Part 3 of the Social Business For Real Work series

The Challenge

Companies with employees distributed around the world find it hard to schedule a time for “all hands” company meetings – it always results in an inhospitable timezone for many employees. Even smaller companies can struggle to find a time when everyone is available, especially if employees are often out of the office visiting customers.

The Social Business Advantage

  • An enterprise social network can host an online, interactive, asynchronous meeting. A video recording of the presentations can be made available to all employees to watch when it is convenient, and these can be combined with questions from the audience before, during and after the event.
  • These are often far more effective than live Q&A sessions, because as well as reaching more employees, they give greater opportunity for both questions and answers to be more carefully considered.
  • This more open, transparent approach to company meetings makes employees feel better engaged and more motivated.

Example

With employees in US, Europe and Asia, the company has decided to hold its quarterly meeting online in the enterprise social network. The HR team creates a community for the meeting and posts the details for those people in the US office who are able to attend in person.

In advance of the meeting, the agenda is published, and employees have an opportunity to provide feedback on additional topics they would like covered.

The meeting is recorded, and after a quick bit of editing, the IT team post the video in the community. Employees in Europe and Asia are able to watch the recording and review the presentations when they get into the office the next day. US employees who are out of the office can watch it on their mobile devices.

The HR team also schedules two online Q&A sessions that fit with the European and Asian working days. Carmen, the VP of Products, goes through the discussion forums and activity stream in the community answering questions raised before and during the Q&A sessions.

Make It Real

  • Create a community for each meeting
  • Prior to the event, use it to post logistics details and to solicit suggestions about the agenda and topics to cover.
  • Record the presentations, with particular attention to capturing good quality audio – although video gives a sense of “being there”, the audio is more important to following what’s going on in the meeting.
  • Publish the presenters’ slides to the community, as it can hard to record video of both the slides and presenter well.
  • Ensure the recording is in a format accessible to as wide a range of devices as possible – many conferencing applications record in an awkward, proprietary format that doesn’t work well on mobile devices.
  • Encourage employees who watch the recording to post their questions, and ensure that the presenters make some time available to respond, either asynchronously or in a scheduled online Q&A session.