Video conferencing has provided many businesses with greater productivity and opportunities for communication. What makes it even better is that it has also helped businesses save money. Increasingly more businesses are considering using video conferencing as their primary means of communication. It can save money, make the team more efficient, and reduce roadblocks to networking. However, it can still be challenging for some employees to make the change. Here are some of the ways that you can make the transition smoother.
Explain General Expectations of Conduct
One of the first things to make sure everyone understands is the general expectation of conduct. Intuit reports that one of the best ways to get the team to collaborate through Blue Jeans and other similar video conferencing services is to ensure that everyone knows how they are expected to behave on a video call. Video conferencing is a distinct communication style that has different etiquette requirements. Talk to your employees about how to avoid distracting noises, remain within the frame for the conversation, how to stay healthy and so on.
Expectations of conduct should also extend to potential cultural misunderstandings. For businesses generally focused within the same geographic area are not as likely to run into this issue. However, if you are working in a more global or multicultural setting, you should make sure everyone is on the same page. Be aware of common points for concern and have recommended procedures in place for potential issues. Hand gestures that are benign in the US, for instance, may be offensive to someone from a Latin American country. Avoiding these sort of faux pas can make the collaboration run far smoother.
Provide Expectations of Available Times
Being on call at all times can be trying. The International Trade Association recommends making the expectations clear from the beginning for all aspects of the communication. The most important thing you can let them know is whether they are to be on call at all times, specific times, and so on. People who are always on call for situations that involve video cameras may feel self conscious, particularly if they are telecommuters who work from their homes. Be sure to explain this to them in advance. It may be wise to have downtimes as well so that your employees can recuperate.
Determine and Discuss Policies on Recording Conversations and Meetings
Business Insider reports that record numbers of employees are starting to record evaluations, business meetings, and regular discussions. While 12 states require all participants being recorded give consent, the majority do not. However, you, as the business owner, need to determine how you want these to be handled. If you prohibit unauthorized recordings, you can help protect yourself, even though the recordings may not be criminally offensive. A no recording policy can also make dismissals and protection of corporate secrets safer.
Have a Training Session
Even when using an intuitive service provider like Blue Jeans, you should still have a training session for all your team members. You can either do this as a group or require that they go through the necessary tutorials. Most of your employees will probably have a general understanding of how the cloud video conferencing system will work. However, some of the more nuanced tasks may require some give and take. Having a group session is not a bad idea though as some of your employees may be uneasy about asking questions for fear of appearing stupid.
Continue to Have Feedback Sessions
It’s important to determine what concerns your employees have as they transition into the video conferencing for their primary communication. Having the initial guidelines will get things off on the right foot. However, as time passes, you should consider having additional feedback sessions to determine how well the current setup is working and whether there are additional concerns that should be addressed. These can be conducted privately or in group sessions. Group sessions may give a greater perspective on the overlying issues but private sessions will more likely reveal less censored concerns. After the feedback session, revise the conduct requirements as needed.
It will take time for any business to adjust to using video conferencing as their primary form of communication. Even when a service provides significant improvements for productivity and efficiency as well as savings, some people may be resistant to the change. However, you can make it easier for them. Start off by making sure that everyone understands general behavior expectations as well as the times when they are supposed to be available. You should also make sure that your business’s policies on recording and so forth are made quite clear. To help avoid any usage issues, offer a training session. If you make this mandatory or put it into a group setting, you will be more likely to cover all the potential issues even if your employees are embarrassed. As this is a learning process, continue to have feedback sessions with your employees. Look to see what needs to be improved and what you can do to further streamline the process.