Everyone has had the meeting that will never end. It goes on endlessly, goes over the same ground, speakers say nothing new, and at the end of the meeting nobody remembers what they were supposed to do.
In other cases, Baby Boomers, Gen Xers, and Millennials end up shouting ineffectually across the generation gap while those attending by telephone mute their mic, roll their eyes, and play Candy Crush. Everyone needs a way to communicate and get that valuable face time with other team members and department heads.
It’s just that insofar as email, telephone calls, texting, and teleconferencing are available to everyone, they invariably fall short when large amounts of complex information need to be conveyed and shared.
Why Video Conferences?
Videoconferences help people to fill in missing information. In much the way that emails cannot convey a tone of voice, a teleconference with sound only cannot convey things like facial expressions or body language. Using videoconferencing can fill in those gaps in nonverbal communication and add more context to what is being said. With versatile apps like BlueJeans you can implement audio video communicationson a cloud-based framework at minimal expense and effort, with no significant capital outlays for equipment, servers, or IT staff.
The benefits of videoconferencing are myriad, but among the top are in attentiveness that spans all the generations within your workforce.
Entrepreneur magazine notes that whilst one percent of millennial’s frequently use videoconferencing, it is baby boomers who are more than 92 percent likely to experience and report being more attentive on video calls. Additionally, long-term users of videoconferencing report better work/life balance, and job satisfaction.
More than Meetings
Videoconferencing also connects clients and customers directly with those they need to speak to. Everyone has at one time or another been stuck in what is sometimes termed “voice jail”– it can be a frustrating experience when you need to hash things out or have questions that urgently need answers.
Whether you are meeting with a customer for a sales call, or demoing a new product, or even doing face-to-face customer service, videoconferencing is a versatile and scalable tool that can help make communications smoother and more comprehensive. Sharing documentation, video, and other content is also easy as is referencing a recording of the conference from the archives.
Anyone who needs to refresh their memory of events and actionables after the meeting can simply pull it up and review.
Making it Work
CIO magazine identified some of the biggest fears that people have about videoconferencing. People can have been addressing and attending meetings for years, but these issues will come to the fore when speaking on camera is involved.
- Not looking good on camera.
- Having everyone see what you’re doing.
- “My home/office is a mess.”
- Being afraid of public speaking.
- What if it doesn’t work?
You might experience some pushback when it comes to implementing meetings with video. People are always hesitant to adopt new technologies, when they are accustomed to doing things in a certain way. By making the advantages of videoconferencing evident, and helping people to adjust to the change with training and personal, you can get them to accept it.
Positive changes are the ones that are most easily adopted, because when people like the changes they are making those changes tend to stick. You can help people prepare for their first videoconference by handing out in advance a guide to etiquette, advice for those speaking on how they should dress, and offer the chance to rehearse their speech or presentation on camera.
And on meeting day, make sure to test all of the equipment and the application to make sure that it works. You might not be able to avoid a network wide outage, but you can still control what goes on in your meeting area.
Just as with anything else becoming good at video meetings takes time and practice. Eventually, people will become comfortable with cameras, the technology, and the sense that they are in front of an audience.
Managers should develop their soft skills in order to bring everyone on board and make it work. Enthusiasm, attitude and professionalism can make a huge difference, but only when combined with communication, teamwork, and networking to get the message out.
Point out that video meetings solve any number of problems associated with the logistics of holding in person meetings with geographically diverse teams, off-site workers, and telecommuting staff.
Encourage workers to use videoconferencing from their own personal devices or desktop to solve everyday problems, to brainstorm, or even have their daily standing meeting – you don’t have to have everyone in the same room in order to get everyone on the same page.