So maybe you haven’t actually run a remote weekly meeting yet. You have reached out to individual workers, but just for task tracking.
Or maybe you have set a remote weekly meeting, but it’s not going so well. Maybe you have trouble getting value out of it. Maybe workers are not into it, not engaging. Basically, it’s not having its intended effect.
Having a remote weekly meeting is important for productivity within your company. Before you write it off as a waste of time, go through the steps below to see how you can make the most of it.
(1) Set a Time
A remote weekly meeting needs to be set as a regular event for you and the workers you’ve hired. It should be held on the same day and at the same time as much as possible. Fixing a schedule for it makes it hard to miss, and also helps elevate the remote weekly meeting as an important event that holds its own slot in everyone’s calendars. This way, everyone quickly becomes fully aware of it and respects it.
Ideally, the remote weekly meeting should fall on a Monday, or the start of everyone’s work week. This makes it part of starting each week. It’s a great time to ask about everyone’s weekend to build rapport, and to set the tone for the week ahead.
Before setting the remote weekly meeting schedule, make sure that it is at a time that works for all freelancers involved.
(2) Create an Agenda
Each weekly meeting should have a clear agenda. It can’t just be another remote weekly meeting without a focus. This will lessen its impact, making workers feel like the remote weekly meeting is not an important event and that they’re just going through the motions. It can also make them feel anxious, not knowing what you’re going to talk about. Keep the meeting focused and help everyone prepare so that they can engage and add value to the discussion.
A good format for the remote weekly meeting agenda is composed of three main areas: updates, issues, and goals. First, outline the tasks that were assigned over the previous week and get updates on how they are going. Everyone should know that they are expected to come prepared with clear and concise updates that they can share with the group. Then you can smoothly transition into talking about any issues that workers ran into while tackling those tasks. Ask about how the workers involved propose to handle the issues. Invite suggestions from others for how to solve them as well, and add in your own input. If you don’t come to an agreement during the remote weekly meeting, make a note to set up a follow-up meeting with specific workers. Finally, talk about the goals that you want to target for the current week. Tie them in with what workers have been doing for the past week, month, etc. Keep everyone in sync with the overarching goals of the company as well.
Remember to keep an open policy for your remote weekly meeting. This way, workers will know that they can feel comfortable sharing ideas. Indeed, invite them to give feedback, and let them know that it’s a very important aspect of the remote weekly meeting that they are expected to participate in. Create this culture of openness to encourage productive input.
(3) Maintain Accountability
As you go through the three areas, always look out for workers who are not engaging.
Are they not providing clear updates? Ask them individually how things are going. Remind them that they are expected to give a weekly report on their task progress.
Are they not identifying issues? Look into their tasks and see if all is truly going well or if there’s something you see that needs improvement. Talk to them about it so they can focus on building this skill of spotting problem areas.
Are they not responding to the weekly or overarching goals? Ask them how they feel about their roles within the company and where they see themselves moving forward. It’s important to know why workers are not engaging and how you can help them to feel more like a part of the whole.
(4) Motivate Workers
A fitting conclusion to every remote weekly meeting is giving motivation. Remind the workers of the goals that you are targeting for the entire year. Acknowledge them for their skills and how their tasks contribute. Encourage them to use these skills and continue doing well to achieve these goals. Ask them again about any ideas that they have or any problems that they foresee. This will help them to think more deeply about their part in the greater whole. As they see where they are and the path towards the goal, they will be able to see more clearly how valuable their work is, and what light stand in their way that needs to be sorted out.
Take The 4 Steps to Run a Remote Weekly Meeting
Now that you have the formula, it’s time to put it into action. Let workers know that there will be changes in the structure so that they can prepare. If the method outlined above is very different from how you’ve been conducting your remote weekly meeting, ease them into it. Give them time to adjust so they are not flustered and unproductive because of that. You want them to understand the change and embrace it so that you can all make the most out of your time.
Here’s a little exercise to help you transition:
Outline your current remote weekly meeting strategy. Compare it to the Updates, Issues, Goals method above. See where your strategy differs and create a plan to pull in new elements from the first to the third area in manageable chunks and intervals.
1. When you’re ready to launch your modified remote weekly meeting, list the tasks that you have assigned in the previous week and any other pending tasks. This will help you to monitor workers’ updates so you can call the attention of anyone who hasn’t provided an update.
2. When you’re ready to add issues to your remote weekly meeting, go over the tasks list that you created and identify for yourself any possible issues. This will help you to monitor workers’ input so you can help them work through the issues or invite closer scrutiny from anyone who hasn’t noticed possible issues.
3. When you’re ready to add goals to your remote weekly meeting, go over the tasks and tie each one into your weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly goals. Communicate these goals and how each task relates to them. Name the workers involved as you do this so that they can directly feel the importance of their work and engage more deeply with their place in your company. Ask them how they feel about their roles and the company, encouraging everyone to share their views.
If you need more tips on managing workers, check out our free Online Hiring Resources.
Julia Valdez is a professional teacher and decades-long lover of the art of words on paper, the stage and the big screen. She spends most of her time doing freelance content and project management, community volunteer work with the Philippine Advocates for Resilient Communities, adventuring with the Greenhouse Christian Fellowship, and sharing lots of laughs over little crazy things.