How To Engage Remote Teams At An All-Hands Meeting

Getting everyone at your company in sync and moving in the same direction is not easy. Only 7% of employees fully understand their company’s business strategies and their role in achieving the company’s goals.

Creating organizational alignment is one of the most important things for growing your business. As Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff explains: “Rowing teams know that if you row together in sync, you’ll go faster.”

All-hands meetings are the perfect vehicle to disseminate critical information throughout your organization and ensure that everyone is working to meet shared goals. Keeping people in the room engaged is a challenge on its own. Things get even more complicated when your team is global. So how do you engage employees? To help your employees and colleagues get the most out of all-hands meetings, you need to make sure that they have the right tools to interact and speak up.

 


THE BENEFITS OF EMPLOYEE ENGAGEMENT

1. Highly Engaged Meetings Are More Impactful

Meetings are costly. As a result, business owners need to maximize their impact with real engagement. “People in an audience who are emotionally involved get more out of the event. They learn and retain more,” says Corbin Ball, a meetings technology consultant.

2. Remove Miscommunication

As the CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, said: Internal communication can easily turn into a “corporate telephone game, which as we all know, is a great source for misinformation.” If you successfully involve your employees in the conversation, all-hands meetings can be the right place to address and fix any communication noise and employee misinterpretations.

3. Send The Right Message

There are updates, milestones, and strategies that you need to communicate. Just because the meeting ends in applause doesn’t mean your message was understood. Creating room for two-way communication allows you to gauge the opinion of your employees and identify points that might need further clarification.

 


HOW TO CREATE MEANINGFUL ENGAGEMENT

1. Start Engagement Before Your Meeting

The first rule of an all-hands meeting is to invite everyone including your remote team. Don’t stop there. As with most things in life, preparation can help you maximize the effectiveness of your meetings. Along with sending the invitation, encourage people to submit their questions during the week leading up to the meeting.

Yahoo uses its own “Yahoo Moderator” while our clients use our tool Slido to collect the questions via a URL link beforehand.

To make your meeting even more focused, you can run a live poll to identify the most crucial topics. One of our New York clients has their team vote on the three hot topics prior to the meeting. Based on the order of topics in the list, the management is able to prepare in advance and prioritize the time accordingly.

2. Broadcast Your Meeting

At the risk of stating the obvious, if you want to involve your remote team, you need to share the content live. Nothing beats a live broadcast and you don’t need an entire crew to create an engaging livestream.

At our last all-hands meeting, we used the Mevo camera by Livestream to bring content to our remote colleagues. Mevo creates the appearance of a multi-camera shoot, all edited live in real-time on your mobile device. You can stream to Facebook Live or to your own website, allowing you to control the viewer experience.

3. Use Q&A + Live Polls To Enable Participation

You’ve got the camera rolling and your remote colleagues are focused on their screens. Now it’s critical to give people the tools to voice their questions and thoughts. We partnered with Livestream to give business leaders a secure, easy-to-use platform for crowd-sourcing employees’ questions and collecting instant feedback with live polls.

As one of our U.S. clients shared: “With constant changes in our company, Slido provides an engaging way for employees to ask tough questions and voice their opinions and concerns.”

While having a tool to submit questions is important, there is another element that has an impact on the quality of the questions. After analyzing almost 10,000 questions, we learned that 78% of employees prefer asking anonymously. It’s no surprise. Raising a hand and asking about the company’s bonus structure is not easy, but it doesn’t mean that people don’t have questions. They prefer doing it under the veil of anonymity so that they don’t feel embarrassed or have to worry about being penalized .

Confirming this hypothesis, anonymous questions received on average 75% more upvotes than questions tagged with names. We can conclude that the anonymous questions revolve around topics that employees find really important to discuss as the submissions gain a larger support among meeting participants.

4. Create Space For Interaction

While sharing information is important, all-hands meetings should be about your employees and their questions. Dedicate a sufficient part of your meeting to the Q&A session so you can have a real conversation. This enables you to get to the heart of what keeps your employees up at night.

A few tips that we use internally to create great meeting participation:

  • Proactive facilitation: Ask people to take a moment to discuss in pairs or small groups before submitting their questions or other type of contributions such as personal highlights, feature ideas, etc.
  • Have a mid-meeting Q&A session: Don’t wait until the end. Create regular mini Q&A or brainstorming sessions to take the employees’ questions and make them a part of the talk.
  • Collect feedback in real time: Use polls to check the pulse of your team and gauge what your employees think about what you’ve just presented. The poll results are a great conversation starter, giving you a natural incentive to prompt volunteers to elaborate on why they voted the way they did.

To make sure that everyone is moving in the same direction, it’s critical to bring everyone together to sync on a regular basis. With livestreaming and interaction technology, you can now reach out to your remote teams and make them part of the all-hands meetings which, if run effectively, will enable you to create alignment and boost your business growth.

This guest blog post was contributed by Juraj Holub, US Marketing Director, Slido.

 

Keep your employees engaged, no matter where they are. Download our PDF to learn more about livestreaming solutions for enterprise brands.

