Roughly 63% of employees
have admitted to doing other work while participating in a conference call. 25% shared that they are playing video games, and 9% shared that they are exercising during the entire conference call.
Does this show conference call collaboration? Conference calls seem to have a negative connotation which makes people participating feel like they only need to give 50% (or in some of the instances about, much less) of their attention to the call.
Whether you are on the receiving end of this, video conference call is often viewed as a time to catch up on other things.
Rude? Probably. But you can't change the facts! All you can do now is establish a pattern of respect and cooperation during these calls.
Here are 7 ways you can make conference calling more effective in your workplace.
1. Give in to the Temptations
It is hard for many people to concentrate on a conversation without doodling, eating, or messing with their hands. It has been scientifically proven that moving and fidgeting
help people of all ages focus.
Providing the doughnuts, paper, and pens, or fidget spinners is a great way to help your employees stay engaged for a longer period of time. These fidgety activities should not be too distracting for your employees who do not have the same struggles focusing.
Staying alert is tough, especially during a 2-hour conference call at 9 am. Think of your employees and what they may need to help them stay on task. If it isn't doughnuts or fidgets spinners, that is just fine!
2. Choose the Right Time
Why would you schedule a conference call for 2 hours at 9 am? If it is with representatives from other countries, then the 9 am slot may make the most sense. but if you can change it to be at 11:00 am instead, I would advise making the change.
Not only are you allowing your employees to get some work done in the morning that they may be stressed about, but it allows them to get to work and get organized and prepared for your meeting.
Allowing your employees to help choose the time increases conference call collaboration. Even if you make the final decision on what time is best, asking them for their opinion could go a long way.
3. Assign Tasks to Those Who Are Present
Just because your marketing coordinator is not the director, does not mean she cannot have a role in the meeting. Including additional instances for conference call collaboration like this can increase the enjoyment of these meetings.
You can have a timer, a recorder, a note taker, etc.
Yes, this may seem elementary. But giving it a try wouldn't hurt.
It puts the responsibility on those who are present and you may be able to get more out of these calls if everyone is completing these tasks. For example, you may realize that you spent 25 minutes
talking about golf when you could have cut that and saved time on your workday.
You can then take note of this for next weeks meeting and speed up the golf conversation.
4. Change How Remote Employees Call In
Do you have many remote employees calling in to be a part of the conference call? Not only should you provide them with the means to do so, but recommend that they use a headset instead of a cellphone.
Headsets and Bluetooth pieces are used for business calls and are often treated as so. A cell phone
is used to chat with family and friends while doing chores around the house.
With these natural tendencies, it is best to use a headset for work matters.
We also recommend including them in any future conversation about the conference call. Although they are your employee, they are working remote which does give them an outside perspective that may be helpful and fresh.
5. Build Team Spirit
When people think of conference calls, they more often think, "Long Meeting". Let's change the connotation to something less stressful.
Use a conference call as a way to recognize people
in different departments across the company on their success. Use it to get employees who work remotely caught up on the new policies of the company and the new promotions coming up. Conference calling does not have to only be used for "boring meetings".
6. Quick Catch Up
When account managers get replaced, it is always difficult trying to play catch-up. They send an email to announce that they are a new account manager, but then never do anything about reconnecting with you.
Be the one who does connect with them via conference calls.
They do not have to be long, but they are helpful to just catch up on what has happened in the past and what is happening in the future.
7. Don't Allow Laptops
Technology is great. To even have a conference call you need to use a laptop.
With that being said, you do not need everyone to provide a laptop to attend your conference call. If you see a common problem with employees having trouble focusing, remove the distraction.
We have seen several managers eliminate laptops in meeting and only allow pen and paper. People can pay attention to those who are participating in the conference and are not prone to check their email or catch up on late work.
There are many times when the internet is necessary to look up some reports or statistics for the meeting. Require this information to be sent to you before the meeting starts so that there is no reason for anyone besides the conference coordinator to need an internet filled device of any kind.
Conference Call Collaboration Can Bring Benefits
Yes, it is easy to get distracted when the presenter of the meeting is not present and is done via video conferencing. This is not new information. However, the 7 ideas shared above will help you eliminate the common distractions and help your employees stay focused.
Bringing in treats, taking away laptops, and giving your employees a voice are only a few of the many ways to improve conference call collaboration.
Read this article
to learn more about how a conference call can increase business success.