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What is meeting equity: 10 tips to run an engaging & inclusive virtual meeting

Just a few years ago, the traditional office setting was the go-to for holding meetings, with face-to-face interactions being the norm. However, the global pandemic has drastically changed both employee and employer strategies and mindsets. As a result, companies are increasingly adopting hybrid or fully remote working arrangements, giving rise to the prevalence of virtual meetings.

However, this virtual meeting landscape presents a unique challenge—one person can speak at a time, leaving colleagues struggling to break into the conversation and express their ideas. Unlike in traditional meeting rooms where conversations flow naturally between different groups and individuals, virtual meetings can inadvertently make some participants fade into the background. Astonishingly, studies reveal that 71% of people find hybrid meetings difficult, and 1 in 3 remote workers feel disengaged during remote meetings due to the difficulties they face in being heard and seen.

"The risk of hybrid meetings is that in-person attendees become anonymous faces in a room, while remote attendees are left speaking into a void, not knowing if they are seen or heard, or how to jump in and take a turn."

In order to meet the expectations of today’s hybrid workforce, it is crucial for businesses to shift their perspective on meeting equity from a mere “nice-to-have” to an absolute necessity. When employees feel excluded from important discussions, it can lead to frustration and a sense of underappreciation. This is precisely why meeting equity holds such immense significance.

meeting equity

Source: ZDNet

But first, what is meeting equity?

Meeting equity revolves around providing every individual, regardless of their location, with an equal opportunity to participate in meetings and contribute to the desired outcomes. Failure to achieve meeting equity can have grave consequences, such as a disconnected and disengaged workforce where vital information gets lost in transit.

By prioritising meeting equity, businesses can foster an environment where every employee’s ideas, perspectives, and expertise are valued and given equal weight. This inclusivity not only boosts employee morale and satisfaction but also enhances collaboration and innovation. Additionally, when everyone has an equal opportunity to contribute, the collective intelligence of the team can flourish, leading to better decision-making and more successful outcomes.

meeting equity

Source: Gallup

10 tips to run an engaging & inclusive virtual meeting

1. Invest in quality solutions: Choose reliable hardware and services that enable effective communication and interaction, while ensuring equal access for all participants.

2. Prioritise remote workers: Ensure that remote team members have access to top-quality technology on par with their in-office counterparts, including professional desktop setups.

3. Opt for all-in-one solutions: Complexity can hinder inclusiveness. Keep it simple with all-in-one technology solutions that offer natural and intuitive experiences, reducing the learning curve and minimising technical issues or conflicts.

4. Make audio a priority: Choose technology with advanced features such as individual voice isolation, built-in echo cancellation, and noise reduction, so everyone’s voice is heard clearly.

5. Ensure equal representation: Look for meeting platforms that offer independent tiles for both in-office and remote participants, ensuring equal visibility and representation.

6. Enhance connection with quality video: Equip remote workers with high quality video equipment to create a sense of being in the same room, especially in hybrid workplaces

7. Utilise touch-enabled whiteboards: Virtual whiteboards can serve as a focal point for remote workers to contribute and share their input, fostering inclusivity and engagement.

8. Embrace asynchronous collaboration: Look for tools that facilitate seamless post-meeting collaboration and information sharing.

9. Strive for consistency: Creating a consistent experience between home and office environments facilitates smooth collaboration, reduces frustration, and minimises the need for technical support.

10. Invest in training: Ensure that the entire team receives comprehensive training on effectively and comfortably using meeting software and equipment.

Prioritise meeting equity & empower your remote workers today!

meeting equity

Source: The Human Capital Hub

As organisations navigate the changing landscape of remote and hybrid work, prioritising meeting equity becomes essential. By implementing these creative approaches and fostering an inclusive environment, companies can empower every team member to have their voices heard and make meaningful contributions to the discussion. 

Talk to our Specialist today and make sure everyone in your organisation can be heard and seen.

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