Tips For Improving Meeting Participation in Your Firm
Getting the most out of any meetings you’re organising is important. Led well, they can yield a host of benefits for your firm.
That said, there are often detractors of these gatherings. There’s often a debate about what role meetings should have in a firm. While it’s true that aimless agendas should be scaled back on, companies must double down on communications of real value.
Still, the default attitude to workplace meetings is either passive or pessimistic unless workers are given good reasons to believe otherwise. Here are some tips to improve meeting participation in your firm.
Plan Your Content
The old saying is true; if you fail to plan, you plan to fail. It would help if you had a strong idea of how your meeting should proceed before it’s underway.
Outline your speaking points, but do not stick to your script religiously. While your meeting needs to feel like it’s been adequately planned, it’s possible to overproduce it and create something robotic and lacking any human touches. Your plan should resemble a guide rather than a step-by-step process you must intricately follow.
Choose reliable software for the meeting, whether for presentations or video conferencing. Of course, all tech can sometimes fail, so still have a backup plan in case yours fails. Even if the delays aren’t strictly your fault, the longer these hiccups go on, the more likely your meeting will be considered a waste of time or irritation. Remember, everyone has a better understanding and higher expectations of tech today, so optimise everything as much as possible.
Share some of your plans for the meeting’s content. You can send copies of the agenda before the gathering takes place. Bullet point what subjects will be discussed, when the floor is open to questions, and an estimated completion time. If others have a better sense of how the meeting should progress, they’ll feel more confident that it will be a good use of their time and that things have been thought through. At the very least, colleagues will have more reasons to be enthused.
Many people can provide lip service and pretend they’re open to feedback. For meetings, it’s best to have proper measures that prove you welcome your colleague’s thoughts on your meetings.
For instance, Vevox is the #1 rated polling and Q&A platform. These features have live options, so you can gauge what your teams think about your meetings in real time. Users can submit their feedback anonymously, which means their verdicts are more likely to be honest and unfiltered. You can sign up for a free account and integrate the tool into some of the software you already use.
Make feedback official. Opening up your meetings to scrutiny via top-quality resources showcases how much you value feedback. Workers can feel more comfortable expressing their honest thoughts, and you can improve your meetings with the critique you receive. Both of these things will facilitate further participation from your colleagues.
Welcome Remote Workers
Though many people now work from home, some remote workers will worry about how their location may affect their business prospects. They miss out on invites to things like workplace social events and, of course, meetings.
Giving remote workers a place in your meetings also sends a clear message; valuable contributions can come from anywhere. It highlights that you’re willing to hear from a wider range of voices and make an extra effort for more people to attend. Attendees may view you and your meetings more favourably and be more willing to give them their all.
Be sure to address remote worker attendees rather than have them be silent faces on a screen. Introduce them to everyone else present, and involve them in the same capacity as any other colleague. You could also encourage them to attend the occasional in-person meeting if they’re hybrid workers. That way, they can participate in the most convenient ways and feel more engaged for that flexibility.
It’s one thing to invite additional attendees, but you can build on this by nominating different leaders for the meetings as well. Though you may have devised the purpose of the meeting, that doesn’t always mean you need to be the person leading it.
After all, nobody likes to hear the same voice drone on and on for lengthy periods. Even if you must take the lead on some sections of the meeting, perhaps you can pass the baton on to others for other segments. If an item on the agenda relates to a certain department or business, then giving the key figures in those areas the floor is a good idea.
Varying who leads the meeting creates an equal atmosphere and ensures the meeting is not merely used as an extension of any ego you’re perceived to have. Colleagues won’t think you love to hear the sound of your voice, and they’ll get a broader range of voices and viewpoints. All of this will enrich the atmosphere of your meetings and boost further participation as a result.