Data Analytics for Better Meetings

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Written By Aditya Sharma

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Hybrid work has seen a shift in the way that people meet. Companies are now conducting more of their team meetings online. These meetings can lead to employee fatigue. Brian Goodman, Director of Product, Poll Everywhere discusses how data analytics can help improve online meetings.

It seemed certain that hybrid and remote work would be the new norm at the height of COVID-19's lockdown. The pandemic's aftermath has shown that remote and hybrid work is still very popular. Remote work offers flexibility and work-life balance for employers, while also giving them access to a larger talent pool and lower overhead costs such as food, travel reimbursement, and offices. However, the rapid increase in virtual meetings over the past two decades has led to employee fatigue and threatened the viability of remote progress work. How did we get to this point?

The goal of the global workforce moving to remote locations was to maintain business continuity but in a digital format. However, in practice, it has proved impossible and not sustainable to follow the same rules over the long term. It can feel more demanding than inspiring to be on video calls as much as it is to attend in-person meetings. However, leaders are increasingly struggling to find meaningful virtual socialization that maintains culture, camaraderie, and inclusion for their employees.

The Great Resignation in 2021 brought about a huge hiring boom that included more remote and hybrid workers than ever before. A mix of current realities complicates this shift today, including the possibility of layoffs in a future recession, rising costs of living amid massive inflation, and employee demand for greater diversity and inclusion at work. Remote work can cause employees to be anxious about their ability to connect with their coworkers and company, and get promoted, or receive bonuses and raises. This could cause candidates to look for more opportunities to work in person.

Leaders are now hearing calls for more and fewer online meetings. How can we reconcile all this?

We need to measure the impact of meetings and keep only those that add value to our companies. Online encounters have become a cultural norm in the workplace. It is now that they need to think more creatively and use data analytics.

Data is the Power of Data: Make Meetings Work for You

Meetings can provide a wealth of information. They can be used to gather valuable feedback from attendees and determine sentiment and engagement levels. How can this be done rightly?

It's easier than you might think. Meetings are now facilitated online via platforms such as Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Webex. Participants can engage in activities such as polling, Q&As, and comments. This feedback can be used to improve meeting outcomes and provide business leaders with endless benefits.

These are just a few examples of how data analytics can be used for improving remote meetings.

You can Track How Many People were Invited and How Many People Attended

All engagement metrics can be based on attendance tracking. It also helps you segment your audience to determine content fit, agenda, and how to market a meeting to participants.

After Identifying Patterns, Track Q&A and Run Reports

Leaders can compare the Q&A feedback received from different meetings after they have asked questions. You can also group questions by themes to adapt the material.

Keep Track of How Many People have Left Early and When

It can be vital to determine content engagement by determining when people jumped off. This information can be used to determine when is the best time to meet or to identify any problems in the presented information.

All Attendees are Welcome to Give Feedback After The Meeting

You can measure people's feelings about the meeting after it is over. This is a time to listen to everyone and allow them to share their opinions.

Democratize The Meeting, and Get Feedback

There are always people who love to share their thoughts and ideas with others in a group. These people will always be extroverts, who are naturally able to lead conversations. It is important to give an opportunity to everyone to speak up. Digital software allows participants to give anonymous or 1:1 feedback, which is great for obtaining feedback from those who are quieter.

All responses are data. Let's now get into the analytics part of things.

Feedback at Work

Meeting participants' feedback improves meetings exponentially. You also get a clear picture of what is working well and what isn't. The charts can visually present insights into company leadership. Leaders can increase online engagement and improve decision-making through the use of data.

Data is also a single source of truth. Leaders must make data accessible to all employees and allow them to collect, analyze, and share data. You can foster a culture that encourages transparency and participation in the collection of valuable insights from analytics. This will give your teams the ability to drive innovation and real changes, which in turn will lead to a better understanding of your organization's operations and more committed employees.

Data = Knowledge

An age-old question is "could this meeting be an email?" However, two essential truths remain:

  1. There is no magic bullet to increase productivity or satisfaction at work.
  2. Humanity is dependent on a connection, therefore meetings can never be completely lost.

If we truly want to change the way that we work, it is time for better listening. This is especially important in this age when you can't always read the other person across the room. Ask questions, get insight, and start to put your data to use. You will be closer to finding the right mix for your workforce.

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