Virtual meetings became an inevitable part of working in every IT company around the world, as coronavirus outbreak forced the offices to close. This proved to be a huge challenge not only because of various technical issues. Human to human contact during online conference can be an equally important problem, as many professionals struggle with taking part in video calls. Fortunately, we can improve our daily conferences and make sure that every single teammate can express their thoughts with those few simple tricks.

Participants – friends or enemies?

People are essential part of every virtual meeting. Usually it is their presence that creates all extraordinary ideas we look for. However, working in a home office can sometimes cause employees to be distracted or unwilling to engage in conversation. Still, there are many ways to attract their attention and help every member of the team speak his mind.

At first I was horrified by the idea of communicating via online calls, but after a few weeks I can tell that they have more advantages than traditional meetings. I don’t have to walk around the office to find the person I look for – I just need a quick call and everything is settled. We have to change our thinking. We used to meet in a small conference rooms, now we meet in online rooms. Right now, there are no limits.

Maciej Kondera, Employer Branding department

1. Everybody has a voice!

A leader of the meeting also has to remember to give a chance to speak to everyone present, including those who may have little to say. Giving each person a little bit of time on the agenda allows to check their presence during the meeting and it helps to start a conversation about work or everyday life. It is a perfect idea for the end of the call, as it can ease the tensions caused by constant problem solving and strengthen relationships between the employees.

Meeting does not end with the last person to disconnect

2. Choose specific goals and tasks.

The work is not over when the very last employee presses the disconnect button. The meetings are not a form of entertainment – they serve a particular purpose that was decided upon beforehand. Thus, at the end of the meeting or right after the conversation ends, every single participant should know what to do next. They can recapitulate that in the last minutes of the call or they can receive further instructions via email. Using a virtual document that can be edited by all members of the team is also a great idea that was widely implemented in many companies.

Ailleron is proud to be one of those companies. Regular meetings are a part of employees’ tasks and they help us manage all the projects better than ever. Those group calls give everybody a chance to speak their mind, especially when there is no time for that later during the day. The meetings are also a good time to discuss our goals for the future, as well as those that has already been achieved.

3. Use feedback to gain more.

My entire team really values a good feedback and we are open for our colleagues’ points of view. Feedback helps us support each other in what we do. I know from experience that sharing our thoughts increases our effectiveness and makes the results of our work better than ever before.

Katarzyna Olszówka, People and Organization Development

Feedback is also an essential part of every virtual meeting. Employees’ insight is especially valuable when they share it regularly. Time between the meetings is a great opportunity for them to notice their problems and prepare the topics that should be discussed during the next conversation. Thus, the meetings should not be separated from conversations from the days before – they should be a perfect time to share thoughts and give feedback on previously discussed topics.

This assumption is especially useful for teams of companies that tend to organize everyday meetings. Ailleron is proud to be one of them, as those conversations, usually held in the morning, allow us to discuss the most important problems and implement new solutions to them on daily basis.

Feedback is obligatory in our projects. There are two indicators we use to determine whether we were successful in achieving our goals: KPI, an index telling us to measure the results of our actions, and ROI (Return on Investment). We base our feedback on those two variables. Still, sometimes just want to check whether the task was done or not, but regardless of the evaluation techniques, we always thank each other for our work.

Maciej Kondera, Employer Branding department

In the light of recent event it is hard to tell when the situation will go back to normal. However, with the technology and digital tools we can create an environment that will make any job easier than ever before – and make virtual meetings more enjoyable than ever before.