In today’s business world, it’s more important than ever to ensure that your communication approaches across various channels are tailored to best fit the medium. For example, face to face communication methods differ from the way you interact with someone during a video conference call. Given that many businesses are using video conferencing to expand talent pools and improve their workforce, it’s essential to establish effective communication tactics for dealing with remote employees. Whether you’re working with consultants or payroll staff, getting projects done effectively and productively is mostly reliant on how well you convey goals, directives, and foster collaboration. Here are four tips for effectively streamlining communication when you can’t sit down in the same room.
- The Basics of Video Conferencing
You need to start with the basics when you’re learning to effectively communicate over a distance. Video conferencing has standard best practices just like any technology, especially as it’s become more ubiquitous in business communication. Business that use online video conferencing with Blue Jeans, for example, utilize a high end, business-grade provider, but still adhere to simple safeguards. A few basic tips for starting out a video meeting with a remote employee right are:
- Check you equipment before the call starts, including camera and mic
- Ensure your participant(s) understand how they can join
- Conduct the meeting in a well lit room
- Wear appropriate business attire to set the tone, especially if your employee works from home
- Speak clearly and concisely, and allow space for your employee’s responses
- Include visual aids if relevant, and use features such as screen sharing if available
- Make notes or record the meeting for future reference
This covers the basic of what a productive video meeting should encompass, and will get you off on the right foot in your managerial approach to off-site employees.
- Take an Example from Email
Before video meetings became as portable and easily accessible as they are today, they were often viewed as expensive and unnecessarily elaborate. This was due mostly to the fact that only large corporation that could afford to install dedicated systems with heavy equipment in conference rooms used the technology. That’s no longer the case today, with SMBs using video conferencing to do business with clients over long distances and even mid-size companies using the technology to save money on travel costs.
However, you can still take a tip from traditional, text-based communication methods like email that need to be approached in a very careful manner. IT World advises that when you’re writing a business email, you should only send messages that you’d be comfortable seeing on the front page of The Wall Street Journal. While it’s always good to keep attention to detail and professionalism in mind, this can create distractions and anxiety over whether the tone of an email is being received the right way.
Although email is still a very valuable tool for certain tasks, this is a perfect example of two different types of technologies that fit separate situations. Email is great to get simple facts across, but video meetings are a better way to convey tone.
- Understanding the Widening Boundaries
Although everyday business communication often takes place between only two people, or a group of participants, you also need to think bigger. Video conferencing can help to leave behind traditional audience limitations when it comes to webinars, conferences, and other types of content being presented to a large audience. Even if you have 100 people, you can still benefit from video conferencing, whether it’s to present a session at a conference, or even host a product launch with VIP clients. There are different features available through video conferencing providers that allow you to take questions and answers from select members of the audience, share screens, or even share a session between two presenters.
- Providing Training That Creates Productivity
Everyone has sat through a boring trainings, whether it’s a daylong session about human resources topic, a new type of technology, or new employee orientation. Whatever type of training you’re dealing with, the same roadblock is always present, and that is a lack of engagement. What more could you expect when you sit someone down with a binder or in a dark room with a projection screen, though? This is where video training comes in, which can not only make staff training interactive, but can also transform preexisting content or meetings into training tools. It also provides a dynamic experience, and can be done over various distances. Whether you need to train a new employee on how to use software who works in an office one building away, or one country away, video technology makes it possible and more engaging than outdated, lackluster methods.
In today’s fast-paced business world, communication is key just as much as content is king. You need to have quality in all of your interactions, both to inspire loyalty in staff as well as convey a large amount of information efficiently. The more comprehension your team has about projects and processes, the better the end product will be.