How to Run an Effective Virtual Meeting (and have fun doing it!)
Caylin B. White
Lights, camera, ACTION!
Time for your weekly meeting. Is it something your employees enjoy or dread? Having a meeting in person is a bit different than having a virtual meeting. The never-ending challenge is how to have an effective virtual meeting that is actually fun?
We are a remote team here at VIPdesk Connect and value our time with every employee. Every Wednesday we meet up on our Leadership Team Meeting and here is how we make it as effective as we can.
Turn it on and turn it UP!
It’s time to embrace the video and microphone for these meetings. That means encouraging each employee to turn the camera on and the microphone up.
It is exciting to see the beautiful smiling faces across the team and it makes a big difference when you can see someone versus just hearing them. Seeing your team creates a very valuable experience where a phone call lacks the human interaction.
As a virtual team, each team member is in a silo on their own, working diligently. It is very important to bring each employee back to the camaraderie of the whole team together in these meetings. We use Microsoft Teams video calls for our meetings at VIPdesk Connect and the quality is fantastic!
Make a plan
People love to be able to see the meeting agenda, so they know what to expect. It also creates a sense of inclusiveness, collaborating with everyone on the call together. Having an agenda outlines a solid plan and allows everyone to feel comfortable with the flow of the meeting, especially when you are preparing for a virtual meeting.
Even if it’s the same agenda every meeting, switch it up sometimes so people don’t get bored knowing what to expect! Distribute the agenda ahead of time and ask if anyone would like to include anything on the call. This will help collaborate and combine efforts to include each employee.
If you have an agenda that doesn’t seem to be working, it’s time to change it up! Create something that will give value to your employees, no need to review a stagnant topic.
Start on time
No matter who shows up on time, the meeting shall go on! Begin each meeting on time to truly set the precedent of timeliness and respect for everyone’s time. Not only does this show that the team is punctual, but it also showcases the value of each employee knowing that they are taking the time out of their day to meet.
Knowing your team and where they live matters when planning the meeting! Know the time zones and planning the meeting accordingly can help the number of employees that attend on a regular basis.
Is it appropriate to call out the latecomers? We will leave that to you, however, it is important to address every employee that attends. Craig Jarrow outlines how to avoid being late in his article on Time Management Ninja – a great read for those that are chronically late.
Kick it off on a positive note
It doesn’t ALL have to be right down to business. Kicking off the meeting in a positive way helps to build the culture in your organization. While waiting for everyone to adjust their camera and microphone, kick off your meeting with a positive idea.
For example, VIPdesk Connect’s team starts every virtual meeting with what they are grateful for that week, whether it is personal or professional. This starts the meeting with a fresh coat of positivity and allows each employee to learn a little more about each other in a non-invasive way.
Record and recognize those that can’t attend
The people in the meeting are just as important as the people that can’t attend. Recording your virtual meetings and logging it into an employee portal not only helps to keep everyone up to date, but it backlogs the meetings into a database. This could also allow for growth as you audit the organization.
Remembering to record is half the battle! Panopto writes about 4 Reasons Why you Should be Recording Your Meetings at Work. There is great information here for any meeting coordinator, especially when hosting a virtual meeting.
Recognizing those that could not attend not only makes them feel that they were missed but it also showcases to the team that their presence is valued. Sending them the recorded video of the meeting where they were told they were missed adds extra value to employee appreciation.
Stick to the timeframe
We know that meetings can go long…and sometimes we have meetings about meetings. The goal is to tackle the agenda and give the time back to the employees if applicable. Stick to the plan and keep it in the timeframe. This will help your employees understand that their time is valued, and you are accountable as a leader.
If the meeting seems to be taking forever and the time will not be met, it’s time to be sure to let the team know. If an additional meeting needs to be scheduled about a time-consuming topic, address it at the meeting in front of the team so they are aware you are keeping time. You will get a big sigh of relief from everyone on that one!
Make your meeting FUN
Why do meetings have to be boring? There are several different ways you can make your meetings fun. Some basic examples are:
-Create days of the week that are attire color-coded and the people who remember to wear the color get incentives
-Workplace appreciation – recognize and showcase something you love about your office
-Employee recognition – give shout-outs to those that are going above on beyond
-Start the meeting with some fun music and if you are brave enough, get up and dance a little!
-End the meeting with something nice to say about the day, boss, team, or work in general.
We are never too old to stop having fun. Each meeting it could be something different or you have a monthly meeting where it is designated the “fun” meeting. Mix it up, don’t bore your employees with the same old same old. As a leader, you will be appreciated and respected for creating a fun atmosphere.
We hope this has helped all teams out there to enjoy their virtual meetings!