Meetings are a great way to share ideas that can be used for effective decision-making. However, brilliant can also be dismissed due to company workplace power dynamics, especially when there is no inclusive work culture.
A study conducted by Forbes showed that 43% of workers agreed that an inclusive work culture can encourage the development of talent. 35% stated that an inclusive work culture encouraged diversity; allowing everyone to work in a safe and productive environment.
When organizing for meetings, you want to ensure that everyone participates without discrimination. You must also consider how the inputs can be used to improve the company. Here are five effective ways to help you achieve inclusivity and make your meeting a success.
A positive work culture ensures that the voice and input of all workers reach top management either through their representatives or individually. This way, policies are not forced on workers with the assumption that they will be okay.
A commonly overlooked group of workers are those that work remotely. They may not be at the meeting physically, but the company must adopt other inclusive meeting channels such as video conferences to capture their opinion.
Use Auris AI to add closed captions for meetings with remote workers
In a meeting where physical and online representation is running concurrently, key speakers tend to assume that they are audible enough for both audiences. The real test comes when the remote audience is asked to participate in a discussion they can hardly hear.
To avoid such mishaps, it is always good practice to send out recordings of your meetings supplemented with subtitles after the end of a meeting. Free transcription and subtitling websites such as Auris A helps you to do this easily with automatically generated subtitles. This way, remote audiences can still follow through with the subtitled recordings.
Captioned videos are also a great way of reaching your employees who are hard of hearing or have learning disabilities. This will be key if you’re trying to build an inclusive culture that allows for diversity.
Encourage ownership by rotating roles
Do not always have the same individuals representing workers at the top or key management levels. In each meeting, choose different moderators and a temporary executive committee to keep each employee accountable. This will help to eliminate the narrative that “person A will take care of that”. This also helps to cultivate a sense of ownership for employees across all levels.
Allow time for preparation
Impromptu meetings are rarely effective unless it’s about conveying information without expecting input or objections.
When preparing for an all-inclusive meeting, inform your employees of the agenda prior. This gives them time to prepare their questions and opinions.
Preparation also allows employees with stage fright to continually go through their ideas before d-day. Enough preparation boosts confidence and relieves tension to an extent.
Acknowledge and create a “safe space” for inputs
Two things kill a conversation; the fear of speaking out and the knowledge that someone takes your efforts for granted.
Employees feel appreciated when they see their ideas being put into action within the organization. It makes them feel their efforts were not in vain, and motivates them to prepare exceedingly for upcoming projects.
On the contrary, an employee will feel demotivated when their opinion during a meeting is used against them. Meetings should not be used as opportunities for blackmail or to push your own agendas at the expense of employees.
A meeting comes to an end with detailed next-step guidelines. Before the next meeting, inform all the participants of the progress of the actions. If any hitches occurred; preventing the implementation of one or two agendas, put it out there to the entire team to avoid raising eyebrows.
Remember, an inclusive meeting starts with a positive work culture. Do not expect transparency and freedom of speech in meetings when it has never been the case with daily work operations at the company.