Make Hybrid Meetings More Productive with Analytics
Workspan Daily
December 07, 2022
Key Takeaways
  • Goldmines of information. If conducted effectively, collaborative meetings can provide a wealth of data that can be utilized to improve company-wide activities.  
  • Minimize challenges. Data collected from meetings allows leaders to more efficiently identify challenge areas for employees and determine steps to reduce the difficulties.  
  • Improve leadership through insights. Discovering the strengths and weaknesses of a presentation or topic during a meeting can empower leaders to make better decisions and increase engagement.  
  • Democratize data. As companies collect data, it’s highly valuable to provide all employees with access, as it promotes a culture of transparency and participation in company-wide efforts. 

Meeting overload and Zoom fatigue are the most commonly used phrases in today’s hybrid/remote work life. Collaboration within teams, across different departments and sometimes across regions and time zones have workers jumping from Zoom to Webex to Teams all day. Being available on video calls as we used to be at in-person meetings is starting to feel more required than inspired.   

One-in-four workers say they are worn out by online meetings, according to a 2022 Pew Research Center study. To rekindle enthusiasm and engage employees, organizational leaders are facing the challenge of executing meaningful virtual socialization to maintain culture, camaraderie and inclusion for their workforce. 

Since almost all our conversations have moved online in forms of meetings, catch ups, team syncs, etc., the daunting task continues to be how to make virtual and hybrid meetings more productive, meaningful and engaging for everyone involved.   

One solution is to use data analytics to measure the impact and value of company, team and individual meetings and then streamline to keep meetings that drive value in terms of productivity, culture and inclusion. 

Harnessing Data Analytics For Meetings  

Meetings can be goldmines for information, and if leveraged correctly, can help business leaders garner incredibly insightful data and feedback from attendees to determine sentiment and engagement levels.  

With meetings now being largely facilitated on platforms like Zoom and Webex, data can be collected via participant feedback with activities including polling, Q&As, open-ended and multiple-choice questions, comments and reactions to foster an environment of better connection and understanding.  

Tapping into this feedback can help business leaders improve meetings exponentially and in almost real time, bringing endless benefits. In this new era of work, every interaction serves as an opportunity for better listening, and by leaning in on these insights, leaders can improve online engagements and overall decision-making.  

Here are some examples of ways data analytics can be used to minimize challenges like meeting fatigue while also improving on remote and hybrid meetings: 

  • Attendance. Using attendance data as the baseline for all engagement metrics helps to understand which attendees are there and more importantly, who is not. Looking at attendance helps to segment your audience for content fit, agenda priorities and how the meeting is marketed to participants. Data here can show the importance employees gave to the meeting. 
  • Participation. Asking questions throughout the presentation increases engagement while providing important data to leaders and organizers. Once questions are asked, leaders can compare the number of participants that provide feedback from meeting to meeting. Questions can be further grouped by theme to adjust material accordingly and provide better flow for attendees. Additionally, data can measure whether or not employees are actively paying attention and participating. Gathering data around the most outspoken people (and equally important, those that tend to be silent) provide an opportunity to even the playing field for the whole audience.  
  • Engagement. Uncovering when people exit meetings can be a key factor for determining content engagement. It can be used to determine the best time length for a meeting or to find pain points associated with the  information being presented.  
  • Post-meeting feedback. Gauging attendee sentiment after meetings are over provides important insight into the meeting and its content. This is the time to listen and provide attendees with the chance to express their thoughts and ideas which leaders will want to  consider when setting priorities, agendas and timing for future meetings.   

Optimizing Data  

The feedback received from meeting participants not only helps improve meetings exponentially but also provides an accurate representation of what worked and didn’t. The insights gathered can be presented visually in the form of charts, in real-time during the meeting for further engagement and reported after the meeting providing company-wide leadership with a visual on their efforts and how well processes are going.  

By leaning on data, leaders can improve online engagements and overall decision-making. Leaders have an obligation to democratize data, making it possible for everyone in the organization to access, collect and tap into data overtime.  

By fostering a culture of transparency and participation in the collection of valuable insights from analytics, teams have the power to drive innovation and real change — leading to both a better understanding of what’s going on in the organization and with employees. Taking workforce trends into account, organizations need to shift their traditional engagement ways to  support retention, while driving innovation and real change. 

Turning Data Into Knowledge 

While there is no silver bullet for productivity and satisfaction at work, connection is essential. With the power of data analytics, the question of “could this meeting have been an email?” becomes inconsequential.  

Meetings will never fully go away, and they shouldn't. However, if organizations are truly set on adapting ways to work better in any situation, listening — especially in an age where you can’t “read the room” is essential.  

Meeting leaders have the ability to jump in, ask questions, gather insight and put the data to work. In doing so, companies will get closer to finding a happy medium for their unique workforce. 

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