There are many benefits and challenges of hybrid work. Our clients and partners are now regularly checking in with their teams in a hybrid setting – meetings are now a mix of individuals and groups, those onsite and at home, and we are even seeing colleagues calling in on the go.
How do we engage, connect, inform & influence in such a setting?
time2talk leadership regularly have hybrid meetings. We meet our clients, partners and team members from our office and homes, and recently even held a hybrid team day- an opportunity to reflect, have fun and reset for the busy months ahead.
It is crucial that we use meeting time well, which for us, means creating effective teams, ensuring our people know what they need know and are leaving each meeting with the energy to conquer the next task.
Here are our top tips for humanising a hybrid meeting:
Not just the internet! Build in time for increasing visibility and familiarity with everyone. For larger groups use the chat function and mix it up between speakers. Perhaps check in on energy levels, or ask participants what is the most likely distraction they’ll manage in the session- you’d be surprised what you learn!
Make sure that everyone has an opportunity to see and hear clearly. How can you use the technology to make sure everyone feels like an important part of the meeting? If someone doesn’t have a camera available- can they use the ‘reactions’ button?
Start with ‘Why’
Who has asked themselves- is my time here in safe hands? Let everyone know why you’re all here. This will help them to know what to listen for, and how you need them to participate.
Have time for small group discussion- we’ve found the optimum time for a breakout room is between 5-7 minutes and is an invaluable opportunity to get your people to connect and develop ideas. Mixing up remote and in person staff works well to promote team work and break down barriers.
Engage & Inform
As much as possible, engage your stakeholders. Use storytelling, great data and empathy. Many people will respond to a balance of emotion and data, so try to incorporate both. Got a great slide? Use it, and tell a story about it. No slide? No problem- use your voice and presence to engage and inform.
Reassure the group that everyone is important in the meeting and balance your comments and responses to all participants regardless of whether they are remote or face2face. Acknowledge each individual or group.
Humanising is about making sure everyone can leave the meeting feeling seen and heard!
New skills are needed to humanise the hybrid workspace. These are just a few of the things we have learnt about bringing people together in a hybrid environment.
How will you humanise your hybrid meetings?