20 March 2020
Anxiety, worry, and uncertainty. These are three feelings plaguing the workforce in these trying times. Luckily, you have us, so worry no more! We’re going to review for you some quick tips for maintaining an excellent and amiable corporate culture remotely so your team can continue to be the rock stars you hired them to be.
The secret ingredient in our secret sauce? Meetings. Hold internal meetings. Already holding internal meetings? Hold more. You want to aim for (at a minimum) daily standup meetings. To keep things productive, focus on these tips.
Turn On Your Webcam
A photo says a thousand words. A video could fill a novel with words. The easiest way to replace face-to-face contact is to encourage cam-to-cam contact. Seeing your team (and letting them see you) will build trust and reassure your team. There are tons of video conferencing options out there (Zoom, Skype, GoToMeeting, etc), so just pick one and run with it!
Provide A Dial-In Option
Video conferencing is great, but it does have some hardware requirements (webcam and microphone). Additionally, with an increase in remote work, some cities are reporting slowing internet speeds. To combat these issues, ensure your video conferencing solution allows for your team to participate via phone. Make it clear to them, however, that video-first is the new norm.
Test It, Then Test Again
In times of crisis, your team will be looking to leadership for guidance. You have the solemn responsibility of appearing calm and composed at all times. To that end, make sure your technology works before the meeting starts. Nothing derails a meeting quicker than technical difficulty. Simply hop on the call 5-10 minutes early and make sure video’s coming in clear, audio is working, and all the bits-and-bobs are in place. Most video conferencing software has a quick “mic check” you can run before the meeting.
Put On Your Best Face
Avoid minimal distractions on your video feed. Remote workers should attend the call in a designated spot. The background should be clean and their faces should be visible. It lends the meeting the professionalism and seriousness it deserves.
Have An Agenda, And Keep It Short
Before every meeting assemble a clear agenda and distribute it to the team. Keep the meeting short (this is a touchpoint, not a seminar). Keep presentations to a minimum, and (again) keep them short. You want to keep everyone interested and on task.
Break The Ice
Incorporate small icebreakers into your meeting. The hokier, the better. Small activities like this remind your team that they are indeed a team. Encourage participation. Strive for laughter. They may seem silly, but they make a difference.
Put Someone In Charge
Keeping in-person discussions on-topic is hard enough. Virtual ones can turn into a circus quickly. Assign each meeting a facilitator who’s in charge of guiding the conversation. This will allow your team to focus on the content of the meeting without being thrown off-course by idle chatter.
Call On People
Video conferences can be intimidating, and it’s commonplace for one or two voices to take control of the conversation. Make sure everyone has their voice heard. If they don’t speak up, call on them. When it comes to decision making, try to “go around the table” before the decision is finalized.
Tackle The Tough Issues
It may seem natural to wait to discuss tough issues until everyone is in person, but that may not be an issue. So don’t shy away from the controversial topics. It is better to address it now rather than regret it later.
That Wasn’t So Hard, Now Was It?
Not being able to work together in the same room with colleagues will become a major hurdle in the coming weeks, but with small adjustments you can quickly overcome this challenge. Meeting virtually is a learned behavior, and you’ll be amazed how much you can get out of it once you and your team begin to be comfortable working this way.
Remember, a small investment in preparedness now will have a huge impact on your business’s profitability and longevity.
Need help with getting a remote work solution in place? Get in touch today. We’ll help you out!