11 Ways to Up Your Team Meeting Participation (Hybrid Tips)

June 15, 2022
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11 Ways to Up Your Team Meeting Participation (Hybrid Tips)
Jacquelyn Wong
June 15, 2022

In today’s workplace, companies that adopt hybrid work must determine how to meaningfully connect employees in the right place and at the right time. Meaningful connection is critical to maintaining company culture between virtual and in-office employees.³ Now more than ever, team meetings are a valuable tool to help team members connect, solve problems, and offer help with overwhelming workloads.⁷

Encouraging employee engagement in remote, in-person, or hybrid meetings can be challenging. This article will address 11 ways you can up your team meeting participation before, during, and after your meetings to maximize team productivity.

Before the Meeting

Effective preparation can help meeting attendees organize their thoughts and think of responses to discussion points. Preparation can make a vital difference in employee engagement for virtual, in-office, and hybrid meetings.⁴ To prepare employees for team meeting participation, try the following tips:

1. Choose an Appropriate Time of Day

The most effective meetings are scheduled at a time that doesn’t affect employee productivity and is convenient for the largest audience possible. Studies have shown that Monday mornings are the worst time for meetings because Monday mornings are usually among the most productive working hours in the week. Tuesday afternoons are a good alternative.² To increase group discussion during the meeting, find a time of day when employees are alert and engaged.

2. Block Out the Right Length of Time

Consider what you want to accomplish in your meeting and how much time addressing each item will take. Review essential participants’ schedules to avoid scheduling conflicts. Set aside enough time to prioritize employee participation so everyone leaves the meeting feeling that their contributions are valued.

3. Invite the Necessary Participants

In-office employees join a hybrid team meeting with at-home employees

For meetings that cover company-wide policies or human resources issues, you may consider inviting everyone. Otherwise, carefully decide who could benefit from the meeting and who needs to be present. Don’t exclude anyone who could benefit from the discussion, but remember that keeping meetings small can help attendees feel more confident and create a more well-rounded discussion.⁴

4. Send Out the Meeting Agenda in Advance

Always give attendees as much time as possible to prepare by sharing a meeting outline in advance. The agenda should include the date, time, place of the meeting, assignments for the facilitator and note-taker, and a schedule of the discussion points. With an agenda, attendees will have time to think over important points and issues beforehand.

5. Identify the Main Objective

You should include a sentence in the agenda that outlines the purpose of the meeting. A brief description of the goal you are working toward can help employees understand how to prepare for the meeting and what to expect. Whether you are planning to train employees on a new procedure, brainstorm for an upcoming project, or review your team’s quarterly performance, ensure that all attendees understand the purpose of the meeting and how they can participate.

During the Meeting

If you do your part before the meeting, your participants should come ready to share insights and engage in the discussion. To further encourage team meeting participation, try the following tips during the meeting:

6. Ask Team Members to Check In

At the start of the meeting, give some time for attendees to check in with the group. Team members should state their role in the meeting, give an update on progress from previous assignments, and mention contributions they’ve appreciated from co-workers. Setting aside time for shout-outs and recognition can help facilitate teamwork and encourage participation throughout the meeting.⁸

7. Actively Encourage Everyone to Participate

An employee presents graphs on a projector screen during office team meeting participation

Be careful not to fall into the trap of only letting the most vocal participants talk without hearing from quieter attendees. It may be beneficial for quiet people to speak first during discussions and for leaders to speak last. In an in-person meeting, give everyone a chance to write on the whiteboard and lead the discussion. Make the meeting as balanced as possible for each team member to ensure that everyone’s voice is heard.

8. Prompt Discussions from Multiple Angles

Understanding your team members is critical to encouraging team meeting participation. Some attendees prefer to answer direct questions, while others may prefer more abstract problems. Approach issues and discussions from multiple angles to ensure that everyone gets a chance to contribute in a way they feel comfortable with.

9. Break into Smaller Groups

Studies have shown that when people are in a large group, they are less likely to take individual initiative and offer help to someone in need. This is known as the bystander effect. Being part of a group can lead to a diffusion of responsibility, where individuals don’t feel a personal responsibility to address the issue.¹

In a team meeting, the bystander effect may lead to an unwillingness to answer questions presented to the group. Instead of waiting for volunteers to speak up, give your attendees personal responsibility by breaking them into smaller groups and asking them to discuss an issue or question.⁶ Define the problem, divide everyone into groups of two or three, and ask them to come back with an answer.

This strategy can be used for in-person, virtual, or hybrid meetings. Use breakout rooms, a Slack channel, or any other virtual platform that allows employees to collaborate in small groups.

After the Meeting

What you do after each team meeting can set the tone for future meetings. To build off a successful meeting, try the following:

10. Create and Share Minutes

At the end of the meeting, give out assignments to be completed before the next meeting. Ask whoever took notes to create a meeting summary—including assignments and due dates—and share it with the attendees. Having documentation of the next steps can help teams effectively address action items and prepare for the next meeting.⁸

11. Ask for Feedback

It may take a few tries before you conduct the perfect meeting. To help speed up the process, create a short survey asking attendees to share their thoughts on what went well and what could be improved. The attendees should be able to help you understand how to increase team meeting participation and use time effectively.

Empower Your Employees with OfficeTogether

Hybrid offices are the future of the workplace, which can create a logistical nightmare for companies that aren’t prepared for hybrid work.³ Investing in the right hybrid office tools is critical to ensuring that your employees’ needs are met and productivity remains high.

OfficeTogether is a hybrid office management system that makes it easy to reserve office space, collaborate with team members, and schedule events. Employees can easily reserve a hotel desk in the workplace and follow their teammates to see when co-workers are working in the office. To learn more about OfficeTogether or to request a demo, click here.

Works Cited

  1. Burkley, Melissa. “Why Do We Help Less When There Is a Crowd?” Psychology Today, 4 November 2009, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/the-social-thinker/200911/why-do-we-help-less-when-there-is-crowd. Accessed 18 May 2022.
  2. Burnison, Gary. “Monday is the worst day to schedule your meetings. Science says this is the best time (and way) to do it.” CNBC, 1 April 2019, https://www.cnbc.com/2019/04/01/science-says-this-is-the-best-time-and-day-to-schedule-a-meeting-if-you-want-to-be-productive.html. Accessed 17 May 2022.
  3. CBRE. “The Next Normal.” CBRE, 16 August 2021, https://www.cbre.com/insights/reports/the-next-normal-how-hybrid-work-will-transform-commercial-real-estate#adoption-challenges. Accessed 16 May 2022.
  4. Forbes. “15 Ways Managers Can Encourage More Voices In Virtual Meetings.” Forbes, 22 March 2022, Accessed 17 May 2022.
  5. Frisch, Bob, and Cary Greene. “What It Takes to Run a Great Hybrid Meeting.” Harvard Business Review, 3 June 2021, https://hbr.org/2021/06/what-it-takes-to-run-a-great-hybrid-meeting. Accessed 16 May 2022.
  6. HBR. “How to Get People to Actually Participate in Virtual Meetings.” Harvard Business Review, 9 March 2020, https://hbr.org/2020/03/how-to-get-people-to-actually-participate-in-virtual-meetings. Accessed 18 May 2022.
  7. Hills, Charlotte. “5 Benefits of Team Meetings.” LinkedIn, 19 November 2020, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-benefits-team-meetings-charlotte-hills-acma-cgma. Accessed 16 May 2022.
  8. Indeed Editorial Team. “Encourage Participation in Team Meetings With This Agenda.” Indeed, 24 August 2021, https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/actively-participate-in-a-team-meeting. Accessed 16 May 2022.

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