As an entrepreneur and being my own boss, I’ve had the pleasure of not having to deal with the normal “workplace atmosphere” and needing to plan or attend meetings within a company. I have however experienced what this atmosphere is like through working with other companies in the industry. More often then not, these meetings and get-togethers of individuals within the company is more of a waste of time and resources than anything else.
Yes, businesses of all sizes need to hold meetings, but how they hold them and who actually needs to be there is where there is room for opportunity. It’s way too easy for myself to throw together a webinar or online video series and have 1,000s of people attending my live feed, so why aren’t businesses doing the same thing within their organization?
With so many advanced webinar and video sharing platforms available, not only is it extremely easy to setup, it’s also quite cost effective too. Solutions like GoToWebinar are perfect for streaming live webinars and connecting with others in your company, while more advanced services like Blue Jeans make it easy to deliver HD video conferencing and multi-party meetings within a organization or during a live event with thousands of attendees.
If you aren’t currently using live video and webinars in place of holding in-person meetings, here are five reasons to reconsider — plus some fun office meeting memes to bright up such a feared topic!
5 Ways to Improve Workplace Meetings with Video
No matter what solution you are using to deliver live video or webinars online, consider the following five methods for improving how your business holds meetings within your company and make the most out of their time and resources.
Make Meetings Essential
The main issues that people have with meetings, be they online or in-person, is that there isn’t much point to them other than summing up things that people either already know or could be said with a group e-mail. An easy fix for this is to only schedule meetings when they are absolutely essential and let employees get on with their work for the rest of the time. If there is really no point to a daily or weekly meeting then don’t feel like you need to have one just for the sake of it. This will also emphasise the importance of meetings meaning that people will focus during them instead of zoning out or multitasking.
One of the most common issues with meetings in the workplace is if they are needed and how to run them efficiently. To maximize efficiency, Inc. Magazine offers five simple questions and tasks to assign before your meeting takes place.
- Does the meeting need to happen?
- Be very clear about the purpose.
- Engage people beforehand.
- Actually start on time.
- Document and share the main points.
Invite the People Who Need to be There
Meetings are usually boring and a waste of time for half of the people in the room. This doesn’t mean you need to get rid of your meetings, it just means you should only be including those who are needed to be there.
Not only are meetings a potential waste of time and resources just to pull them together, they can also be a huge productivity killer for all of the attendees as it’s going to break about their day and working time. Inc Magazine noted that the two biggest drags of productivity are “Meetings and Managers”. The article went on to say:
These two staples of work life–meetings and managers–are actually the greatest causes of work not getting done at the office. In fact, the further away you are from both meetings and managers, the more work gets done. This is one of the key reasons we’re so enthusiastic about remote work.
For businesses that feel they need to have weekly or monthly meetings, continue to do so, but only have the core individuals needed to make it happen. While this meeting is taking place, record the session and make it accessible to all employees for later viewing.
Keep it Brief
When you think about the amount of time it takes to put a meeting together, actually holding it in a room, getting started and finalizing everything, it’s a whole lot longer than the 30 or 60 minutes that the meeting was originally supposed to be. It’s not that everyone simply hates the thought of meetings, it’s the many emotions, complications and wasted time that come with them.
Forbes says that one main reason why people hate meetings so much is that our brains simply can’t focus fully for such a long amount of time. The trouble with carving out a certain time window for a meeting is the feeling that you need to fill up all of that time. All the while, your colleagues are desperate to get back to their desks and meet their deadlines or praying they’ll be in time to pick their children up from school.
The solution? Have someone do the pre-meeting work before hand and allow for employees to attend live meetings online or allow for the watching of a recording later on. Not only does this not take away from their work time and productivity, it also makes sure a 15 or 30-minute meeting is actually that long.
Record the Meeting
One great feature of video conferencing software is that you no longer need a secretary to take notes then repeat the minutes in the next meeting. You can record all of your meetings, save them, and e-mail them out to anyone who needs to see them. This is a great advantage for anybody who can’t make the meeting and means that they can check it out at a time which is convenient for them, again not disrupting their regular work flow. You can also cut out the unnecessary bits and shorten the video with a video editor. This will ensure that they will have something quick and short to watch
Something so funny about the internet and technology industry is that all of these companies are so advanced with their online marketing and campaign management, but when it comes to holding meetings they are still stuck in the 90s!
The key purpose of meetings is to make important business decisions, so then why do so few meetings accomplish this?
Many seem to go around in circles with everybody voicing their own opinion and boring everyone else to tears. Of course, everybody in the meeting should be able to voice their own opinions. That is why they are in the meeting, after all. But if you notice things are starting to drag, emphasise the importance of making an immediate decision and take a vote if you have to. Don’t let the meeting time be taken up by unimportant decisions or tangents. This way meetings will go much smoother and your team will get much more done in a shorter amount of time.
Should your organization hold meetings through an online video or meeting format, it would be much easier for all attendees to take notes or make suggestions through a chat interface. Not only will this help with the structure and organization of all notes taken, but it will also allow for individuals who might not like the spotlight on them to be able to contribute as well.
Less In-Person Meetings = Happier Employees
One of the many benefits to being an entrepreneur or the boss of your own business, is that you don’t have to deal with the many frustrations of meetings and staff management.
At the same time, we all know that meetings and communication within the workplace is required. What isn’t required is making the whole process a drag. Implement each of the methods above into your existing business and see how you can improve productivity and staff happiness by automating and delivering the process through online video and webinars.
The top marketers in the world are doing it to increase their businesses… you should too.