BY AMBER JACOBS, MANAGER AND QPC LEAD
Click the virtual meeting link.
Boom! You’re in a “room” with your co-workers, but it feels a little different.
You type “Hi everyone!” in the chat, then smile because you get several responses and maybe a few funny ones from your co-workers that you haven’t seen in a few months.
Sendero’s Quarterly meetings, held four times a year for employees from all of our office locations, are an important component of our company culture that looks a little different in 2020. We’ve given insight into what makes our Quarterly meetings special, and want to continue that by sharing how we’ve carried our focus of connection and communication through a virtual platform.
Sendero’s Quarterly meetings are an important component of our company culture that looks a little different in 2020.
HOW CAN VIRTUAL MEETINGS KEEP US CONNECTED?
Although we may not be in the same physical room, we are all connected by being in the same meeting, hearing the same information, and participating in the same activities. It starts with curating a shared experience.
Highlight Your People
- Have a diverse presenter group so the company can hear from a diverse group of their co-workers.
- Keep showing content that highlights project accomplishments, new hires, and promotions.
- Share life celebrations – big milestones that impact people’s lives and are great reminders to catch up with those folks.
Share Company Information
- When investing in a company meeting, it is important that some time should be focused on business-related information. The most important part of this is keeping it honest and transparent so team members feel included.
- Although tough information may need to be communicated, everyone is in this together and can support each other through this pandemic. Each person has a part to play to build each other and the company up.
- Communicate future plans so that your team has something to look forward to – there’s a light at the end of the tunnel, and everyone can be motivated to get there.
Throw in Some Fun!
- Include a game or challenge to maintain engagement and give people a reason to laugh.
- Activities can help people get to know each other better and maybe incite a little friendly competition!
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO ENHANCE LARGE VIRTUAL COMPANY MEETINGS?
When you’re not meeting face-to-face, interacting virtually can feel a bit daunting, and nonverbal cues become increasingly important for connecting people in a large virtual meeting. It’s crucial to get people involved and foster interaction when possible!
Select and Test Your Platform
- Each meeting has unique needs depending on the content, number of audience members, length of time, etc. Determine those requirements up front, so you can create a checklist of the items that need to be tested before the day of the meeting.
- Get a few willing participants and even the presenters to test using the checklist to ensure the content will display as planned and everyone’s audio works well.
Turn On Your Webcam!
- When you present, turning on your webcam can add a “human touch” element to the meeting. After all – we haven’t all really seen each other since March.
- In social breakout groups after the meeting, be sure to have your webcam on so the conversation can be more interactive.
Use the Chat Feature
- When you present in front of an audience, you get a feel for how everyone is feeling based on reactions in the room. Those reactions are muted on a virtual meeting but can be communicated via the chat feature on the platform of your choice.
- Laughter, support, and congratulatory messages can be communicated via chat and make the presenter feel the audience engagement – even when we aren’t all in the same physical room.
WHAT ABOUT HAPPY HOUR?
You’ve seen or have probably already participated in a virtual hang out with family or friends during this pandemic. You can do the same with co-workers!
Keep it Small
- Smaller groups of 5-10 people can help keep conversation flowing, but also ensure everyone is involved.
- Limiting the number of attendees in the group can also lend itself to playing fun online games or asking round-robin style prompts so everyone can share.
Keep it Light
- Consider setting a theme for your virtual Happy Hour – funny hats, Hawaiian shirts, sports teams, or bring your pet. This is an easy conversation starter and gets a few laughs!
- Encourage team members to bring snacks and drinks of choice so it can feel like an in-person happy hour.
Just because virtual meetings are the go-to in 2020 doesn’t mean they can’t have the vibrancy of an in-person meeting. Keeping people connected is what makes work more than just a job.
Want to learn more about Sendero’s Quarterly meetings? Follow us on Instagram to see pictures from previous quarterlies.
Keeping people connected is what makes work more than just a job.