In today’s work environment, a new model of working has emerged. As we adapt to COVID-19 as part of daily life, more companies are discovering better ways to work.
A McKinsey survey found that nine out of 10 organizations intend to combine remote and in-person work in the years to come. While a hybrid work schedule has many benefits, it can also lead to new challenges.
Understanding how to maintain good communication and positive employee engagement throughout your company while managing a hybrid workplace can be hard.
One way to ensure everyone is on the same page is to run successful meetings with both in-person and remote employees.
Let’s go over some strategies to run a successful hybrid meeting.
Photo by Roman Samborskyi on Shutterstock
1. Provide a Clear Agenda
In order to organize an efficient meeting, you’ll need to provide a clear agenda in advance. This can help keep the meeting on track, give the meeting purpose, allow everyone to contribute their part, clarify expectations, and aid you in decision-making.
Provide an outline that includes the date, time, duration, location, who is responsible for each item listed on the agenda, and how much time is allotted for each topic.
Having a clear end time on the agenda will help employees plan their day efficiently.
2. Use a Large Screen
It can be hard to feel kinship with coworkers you haven’t met in person or don’t see regularly. Because of this, in-person staff and remote team members may feel disconnected from each other.
To fight this breakdown, host hybrid meetings in a room with access to a large screen or projector to ensure everyone can see and be seen. Being able to put a face with a name will help employees feel more connected and engage in more personable relationships.
A large screen will also make it easier to view digital material a presenter might have as a visual aid.
Investing in digital signage can help you broadcast your meetings and keep employees up-to-date on scheduled meetings and other important company statistics and announcements. Information can be shared with in-person employees on a screen or with at-home workers via a secure URL.
Sharing a large screen with the in-person team will help you manage technical issues and keep the meeting on task.
3. Focus on All Attendees
Giving each attendee or team an allotted time to speak helps keep the meeting on track and gives everyone a chance to interact.
It’s important that everyone knows a bit about each attendee. Hosting online happy hours, trivia, or other team-building exercises will help everyone feel more connected and allow meetings to run smoothly.
Make sure the time of the meeting works for all attendees. If remote workers work in different time zones, this can get tricky. You will need to communicate with them and make a plan that works for everyone.
For those who cannot attend, give them a link to the recorded meeting and an outline of what was discussed and decided.
If there is a new team member at the meeting, take a few minutes to introduce them and allow everyone remote and in-person time to introduce themselves to the new member.
Build trust with your employees by letting them know you value their input and appreciate their work. Make sure you ask them thoughtful questions regarding their work and allow others to feel empowered to ask each other questions.
4. Lead the Meeting
Managing remote and in-person workers can be challenging. New technology can be a crucial tool for managing a hybrid team effectively.
Make sure the technology you plan to use during the meeting is in working order ahead of time. Check in with all your online employees to ensure their equipment is working and ask them if they need any assistance.
Getting all the technological kinks out of the way before the meeting is a fundamental part of hosting a successful hybrid meeting. Utilize user-friendly platforms like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or GoogleMeet, and make sure employees can also send messages on the screen during the meeting.
If employees have trouble with the meeting platform, calmly walk them through the process. Allow for more time during the meeting if one of the attendees hasn’t used the platform before.
During the meeting, make sure everyone is staying on topic and following the agenda, and that it’s running on time. Allow people a little leeway, but also understand that most people want to stay on schedule.
5. Ask for Employee Feedback
Asking for employee feedback is a great way to learn from each meeting. Ask employees what they think worked, what didn’t work, and what could be done differently for the next meeting.
Gaining input directly after the meeting will help them give you reliable feedback. The experience will be fresh in their minds and they’ll be more likely to produce helpful feedback.
You can ask everyone for a comment at the end of the meeting or remind attendees that you’ll send out an email requesting their feedback.
In your email, provide questions or a link to a survey. There are numerous survey tools that can help with this, like HR Cloud or 15Five.
Technology Can Make Things Easier
While there are many important factors to running a successful integrated workplace, facilitating successful hybrid meetings is vital. Providing a user-friendly web design for your business that helps remote employees access important resources and benefits can also help keep them in the loop.
Using tools that both in-person and remote workers can use to communicate openly is important to maintain connectivity and increase engagement. Use tools like Slack, Trello, and Zoom to help employees stay in contact. Integrate cloud computing services to help boost productivity and save money.
Running successful meetings is essential for the productivity of a hybrid workplace. Having a clear agenda, user-friendly technology, strong leadership, and open communication will help your meetings be productive.