Even though it looks like organizations are going to allow a large portion of the workforce to continue working remotely due to the pandemic, that doesn’t mean that employees will no longer meet to discuss business. Thanks to multiple virtual meeting software, employees are able to meet virtually. Though it’s not the same as in-person meetings, virtual meetings have proven to be a great way for employees to ‘see’ one another while away from the office.
Stand-up meetings began as a scrum feature but were quickly picked up by agile development teams. From there, they are quickly becoming the preferred method of communication for work teams. Surveys have shown that teams do not feel that frequent meetings are productive. Stand-up meetings are shorter meetings where the attendants are usually standing, as opposed to the standard seated meetings.
So how can this new way of meeting work in a positive way for your team? Following these obvious, but simple, rules will ensure that your team meetings will continue to be a success:
1. Set a goal for your meeting.
What is the purpose of the stand-up meeting? What is the outcome that is expected? Goals should align with a pre-set agenda or itinerary, if you will. For example, if your company has decided to upgrade to cloud computing from your current web-based software, that should be listed on the meeting agenda in order of importance. So, if there is also a need to discuss switching vending machine distributors, in the interest of time, you know which item to discuss first. Because stand-up meetings are notoriously short in length of time, I would suggest only one or two big ticket items to discuss. The goal of the meeting should be communicated to the team before the actual meeting begins. Once the meeting begins, only the goal should be discussed. Of course, rules can be adjusted as needed.
2. Stay on topic.
One of the purposes of a stand-up is to discuss specific goals. The meeting should be one of sharing important information and where everyone goes around the table discussing projects that they’ve been working on, projects that they have completed and any issues they may have arisen, but not yet solved. You may benefit from having a mediator to keep the focus and conversation on the specified goal(s).
3. Give everyone a chance to speak.
Although the stand-up meeting is goal specific, it’s still important to give everyone in attendance an opportunity to speak. This would be the time for team members to discuss important information that is relative to the goals set forth before the meeting began.
4. Make remote employees feel as if they are meeting in person.
As companies continue to reorganize their teams and return to the office to work, there will continue to be remote employees, you can be sure. It’s important to make sure those remote employees are seen and heard in the stand-up meetings. This can be achieved by using virtual meeting software. Popular video conferencing services like MeetFox offer a company the option of showcasing their employees via group sharing or one-on-one meeting. During these meetings, sharing your computer screen with other attendees or guest/share hosting are some suggestions for keeping your remote employees engaged. Playing virtual games is another way to retain the interest of your remote employees and keep them engaged. Last but not least, one of the things that many miss out on when working remotely is the human interaction and talks that are not necessarily work-related. If in an office setting, taking a coffee break and chatting with a co-worker is pretty standard, the same practice can be adapted for remote workers, by encouraging virtual coffee meetings.
5. Make sure you only meet when necessary.
Employees have spoken and the consensus is that they are not fond of multiple weekly meetings. A lot of meeting agenda items can be shared amongst the team via email. Especially the items that are not so pressing. Of course, this is something that needs to be addressed, collectively, between team members to ensure that all important items are being or will be addressed. Make sure that when you do have to meet you are respectful of each other and follow a virtual meeting etiquette.
6. Your stand-up meetings should be short and sweet.
Using what we’ve discussed above and keeping in line with the agile development method, stand-up meetings should be short and directly to the point. Stand-up meetings should be 15 minutes or less. The meeting should aim to have agile development teams share their updates without elaborating on every minute detail. Efficiency is the end game with a stand-up meeting.
7. Don’t forget to follow up.
Following up on your meetings is essential. What’s the point of having a meeting, charting a plan, executing that plan and not following up on that plan? Is it working? Is there something that needs to be tweaked? By following up on your meetings, you can make sure that all your targets are being met and that you’re still on course to meet your goals. A good way to follow up on your stand-up meeting is to have a call to action or set an expectation during the meeting. For example, you could let the attendees know that you will be sending a reminder email by a certain date to ensure they understood what is required of them if you have not received an answer or reply to your stand-up meeting question. Using the one-on-one video conferencing software mentioned above would come in handy in these types of one-off situations. This gives an employee the privacy of diving a little deeper into what is required or expected if they don’t feel comfortable discussing it in front of the whole group. Or as the meeting planner, you could delegate the follow-up to another team member to give them an heir of responsibility.
Stand-up meetings are in no way taking the world by storm, but they do offer an alternative to the regular staff meetings that can drag on and on with no real purpose. MeetFox offers solutions to ensure that your meetings are precise, concise and to the point. It makes dealing with meetings, video-conferencing and scheduling so much easier.