Meetings are a huge part of every company’s workweek. From individual contributors to management, we all spend several hours a week (if not more) in meetings!
No one wants to waste time, so it’s important to make meetings as effective as possible. One of the best ways to improve the outcome of your meetings? Sending a post-meeting follow up.
In this article, we’ll cover some reasons why you should follow up after your virtual meetings and some top ways to do so.
Why your virtual meetings need a follow-up
Just like putting a bow on a wrapped gift, your meeting isn’t quite complete without a follow-up. But follow-ups aren’t just for special occasions. They should be used regularly as part of your meetings.
Meeting in the virtual world can be challenging at times. From forgetting to unmute yourself to tech glitches, a lot can happen in a meeting. Wrapping up the meeting with a follow-up can help make sure your goals are achieved, even when there’s a lot going on.
Following up after a virtual meeting can have many benefits:
- Improve accountability – sending a written follow-up that highlights who is responsible for what can help ensure that your team follows through on any commitments made during the meeting.
- Keep teams engaged – receiving a follow-up after a meeting can help show appreciation and create a sense of responsibility.
- Align on next steps – meetings are great, but what’s next? Follow-ups can help make sure everyone is on the same page when it comes to next steps.
Ways to follow up after your virtual meeting
There are many ways to follow up after a virtual meeting. To help you get started, we’ve put together our top virtual meeting follow-ups.
Send a summary of action items
Most effective virtual meetings have goals and action items. While you’ve likely aligned on any action items during the meeting, sending a follow-up can be helpful for attendees. Your action item follow- up can be the ‘source of truth’ as your team moves to carry out these items. If there are deadlines, make sure to outline them in this summary as well.
By sending a summary of action items, you’re also providing an opportunity for attendees to chime in if they feel like something was missed or if anything requires clarification.
Share a recording
Following up after a virtual meeting can help make sure everyone is on the same page. One of the top benefits of virtual meetings vs in-person meetings is that you can save a recording. Instead of sending meeting minutes, a recording can help document everything that happened on the call. Recordings can include important details, such as everything that was screen-shared, making it a complete documentation of the meeting.
Did someone miss the meeting because they were OOO? They can always review the recording asynchronously so they’re caught up on everything they missed. This can help your team avoid any games of post-meeting broken telephone.
If you plan to record a meeting, make sure to let your attendees know ahead of time. This way they’re aware that they’re being recorded.
Remember: Venue automatically records all of your meetings to share out to your team afterwards!
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Provide meeting minutes
Like a recording, meeting minutes outline everything that was said and done during the meeting. The main difference is that they are written out. While recordings are great for virtual meetings, sometimes minutes are helpful to navigate the discussions in text form. If you intend to share meeting minutes, make sure you have someone responsible for taking these minutes.
Ideally, meeting minutes and any recordings should be sent as soon as possible after a meeting so the information is still fresh in everyone’s minds.
Another great alternative to minutes is following up with a transcript of the meeting.
Offer ways to communicate further
In most situations, discussions don’t end immediately after the meeting. Whether it’s about action items or changes in priorities, it’s important for all attendees to know how to stay in touch after the meeting.
Some communication related-details to send to attendees include:
- Who to direct any questions
- Who is responsible for what items
- What communication channel should be used for related information (ie. email, Slack, or another meeting.)
Ask for feedback
Particularly when it comes to meetings and events with larger groups, it’s important to ask for feedback. When there is a large number of attendees, you may not get the chance to hear from everyone during the call itself. For example, when hosting company-wide town halls, most of the team won’t have an opportunity to speak or contribute directly.
Depending on the number of attendees, you can collect this feedback directly or you can set up a poll or survey. Ask for feedback about the topics and discussions but also the logistics of the meeting in general. By gathering these thoughts and concerns in a follow-up, you can make your next meeting even better.
The opportunity to provide feedback will also leave your team feeling more empowered.
Say thank you
Your team and attendees are taking time out of the day to take part in your meeting. Even if it’s part of their job, it’s important to acknowledge their time and effort. A short and sweet thank you email or message is a great way to show your appreciation.
You’ll find this small gesture keeps everyone engaged and more motivated when it comes to executing action items. Some platforms even make this simple by helping you schedule thank you notes ahead of time!
Follow-ups make a difference
While sending a follow-up can feel like a chore, it’s a key part of actually achieving your meeting objectives. Not only do they help increase engagement, but they help make sure everyone is on the same page after a meeting.
The next time you schedule a virtual meeting, make sure you set aside some time to follow up with everyone afterward – we promise that you’ll find your meeting will be more effective!