[Case Study] How Nikon Inc is Live Streaming Their Events & Trainings

With a large remote workforce, photography industry leader Nikon Inc was looking for a way to conduct staff trainings using live video. Originally, internal trainings were their only intended use case: it was cost effective and engaging. “There’s nothing quite as engaging as a live broadcast,” said Mark Soares, Senior Marketing Manager at Nikon Inc. Since then, their strategy has evolved into live streaming events and trainings. “We realized we needed to use live streaming to reach and engage our customers,” he said.

Since starting their journey with Livestream in 2017 (now Vimeo Livestream), Nikon Inc’s reach has exploded through live streaming their events and trainings. “It’s not just an add-on to our events strategy, it’s a key part of the strategy.”


Determining a Live Stream Strategy & Metrics for Events

In terms of developing a strategy, Soares and his team eased into broadcasting live from their events. “Our initial goal was to just get the ball rolling,” he said. “It’s intimidating when you first start; many things can go wrong with a live broadcast.” As such, ease of use and setup were critical to ensure they could get their live event running smoothly.

Their first time live streaming at a trade show was during the WPPI Conference in Vegas. To determine a metrics and ROI of their live streams, the Nikon Inc team divided the number of in-person attendees at the event in half, and used that number as a benchmark goal for total live viewers. “That was our guess,” Soares said. “We really had no metric to base it on because it was our first time [doing it].”

So, how did Nikon Inc fare with their first experiment? “We exceeded it significantly. We had almost 300% more viewers than what we had initially planned.”

“With a fairly modest increase in budget, you can reach a considerably higher audience [with live streaming].”

Since then, Nikon Inc has been on a live streaming rocket ship, launching a marketing strategy built around live. This includes major product announcements and trade show events, and has become a cost-effective way to reach a larger audience than even the biggest trade shows. “People go to trade shows for education, and a lot of brands bring education to the trade show floor,” Soares said. “If you’re already bringing that talent in, then it’s really not that much of a stretch to put a camera in front of them and broadcast it.”


Image courtesy of Nikon LIVE from NAB 2018 Day 2 – Corey Rich – Paralleling Still and Motion


Selecting Content for Live Streamed Events

One key driving factor to a successful live stream is the quality of the content. Soares’s advice is common (and always applicable): listen to your customers, and you’ll better understand what they want. Then, turn that feedback into content.

“Your end users are your best ambassadors. Take the content that they create [to inform your strategy], because they will inspire others to go out and do the same thing,” he said. Soares also suggests tailoring the content to specific demographics or niche audiences. For example, at WPPI, which focuses on wedding and portraiture, Nikon Inc brought in wedding photographers to share their expertise with attendees and live viewers.

“Take great content, great talent, and schedule it on a regular basis, and users will keep tuning in,” he said. “That’s why the audience keeps growing every single time we do this. You will add viewers to your event every single time. Incrementally, we keep expanding the viewership.”

Tips to Promote & Prepare for a Live Stream

Leading up to every major live stream, Soares and his team rolls out a turnkey marketing strategy to attract new and existing customers. First and foremost, Soares suggests building in paid marketing to your promotional planning. In addition to a paid social media campaign, Nikon Inc also:

  • Updates a landing page whenever a new event approaches
  • Sends email campaigns to current customers promoting their upcoming live programming
  • Features banners on their website with information about the live stream

Nikon Inc has found great value in simulcasting to Facebook Live, as well. “The viewership lives on social media,” he said. “While we get great numbers from streaming to our own site, we supplement that with our social channels, too.”

Don’t forget about the experience for your live viewers, too. “You’ve got to get great talent on camera that can speak eloquently to inspire your user base,” Soares said. “Look to give a great experience through the actual broadcast. We started with a single, fixed camera, and now we have many cameras where we can change the angle, etc — it’s very cinematic.”

However you plan to promote your live event, iteration and consistency is essential. “Start with something you can manage and build on it. There’s this exponential growth when you do these events on a regular basis and with great content. People will keep coming back.”


Nikon’s Technical Setup for Live Streaming

Wondering how Nikon Inc sets themselves up for success with their live streams? Here’s the equipment they use for their live broadcasts:

  • 2 Nikon cameras/lenses (of course), sometimes with a roving camera
  • Cameras are hardwired into a 4K Livestream HD550 (💡Tip: Nikon uses 4K cropping, which increases production level so two cameras look like six)
  • Livestream Studio
  • One back up Livestream Studio HD550

“Nikon makes cameras, but we are not in the business of broadcasting live events,” he said. “We needed a system that would be portable and easy to use, so that almost anyone could use it.”


Why Vimeo Livestream?

As a leading brand in the photography space worldwide, Nikon Inc needed an all-in-one solution that would make live streaming smooth for their large remote workforce and even bigger global audience. Whether internal or external, Nikon Inc’s live streams require a sophisticated workflow with a robust cloud solution, that was also portable and all inclusive. Vimeo Livestream fit the bill: a platform that makes live streaming simple and accessible, along with powerful and portable hardware — the Studio HD550 is Nikon Inc’s encoder of choice.

Livestream is the only end-to-end solution that empowers you to distribute compelling live content, engage your employees, and grow your business. To find out how to get started with live streaming, check out our “Ultimate Guide to Live Streaming Events” guide.