Imagine joining a meeting completely prepared.
You’ve already shared important information with team members beforehand by chatting in a virtual project room to review a presentation. Or, during the meeting, key stakeholders located off-site can edit or annotate the document.
How about after the meeting? Post-meeting follow-up is maybe one of the most important parts of the process. That’s why meeting and collaboration tools that enable anytime, anywhere teamwork are essential. To achieve the full benefits from your collaboration tools, help ensure your teams:
Are your employees using instant-messaging apps to communicate? What about social media tools? Prior to engaging employees in the collaboration process, you first need to understand how your teams work and collaborate with their existing tools.
Ask yourself the following questions:
What tools and apps are they using? Also, are the tools company-approved or consumer-grade? Are they secure?
What types of meetings do they hold? Are the meetings typically onsite or are they virtual? Do teams hold hybrid meetings where some employees are onsite while others are remote?
What features do employees need or use the most? Do they need seamless file- or document-sharing capabilities? Are employees trying to communicate in real time or do they need to message workers who may be offline because they’re in different time zones?
We now know that employees have many tools at their disposal. Explain how integrating these capabilities into an all-in-one cloud-based platform can improve the way they work, how they collaborate and communicate with their colleagues, customers, and prospects.
Key action items:
Explain why tools must be more efficient and secure than standard consumer-grade options. You may want to point out that messaging apps and tools, such as mobile devices, are valuable but may actually hinder collaboration if they’re not integrated into their workflow or with the other tools your business uses.
Stress any security concerns you have regarding consumer-grade devices and even highlight any “bring-your-own-device” policies.
Note how these tools must support each other and employees throughout the meeting lifecycle—before, during, and after the meeting. Discuss how employees should have continuous access to meeting discussions and any pre- or post-even threads.
A department head may need to prepare a PowerPoint presentation, while a project manager needs to track meeting outcomes and progress. Also, employees have unique needs and work styles. Some employees may prefer verbal or in-person interaction, while others are more comfortable with digital communications. Explain to employees how different tools align with different needs and enable continuous collaboration in and beyond a meeting, including:
Chat with team members wherever they are to set to-dos and meeting agenda items.
Share the latest documents or deliverables and collect final feedback at any time.
Conduct quick presentation run-throughs before a meeting with clients and prospects onsite or offsite.
Share relevant meeting recordings, drawings, documents, and other materials in a dedicated workspace.
Continue the discussion in the work space to drive work forward.
Read this eBook to learn how Cisco WebEx and Cisco Spark can keep your team conversations going.
Make sure your teams are familiar with all the tools available to them and that they are using them. Then build meetings that offer opportunities to use a wide range of collaboration methods that cater to all of your employees’ needs. Potential meeting functionalities to consider may include:
Screen and file sharing.
The ability to share recordings, drawings, and other content formats in workspaces.
The ability to launch one-on-one meetings, including video conferences, with team members.
You have the opportunity to be an advocate for continuous, smarter collaboration. There's no better way to do this than to practice what you preach and create meetings that incorporate these different tools and follow the best practices you promote.
Continually keep these tools in front of employees so they understand their value: