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Over the last year and a half, organizations have had to completely change the way they work. They have had to learn on the fly when it comes to virtual meetings and one on one meetings with their employees. With more changes on the horizon and hybrid workplace models on the rise, how can we use our new skills to keep our meetings inclusive when we have employees working from home and from the office?

Don’t worry, we have compiled a list of tips for you to ensure a seamless transition to effective team meetings in a hybrid model.

Be Strict on Time and Attendance

When a meeting is set, showing up and starting on time is a great way to demonstrate that everyone’s time is valued, regardless of if they are in the office or working from home. There is nothing worse than showing up on time to a Zoom meeting and sitting in a room staring at yourself, while your colleagues are engaging in conversation at the water cooler.

Include everyone in meeting invites; you may only need a few people to achieve your goal, but by sending the meeting invite to all employees who may have input will ensure that no matter where your employees are working from, they have the option to be included in the decision process.

Have and Rotate Facilitators

Having a facilitator is important to keep the conversation moving forward and ensures someone is tasked with ensuring participation from all in attendance. Is the conversation being dominated by those in the boardroom? Your facilitator can call on those virtually for their opinions.

A great way to ensure inclusiveness is to rotate facilitators.  Each meeting a different person is responsible to guide the conversation, encourage participation and keep the meeting on track. 

Inclusive Discussions

Send out an agenda prior to the meeting to encourage your team to think up discussion points. This will allow the virtual participants added confidence to speak up in a hybrid meeting.  Also taking advantage of online whiteboards like Miro to post ideas pre meeting or Mentimeter to have an interactive Q&A aspect of your meeting. 

Cameras On

Do you have meetings in your office boardroom?  Having a camera and microphone on the projection system or TV in your boardroom will ensure those attending virtually can see the entire boardroom and those in attendance.  It also allows those in-person to face the TV and see those attending virtually clearly.  This is an important consideration, as it allows everyone to be seen and heard when they are speaking.  It will reduce side conversations in your boardroom and exclusion. 

Have a In-Person Companion

An in-person companion gives your virtual employee a direct line of communication to an in-person team member. The virtual employee can inform their in-person companion of any video glitches during a meeting or if someone is not speaking loud enough to hear.  Instead of the virtual team member trying to talk over their colleagues, the in-person companion can quietly or privately ask them to speak louder when needed or fix any technical issues. 

Your Engaged HR Assignment:

In preparation for the hybrid workplace, assess your boardroom and equipment to ensure you can conduct effective meetings. Consider rearranging the boardroom to make meetings more inclusive for your team. 

As always, you can reach out to the Engaged HR Team for more ideas and considerations. We are here to help!


Looking to learn more about other HR topics? Check out our Art of HR series!

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