As more and more of our meetings are likely to be attended by a combination of people in person and virtually, our HR Director Lydia Ings has put together her top ten tips to delivering a seamless, inclusive, hybrid meeting.
Before the meeting1. Number of people: Meeting rooms that have been set up for virtual calls will have a maximum capacity. If not everyone in the room can be seen or heard by the people online, then adjust the number of people in the room accordingly and increase the number of virtual attendees.
2. Have a backup plan: Make sure that all invites are up to date with online access details and backup dial-ins in case of poor connectivity.
3. Be prepared: Create a detailed agenda clearly outlining the purpose of the meeting so you can stay on track. Also make sure you have access to the meeting room five minutes before the meeting starts to make sure the host is connected and any presentations are ready before the meeting starts.
4. Be mindful of busy diaries: Think about limiting meeting times to 25 or 50 minutes to allow attendees an opportunity to recoup and refresh between meetings and commitments.
During the meeting
5. Room set up: If you are not in a room designed for hybrid meetings, room set up will need careful consideration, arrange the chairs to make sure all in-person participants can be seen on camera and can see a presentation screen of the virtual attendees as well.
6. Meeting etiquette: For a truly hybrid experience, ask the in-person attendees to bring their laptops in order to see and contribute to group chat and shared files during the meeting. Ask attendees to turn off emails and mobile phones, and ask remote attendees to have their cameras on for the meeting. Also set some ground rules at the start, such as asking people to click the ‘Raise Hand’ button to avoid talking over each other or to use the chat functionality to make relevant comments. Also call out any disrespectful behaviour there and then, so that people understand what’s appropriate and potential issues are dealt with immediately.
7. Nominate a meeting facilitator: To ensure a balance between remote and in-person speakers. This person should also be responsible for bringing back any side discussions that start between in person participants, which can be difficult for remote participants to engage with or follow. The facilitator should acknowledge comments in the chat made by virtual attendees and repeat any questions or points made in the room that may not have been heard by those online.
8. Be mindful: In person attendees have the benefit of being in the room to see if people are running late or there are technical difficulties. Ensure remote attendees are kept up to date with any delays and are not left isolated in virtual waiting rooms with no context about what is happening in the room.
9. Contributing: If brainstorming ideas or encouraging creative thinking, make use of the chat function or whiteboarding apps to allow all participants to contribute and clearly see the outcomes of the discussions.
After the meeting10. Bring the meeting to a close: Be considerate of remote participants when ending the meeting. Ensure there is opportunity for any other business to be discussed during the meeting and once it has ended avoid continuing or starting up fresh discussions which would require everyone’s input.
Delivering a productive and effective hybrid meeting is a new skill we all must learn as we adapt to new ways of working post-lockdown. Ultimately, the key to hybrid meetings is to make sure everyone feels they’re able to contribute and that their points are being heard – with these top tips you’ll be prepared to succeed.
Lydia Ings has more than 25 years of experience in Human Resources and an extensive knowledge of the real estate market. She has worked across the full spectrum of HR; including talent acquisition, graduate development, training & career development, operations, and business partnering.
To get in touch, contact Lydia.Ings@colliers.com.