Many employees are working from home and trying to cope with all the changes and uncertainty caused by this pandemic. More than ever before, they need to connect with their team members and learn strategies to help reduce their stress and stay focused and motivated.
Virtual or remote programs can do that. After nearly two decades of presenting virtual programs on achieving goals and enjoying better balance to organizations like IBM and Kimberly-Clark, I’ve discovered some proven practices to ensure your success. I also checked in with a few of my speaker colleagues for their advice.
Here is what we recommend:
Let your team know why they should participate. Provide a clear overview and several impactful takeaways. Remind them that these online learning programs are interactive so they can ask questions or share comments. Perhaps allow them to submit questions in advance so the presenter is prepared to address them. If the platform is new to them, offer a brief list of instructions on how to log in and actively participate.
Assign a company leader to co-host the program so the expert presenter has someone to talk with and can discuss how this information relates to your organization. That person can best field questions and comments that will come in. “Be sure to use techniques to engage both introverts and extroverts,” advises speaker Jennifer B. Kahnweiler, Ph.D., CSP. “Introverts often like to use the chat feature so be sure to check that and acknowledge them. It helps to have some voices in the room as well, so let your extroverts talk if they prefer by unmuting their line. Engagement of all types is the key.” Her latest book, Creating Introvert-Friendly Workplaces, is available for pre-order now.
“In addition to polling participants, you can use a game format so they can complete a puzzle or quiz,” says Dr. Paul G. Schempp, a high-performance leadership expert. “Any activity like this will ensure that they are not passive learners and will retain more of the information.”
Consider following up with an accountability Zoom call a week or two later for the presenter to answer more questions and for participants to share insights and successes. This critical call will be an opportunity for your team to shine and boost morale. “By showcasing your front-line people through their own stories of triumph, they take on the role of hero,” says Storyminers’ founder and customer experience speaker Mike Wittenstein, CSP. “And that will inspire others to also navigate and perhaps even thrive during this challenging time.”
If you have questions on how to make the most of your virtual programs and how I can help, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 770-565-1231. I also offer virtual one-on-one and group coaching.