Depending on the severity of the coronavirus, people may need to work from home for safety reasons for an unknown amount of time.

As the novel coronavirus spreads, businesses around the world may be asking more people to work from home. While remote-work arrangements are increasingly common, they can be jarring in businesses where it’s not the norm. But businesses cannot risk lost productivity as employees work virtually.

DDI is offering a free, short online course, Leading Virtual Meetings, to help meeting leaders keep engagement and productivity high while working remotely. Technology makes it possible for teams to instantly meet, regardless of their location — but attending virtual meetings presents a new set of challenges in communicating and collaborating.

Developed in collaboration with Dr. Steven G. Rogelberg, the world’s leading expert on meetings and author of “The Surprising Science of Meetings,” the course prepares leaders to maximize the time that they and others spend in virtual team meetings. It offers practical tips to avoid wasted time and ensure effective collaboration and decision making.

Depending on the severity of the coronavirus, people may need to work from home for safety reasons for an unknown amount of time. Organizations will have to pivot how they work to ensure business continuity. It’s particularly important during difficult times to stay closely engaged with your team, and leaders need to employ a different skill set to help their teams carry on virtually.

Research found 33 percent of conference calls are wasted with distractions. However, a remote working environment presents unique challenges for leaders, who must keep employees engaged while working remotely. Rogelberg discovered that 21 percent struggle to communicate and collaborate, while 16 percent get distracted while working remotely.

The course provides leaders with an opportunity to review their effectiveness and evaluate their approach to engaging their audience. Leading Virtual Meetings includes:

  • A self-evaluation tool for leaders to evaluate their approach to ensuring efficiency and productivity, and how well they maintain audience interest and involvement
  • Tips to more effectively plan, maintain progress and leverage technology while working remotely
  • A research guide featuring best practices for effectively facilitating virtual meetings

It’s incredibly hard to lead during time of crisis, making emotional intelligence valuable to helping your team succeed. Leaders need to communicate frankly, inspire confidence and ease fears. Drawing upon empathy, leaders should help their teams understand their importance to their organization – especially during a crisis like the coronavirus.

For more information, including access to the Leading Virtual Meetings course, click here.

Tacy Byham

Tacy M. Byham, Ph.D. is CEO of DDI. An expert in unique solutions to address talent management challenges, Tacy brings her experiences in assessment centers, 360s, development planning and customized leadership solutions to maximize growth across the leadership pipeline. Tacy is an energetic and thought-provoking presenter at industry events including, ATD International Conferences, Conference Board events, SIOP, and the Annual International Congress on Assessment Center Methods. She co-authored, “Your First Leadership Job,” with Rich Wellins.

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