With many businesses asking their employees to work from home, they are depending on video conferences to keep in touch with the workers and evaluate their performance. For some, sitting in front of a computer rather than having a meeting face to face might seem too impersonal. Here are a few tips to ensure that your employees remain engaged when on a video conference.
Nothing makes people feel more comfortable with each other than sharing a laugh. “When we laugh, our brain releases dopamine — a neurotransmitter that creates a sense of euphoria. Dopamine can enhance learning… Laughter is also associated with higher motivation and productivity at work,” according to Harvard Business Review. Now, you do not have to stress yourself out trying to make everyone on the video call laugh. That might result in awkward situations. Just keep the chats lighthearted and open. If someone in your team has a good sense of humor, you can even let them talk intermittently so that the mood of the conference remains positive.
Maintaining a cheerful, relaxed facial expression is essential when doing a video call. Unlike real-life meetings, your face will be displayed prominently on your team members’ PC screens. As such, they will be able to see every micro movement that your face makes, enabling the employees to have a good idea of what exactly you feel. When not speaking, you should keep your mouth closed and the corners of your lips slightly upturned. A light smile will also work wonders, provided you don’t rigidly maintain it for too long a time since that can turn out to look too fake and creepy. When team members see that your face has a pleasant expression, they will be more forthcoming about their thoughts. In contrast, if they perceive that your face has a frown or looks too dull, they might withhold their thoughts because they think it might not be a good time to talk to you.
If your video conference will feature guests together with your regular team, make sure that you do allow appropriate introductions. Just saying the name of the guests and their specialization is not enough, especially if you will be inviting them from time to time. Let the guest introduce himself and tell what he is good at. Maybe he is an accountant who is skilled at finding tax breaks for the company. If so, mentioning it will give your team a more comprehensive idea of the person than just plainly stating that the guest is an accountant. Your team might even come up with ideas on their own on how they can work together with the guest.
Stick to the agenda
Prepare a proper agenda of the topics that will be covered during the video conference. If the employees feel that the online meeting is just meandering into unwanted talks and does not have a proper goal, they will pay less attention to what is being discussed. People can only focus for a small amount of time when they are watching something that bores them to death. So stick to the main points and keep the meeting short and tight. After every important point is discussed, do a 1 minute summary of the conclusion that has been arrived at. And at the end of the meeting, highlight every important point once more. When people have an exact idea of what is being discussed, they will be more engaged in the conversation and less likely to let their minds wander.