How can we be inclusive towards all of our colleagues regardless of where they work – whether it be in the office, at home or in a café?
What we’ve been seeing is employees go back to the office and then realising the benefits of working from home, a café or somewhere else at a time that suits them. As organisations work out if they are fully remote, hybrid or in-person only, and employees work out the balance within their teams, one thing we can all agree on is that the pandemic has shown us more freedoms in the way we work. This is combined with an increased social and organisational awareness for the need to be inclusive.
Our challenge right now is: how you can help to create an inclusive mindset in all your people regardless of their work preference?
Before we move ahead with our discussion, let’s just assume that your company has an appropriate digital workspace that caters for remote workers. This means that your employees have access to an employee experience platform such as MS Teams, your files are saved in the cloud and internet access is not a problem.
To get us started we thought we’d start with an obvious pain point…. Meetings.
Have you ever sat at a teleconferencing table and not known if you should talk at the screen or the people in the room?
Quick tips on successful hybrid meetings
1. Set expectations before your meeting
- Check your presenters are confident using the tools in the room and online (we can help you!)
- For high profile meetings we usually give senior leaders who are online guidance on what is expected of them and their role
- Think about your room setup – avoid noisy places opt for video conferencing facilities (or a laptop so online people can see)
- It is easier to facilitate if you are in the main room, rather than remotely
- Encourage people to briefly say their name before speaking and set the scene for people online (if they can’t see the people in the room)
- The facilitator needs to remember the people dialling in
- Give everyone a role in the meeting so they have the chance to be involved
- You’ll need to take a more structured approach to the meeting to make sure everyone is included
4. For the people online
- Have your camera on
- Use the ‘raise hand’ feature so the facilitator knows you want to speak
- Aim to be an active participant
5. People in the room
- Raise your hand or physically indicate that you wish to speak. It is the facilitator’s role to make sure everyone gets a turn.
Practice makes perfect! You’ll discover what works for your team and their environments by having open conversations at the end of your meetings about what worked well and what didn’t for the participants.
Great resources we love
Two reports for you:
We can help you
Contact us if you’d like to talk about digital transformation and engaging your employees through new ways of working.
We’re Microsoft Partners and specialised in helping with Teams adoption, supporting your organisation in creating great digital employee experiences. We’re the change comms people, delivering change communication and management for rolling out hybrid work environments.
Andreas Ringsted, Chief Digital Officer, ari(at)opencommunication.com
Monique Zytnik, Global SME Employee Communication, mzy(at)opencommunication.com