Engagement in meetings where some people are in the room and others online starts by setting up the camera so everyone can see, having everyone be on camera and encouraging introductions, writes Ben Decker. “We have to make sure everyone on a team or in an organization has a voice and feels heard, as that will lead to better engagement and a better culture,” he writes.
At the end of March of 2020, as everyone was dealing with the shock of sheltering in place, we had a client that had an “aha”- a moment of clarity in the midst of the chaos that would define her leadership in a hybrid world.
With over 40,000 people in her organization scattered across the country, she was one of the few still working with a small team in the office. During a meeting, she realized she wasn’t giving any of her newly remote leaders, who joined on video, any attention or acknowledgment. Her back was to the camera, and she was totally focused on those in the room.
The image above represents that scene – one typical in hybrid meetings of the past. Unfortunately, this won’t work with the multifaceted ‘virtual first’ workplace of 2021. We can and must do better to ensure equal footing for all employees.
Three things to think about starting today:
Low-hanging fruit first.
Set-up your camera angle and lighting so you’re well-positioned and clearly seen. We shared some great remote dos and don’ts when this pandemic first started, but see less than ideal setups daily and encourage employees to take their setup more seriously to be more visible.
This last week Tom Brady appeared on the Late Late Show with James Corden after his recent Super Bowl win. He shared the moment when he threw the Lombardi trophy over the water to a fan into another boat in a post-Superbowl celebration and reflected that he wasn’t thinking at the moment.
While others were interested to learn about the revelation, I was instead WOW’d by his house camera setup. Despite being easy on the eyes as my wife might think, he was a great model for Zoom video setup – centered framed, great lighting, clear, relaxed, confident and friendly. Click on the video below to see for yourself – it starts right at his great camera setup.