affect the continuity of the meeting. And it could make several members of your team miss important information.
#5. Try to Make Your Presentations Engaging
One of the most effective ways to make your employees feel connected during online meetings is to make them participatory.
Ensure that the meeting is interactive and give room for every person to make their contributions. Also, don’t shy away from salient issues affecting employees’ welfare.
Use engaging and interactive presentation slides. An online meeting need not be boring. The presentation format and design must be highly appealing.
It is usually better to prepare visually appealing presentations using software common to all participants. However, even if visuals do not feature prominently in your presentation they can still be made engaging.
Consider interspersing points with questions for the audience to evaluate how well they understand your presentation.
These are some of the ways to make employees feel connected during online meetings. Do you have any other tips to share? Let us know in the comment below.