5 Ways to Make Your Finance Department Virtual Meeting More Effective

05 May 2020

Due to the unprecedented times, we are currently facing, many of us are being forced to work remotely. Emails may be a quick and easy way to communicate, but nothing beats face-to-face communications. In fact, meeting face-to-face is 34 times more successful than email communication.

With the increase in working remotely, many face to face conversations can only take place via video conferencing software. Having effective meetings is key to running a healthy and profitable organization.

In this article, we will discuss 5 ways to make your finance meetings more effective and share some resources that may help.

Use a Calendar Invite

A calendar invite is an essential tool to organise, schedule and confirm meeting attendance. A Calendar invite can include a descriptive title, relevant notes in the description, location information or virtual meeting link.

Setting recurring meetings through a calendar invite will ensure that everyone will be able to respond to your invitation,  it also gives you the ability to attach an agenda and make updates to the meeting without having to email everyone separately.

Here are a couple of guidelines for rolling out calendar invites in your organisation:

Start on a positive note

Starting each meeting on a positive note allows each member of the meeting to feel listened to, appreciated and part of the bigger picture. Then go around the room and allow each person to share an item of business news from the past week. This will add a boost to the conversation and will allow people to focus on what is working in the business instead of always focusing on mistakes.

Here are a couple of ideas to keep the meeting on a positive note:

  • Start the meeting with a positive note
  • Plan your agenda mindfully
  • Design the meeting around people’s strengths
  • Reward people with growth opportunities
  • Finish with on a positive note

Set up the meeting earlier than you want it to start

If your meeting is set to start at 9:00 AM, chances are, many people will be few minutes late, in order to avoid any unnecessary delays it is best to schedule the meeting by at least 5 minutes before you actually want it to start.

In doing this, it will set up a serious tone and culture around start time that will help increase productivity. If your company has been plagued with a culture of tardiness, here is a suggestion for working on reversing it.

Keep Conversations Purposeful

Side conversations cannot be avoided in a meeting and there’s nothing wrong in having a quick side comment or a little joke here and there but the team leader should keep the focus on the purpose of the meeting.

Conversations in a finance meeting should revolve around these talking points:

  • Project Deadline
  • Expense Approvals
  • Deliverables
  • Scheduling payroll

End on Time

Ending on time is almost as important as starting on time. Allowing a meeting to go longer than usual or a set time will encourage unproductivity and lack of structure. Ending the meeting on time will show staff that their time is respected and measured and will set the tone for future meetings.

 

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