Holding staff meetings virtually presents unique challenges. While practices like sending agendas ahead of time, implementing software checks to avoid technical problems, and encouraging everyone to use the same Google Meet virtual background go a long way toward keeping your gatherings professional and on track, don’t overlook the importance of making everyone feel connected.
To that end, it’s a great idea to begin each gathering with an icebreaker that puts everyone at ease and encourages collaboration. Here’s how deploying this tried-and-true method for kicking off meetings will improve your next virtual conference.
Make Your Team Feel Comfortable
Even during in-person meetings, some employees tend to fade into the background. In a virtual setting this can be even more prevalent, and you may miss out on valuable contributions from employees who are camera-shy or uncomfortable speaking up.
Starting your meeting with an activity in which everyone participates is a simple way to help people open up. Rather than getting straight down to business, asking icebreaker questions puts your staff at ease and makes participants feel less isolated from each other. It’s a low-pressure way to acknowledge everyone who is present and make them feel included.
Encourage Bond Building
Meaningful collaboration fosters innovation and productivity, but it’s often difficult to achieve when your employees don’t work under the same roof. You can aid the process of connection by encouraging live chats and group messaging, creating cohesion with tools like Microsoft Teams background, and keeping everyone in the loop regarding business developments.
Staying in touch with everyone through regular team meetings is another smart practice to enhance connection, so strive to make your meet-ups informational, engaging, and inclusive. By starting team meetings with an icebreaker, you’ll be giving everyone a chance to get to know their coworkers on a more personal level. This creates a greater sense of community and rapport, making it easier to spark further conversation and collaboration down the road.
Use Questions To Break the Ice
While icebreakers are important, don’t stress out about finding the perfect one for your next meeting. Just ask one of these fun and interesting questions to get people sharing and connecting:
- What’s your hidden talent?
- Where would you take someone visiting your hometown for just one day?
- What’s the weirdest thing you’ve ever eaten?
- If you could have a theme song play whenever you enter a room, what song would it be?
The idea is to loosen everyone up, so anything that gets people talking will work. As a bonus, queries like these often start conversations that spark collaborative connections between coworkers who share similar ideas and experiences.
Now that you know the importance of icebreakers and have gotten ideas for ones to use, it’s time to set up your next team meeting. Start by visiting the website of a top virtual office designer to browse free Teams backgrounds, and then send out your meeting invite and choose your icebreaker. With these simple steps in place, your next virtual meet-up is sure to be a success!