If your work environment is anything like ours at IC, we’re guessing the term “hybrid meeting” has become increasingly familiar to you. The somewhat awkward, but important, format where half of the meeting attendees are sitting around a table, and where the other half are projected on a wall. Running a successful hybrid meeting is a skill worth perfecting.
So, with that said, here’s our ultimate guide on how to run a successful hybrid meeting
Our 5 tips to running a successful hybrid meeting
1. Make sure everyone has the same link
Chances are, your company uses more than one communications platform, and this increases the chances of miscommunication. Whether you are meeting on Teams, Zoom, or any other channel, make sure the right link is given out. And make sure to double-check that your virtual team members have the links they need to be able to join in remotely.
2. Invest in proper meeting technology
Ensuring that your remote and office workers have laptops with functioning webcams, speakers, and microphones to join the meetings they attend is the minimum. For roles that may be more client/external facing, ensuring they have high-quality mics and webcams may make all the difference in representing the company. A study found that people who had better quality microphones over video chats were assumed to have higher intelligence levels by listeners. Your sales team, for example, would benefit from higher quality tech than some more internal-facing departments, so ensuring the right people have the right tools is paramount in making sure your organization always looks its best in front of any virtual audience.
Ensuring everyone has software and hardware they’re familiar and comfortable with is also important, as they can save valuable time. Imagine your team is spending even just 10% of their day trying to figure out various tech issues or problems. Based on their salary, your investment will pay for itself in time saved very quickly.
At the rate that technology is increasing in our world, there are many solutions currently being offered for making hybrid and virtual meetings more comfortable for your employees. Software such as Zoom Smart Gallery can make your virtual team members easily scan and see the faces of your in-person employees. This may seem like a piece of tech with small ROIs, but really, the psychological benefits of being able to see everyone’s face may well be worth it for you.
For meeting types such as board meetings, there are also tools and software that allow you to conduct virtual board meetings and even record the minutes of the meetings, similar to how in-person meetings take place.
3. Make sure everyone has the necessary files and information coming into the meeting
One major hindrance to productivity in hybrid meetings and in general remote working conditions is having multiple team members working with different information. Whether out-of-date, incorrect, or irrelevant; make sure everyone is on the same page (literally)!
The best way to do this is by placing important documents and assets in one centralized location, your organization’s intranet, for example. Think of it this way, if a one-hour meeting is wasted because team members were working with outdated information, that can add up to hundreds of dollars lost in just that hour—so implementing a single source of truth can save thousands of time-cost dollars in a year! When looking at the productivity of your meeting through a financial lens, you can easily find the justification for investing in tools to help make your team more efficient.
4. Schedule time for small talk
This may seem crazy, but allot the first 5-15 minutes of your meeting strictly for small talk. Zoom fatigue is a real thing, and due in no small part to the lack of any personality in meetings. Having a bit of time just to chat to your remote workers about non-work-related topics is a great way to make them feel like part of the team and help keep them fresh.
To help get the ball rolling with small talk, consider ice breakers. These are great ways to discuss non-work topics that aren’t simply the weather, traffic, or something “automatic”. Spicing things up with an ice breaker can bring some organized fun to keep everyone’s blood pumping and brain functioning.
5. Could the meeting have been an email? Could the email have been an instant message?
No guide for running hybrid meetings would be complete without urging you to consider if a meeting is even necessary. This is where your internal comms team (or, whoever oversees internal comms in your organization) comes in.
If the meeting agenda is to simply let teammates know of a new milestone, announce an event, or share brief news that does not require in-depth discussion; it is worth considering whether your meeting would be better as an email (or a message on whatever channel your employees may prefer, sent through a multi-channel messaging tool). Your internal comms strategy should have the goal of making everyone in your organization more efficient and saving valuable time by using push and pull communications instead of scheduling meetings, allowing your workers to better use their time towards their other goals.
Use internal comms software to make your hybrid meetings more productive
On that point, you may be wondering now how to hone your internal comms strategy to do just that. That’s where we can help! First, take our free assessment tool to get a good understanding of where your current internal comms strategy stands. Then, book a free demo with us and see our internal comms software in action!