5 Steps To Make Virtual Meetings Succesful

Meetings whether physical or online have always been an integral part of any business. A dedicated slot devoted to brainstorming and exchange of ideas is a cornerstone of an innovative company. In addition, we always have regular team meetings to discuss the progress made on ongoing assignments. As we rapidly move to more globalized dynamic world reality, there is a rise in cross country employee partnerships within organizations. Many of us have colleagues and bosses based in different countries with whom we have multiple virtual meetings in a day.  

In addition to that, the ongoing covid-19 pandemic has forced organizations to adopt to remote working which has made virtual meetings and video conferencing even more necessary. Meetings during these crisis time can provide that psychological relief when you speak to your favourite colleague through video conferencing or when your seniors in the company show concern for your wellbeing. They are important tool that keep you sane and emotionally connected in these times of social distancing.  

Having said that there is also a downside to the current trend. Many professionals have complained of meeting inflation during this period and there seems to be presumption that people have more time now that they are at home. This has led to some people attending meetings after virtual meetings and not every meeting attended ends up on an interesting and productive note. Hence, it has become essential to rethink on exactly how and when it is vital to conduct a meeting because real work most often than not gets done outside of these meetings.

The principal purpose of any work related meeting should be to get work done. Clear objectives and sound plan of execution is essential in determining the success of any meeting. Here are some tips on how you can make your virtual meetings more productive and effective by using video conferencing tool along with WorkMarshal. 

1. Eliminate unnecessary meetings

The first thing you need to ask yourself when you are setting up a meeting is, do we really need this meeting? The only way to find the answer to this question is to set an agenda. Only when you have defined clear goals for your meeting, you would know if there are alternative ways of meeting those objectives or not. Otherwise, you will be simply scheduling a meeting where everyone is hoping that something good will come out of it. Sometimes an email to the group or a group chat can be enough to finish the task. This approach will help you in eliminating the unnecessary meetings and eventually give your team more time to focus on more important things. Having your work agenda stored in the form of WorkMarshal project or recurring task can help everyone to keep themselves abreast with the latest status on each goal

2. Write an Agenda

When virtual meetings are on rise and there is a feeling of meeting fatigue amongst staff, it’s important that we follow best practices as much as possible. Hence, writing an agenda for your meeting and circulating the same to all possible members in advance should be diligently followed as a mandatory step. This will bring everyone on the same page and participants would know what is expected out of them in the meeting. This will also ensure that everyone walks away with precise action items and next steps.

3. Clarify the Next Steps

Sometimes accomplishing the agenda for current meeting is not enough. Current meeting can be called successful only when every participant knows in the end what action items he or she is responsible for and what is the time frame to accomplish the same. Have a placeholder like WorkMarshal where you can assign tasks and deliverables, set deadlines in real time in your meeting.  Make sure that everything discussed in the meeting gets captured at one place which can become your single source of truth which everyone can refer to in real time to monitor progress after the call.

4. Avoid follow-up meetings for status updates

All your meetings should be solution oriented. As we discussed in third point that there should be a common placeholder where you can store project status, progress against various key metrics and other data. But it’s responsibility of every team member to update the details regularly. This will ensure that the latest status can be easily updated via automatic email or shared projects and dashboards notifications. This will avoid the situation where your meetings are converted into forum for status updates. Instead team can use the same time for new ideas and initiatives.

5. Celebrate your achievements 

It needs lots of home work and planning on part of team leader and undivided commitment to the agenda from team members which eventually lead your meetings to success. You might be working on larger goal that will take time to realize. But there is no need to wait till you have wrapped up the entire project. An achievement of a key milestone should be good enough reason to call a meeting to celebrate your achievement. 

How can WorkMarshal Help

Productive meetings eventually push organizations into achieving larger goals, objectives and making organizational strategies successful. It will be helpful if you can have a single source of truth as suggested earlier. WorkMarshal is a robust, feature-rich Project Management & Operational Excellence Software developed to provide businesses with tools and capabilities required to effectively manage internal workflows and processes from a single, unified platform. 

The centralized approach to manage processes in WorkMarshal can be an important aid in meeting your meeting objectives. Whether you are updating the status of your assigned work, attaching documents, reviewing finished work, collaborating on work in progress you’ll have everything you need in one place from planning to execution.

Try WorkMarshal for free and bring visibility to your processes and workflows and achieve higher levels of productivity, transparency and work efficiency for all your projects including business meetings.

About: Deepak Shirdhankar

Product Manager, WorkMarshal

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