Communication is the pillar of any company’s success, but too many leaders fail to embrace change in this aspect of running their business, so they end up stuck with the same old methods. In fact, most businesses are accustomed to doing things their own way, which often means that they’ll stick to that conference room-style meeting, even if there might be more productive ways to communicate with their teams.
Others, however, have been pushed to adapt certain changes due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the overwhelming need to switch to a remote business model for any and all interactions.
For a meeting to be successful, most believe it’s enough for it to take place. However, there are so many ways to increase productivity at those meetings, make them more goal-driven, and help people make the most of the time they spend in those meetings. Here are a few ideas to take into consideration when you start setting up that next conference call with your employees.
Share your agenda beforehand
One of the easiest ways to keep your meeting productivity levels high is to prepare your goals for each meeting beforehand. While some companies might do well without an agenda, you’ll save time, reduce the chances of forgetting an important topic to cover, and you’ll be able to refine your plans for future meetings once you notice how much time you typically need for certain issues and topics.
Choose reliable tools
Currently, as more companies are switching to remote work, businesses are now considering VoIP systems instead of their traditional communication tools and complex landline systems. To choose the best option for you, you can look into the top 10 VoIP service providers that come not just with a phone system, but a number of additional features that you can use for your internal communication.
For instance, in addition to typical call forwarding, you can also rely on their own video conferencing software, emailing platform, and even faxing. Plus, they are designed to help you work remotely without any hassle, so your employees can use their own devices to connect to a video call with you and the rest of your organization.
High-quality sound is another perk to consider, especially if you’re about to have a lengthy meeting, you need to make sure everyone can participate without issues.
Plan your time properly
Some people keep things brief, while others can go on forever about their tasks or issues at hand. You know your employees best, and it’s up to you to manage your time properly during a meeting. The best way to help your teams make the most of your call is to allocate specific amounts of time to everyone before the meeting starts.
If someone needs less, while someone else needs more, it will be simple to reallocate that time without disrupting the flow of your meeting.
Send a follow-up email with instructions
Some meetings take 15 minutes or less, while others can last for several hours to create the next digital strategy for your company or to resolve a major financial issue together. No matter the time or place of your meeting, or how long it lasts, people are bound to forget most of what you’ve shared with them, as well as the deadlines for their tasks.
The simplest, most effective solution is to send out a follow-up email immediately after the meeting to everyone involved. Structure the to-do list for everyone and they can easily transfer their tasks to your chosen project management platform, or whatever tool you use to assign and track work.
One of the greatest issues one can experience before and during a meeting are distractions. If there’s too much noise, your phone keeps ringing, or someone keeps interrupting, you risk prolonging the meeting without actually covering all the important topics you wanted to discuss with your team. This is common both in virtual meetings and in a conference room, so you need to make sure to eliminate distractions before the meeting starts.
Keep your other devices off, or on silent mode to avoid calls. Let people leave you a message or send a text instead. Also, ask the rest of your participants to do the same, and always make sure everyone knows their role in the meeting (and the agenda will help achieve that).
Of course, there are all kinds of different, creative ways to keep your meetings streamlined, whether you organize them in person at the office, or you choose to keep your processes remote for the time being. These tips are meant to help you transform your meetings and make them more productive than ever, so keep them in mind whenever you need to set up a quick call with your team.