Graham Bell had predicted that a day would come when a man at the telephone would be able to see the distant person to whom he is speaking. This mere speculation of then is the reality of today! Video communication apps have cornered the market in 2020 when the majority of the world is confined to their homes.
With remote work gaining immense traction, especially in recent times, the plan-ahead team needs to seize the opportunity and look for ways to keep their teams connected. The better the response to a crisis, the stronger a business’s reputation.
58% of global executives rate 8-10 on a 10-point scale, for how a company responds to and addresses any crises, issues or problems it faces – these factors contribute to its reputation. — Weber Shandwick
Great leaders always choose to fight back, but it can’t be a one-man army effort. It takes a team working in tandem to make it all work! Communication and collaboration need to be in full swing to keep the engagement going, whether it is your employees or the customers.
So, in a nutshell, how do you get started with setting up a remote work culture? You might be used to working in the physical environment, but here’s the challenge — How do you benefit from video communication platforms in remote setups to help engage employees and customers alike?
Video Communication Apps for Businesses — The Use Cases
Incorporating daily communication in the remote work setup helps in imitating the routine of your physical workplace. Thanks to technological advancements, businesses across the globe are continuing to work, following the crisis.
To recover your businesses’ health when the world gets back to normal, you would have to ensure the wellbeing of your team from early on. Here are the benefits of using video conferencing as a method of communication.
1. Employee Engagement & Communication
With the normal operations going off-track, organizations are coming forward with their business continuity strategies. This might be a new challenge, but the bigger challenge is to touch base with the workforce consistently. If not done right, employee morale, trust, and productivity are likely to suffer.
Maintaining virtual distance can lower team member’s trust by 83%, the ability to innovate by 93%, and engagement by 80%. — Deloitte
The current situation brings a clear opportunity for leaders to engage in “virtual leadership.” The right strategy would be to start investing in tools that offer video conferencing services for your business.
Communicate consistently to put your workforce in the picture. This is how video communication can help transform perspectives.
a. Maintain Transparency of Goals
The best thing about live video communication platforms is its ability to reduce the diversity of physical space to a united virtual environment. This is the right tool that can be used to clarify the team’s purpose and scope while keeping them motivated.
For instance, the respective managers can initiate honest communication with the employees and guide them through the difficult times. Two-way communication should be given preference where the managers can define the goals and the individuals can respond and ask queries.
This way, they will not only have a direction but will feel connected to the organization.
b. Pave the Way for Newer Traditions
Having a regular video streaming session helps track everyone’s progress, along with understanding the challenges they face.
Moreover, you can also introduce virtual learning sessions, where everyone can emphasize on upskilling & reskilling.
This is something that we started doing at Net Solutions. We have these “Friday Learning” sessions every week where the team can share their knowledge and ideas. Indeed, a newer tradition, and totally worth it!
c. Show that you Care
Social distancing is the new reality of people around the globe, which adds to anxiety and fear in this time of crisis. While some may be worried about losing their jobs, others might be tackling more difficult issues.
With the power to leverage types of video communication platforms, managers can conduct motivational talks with the teams. Offering a helping hand if anything affects their work-life balance, will ensure the team’s trust in the organization. Empathy should take a front seat here!
Focus on creating a comfortable workplace where the employees do not hesitate to reach out, no matter how petty the issue seems. The organization would have to take responsibility to address the issues that challenge one’s emotional and intellectual abilities.
2. Webinars for Keeping the Clients/Customers Involved
Events and conferences have presented the opportunity to enhance interactions and boost professional networks since time immemorial. All this pauses with the contagious Coronavirus spreading across the globe. But, that doesn’t count as a reason for burying your head in the sand.
If the current situation does not favor your traditional communication protocols, it is time to look for alternative ways. In this context, it means that the cancellation of live events can be replaced with webinars for engaging with customers.
Webinars are identified as 73% effective in generating quality leads. — Inside Sales
You could leverage a video webinar app for conducting a seminar, a workshop, or even a video presentation. This is one of the trending live video communication ideas, bridging the gap between customers and businesses.
Webinars can be a great way to make a difference in how people look up to you, i.e., having been positioned as a thought leader.
Also, the reason for attending the webinar should be impactful. If you do not have a webinar strategy in place, this is your chance to get started. The following infographic gives an insight into some tips that count for a webinar’s success.
3. Virtual Training & Learning Sessions
Learning and growing are more important than ever as upskilling and reskilling are becoming normal in an agile-driven organization. COVID-19 might have stopped physical movement, but it cannot contain one’s zeal to strengthen the L&D (learning and development) curve.
So, it might be time to rethink your workplace learning strategy and adapt to the virtually-driven, business video conferencing tools.
Take this as an opportunity to communicate with your employees and share your experiences with them. You can also trigger a conversation by letting them educate others with their share of knowledge.
When it comes to activating executives, I approach them the same way I approach anyone else. I ask them to share their excitement about what they’re learning. That energy is what inspires people to learn. — Kevin Delaney, VP, Learning & Development, LinkedIn
The add-on advantage is the ability to record these video communication sessions so that the employees can walk through them at their own pace.
4. On-Boarding New Employees
The COVID-19 effect has led to the economy hitting a slump, and unemployment rates reaching a new high. Working employees fear their fate in the coming times as an increasing number of organizations are generating no revenue.
But, for the organizations that are financially stable and have the bandwidth to enable remote work, hiring the right talent should get precedence over lay-offs.
At Slack, a company that makes corporate chat software, job postings jumped 50% from Jan 1 to March 9, from 163 to 245. — Quartz
Having the support of business video conferencing tools, yet again brings solace to the recruitment managers. They can host interviews on the virtual environment to meet with their staff needs. Even our business continuity plan includes hiring employees in a virtual environment.
5. Imitating the Routine of a Regular Workplace
The idea of work and workplace has experienced a 360-degree turn in the last two-three months. Everyone is defying the traditional cubicles while working from the comfort of their home.
The only difference being, employees now seem to miss their fellow workers, their everyday routine, the lunch breaks, and those laughs that echoed across the hallways.
If you come to think of it, you could recreate the environment with the best video streaming software by your side.
Businesses are already introducing virtual coffee/tea or even lunch breaks for their employees. Virtual birthday celebrations are popular too.
What are these live video communication sessions about? It is a team-building activity that is strictly about off-work discussions. Such breaks send the message loud and clear — We all are in this together!
The right strategy would be to pick a day in a week when you and your teams could spare some time to talk about anything but work. It not only ensures cognitive wellbeing but induces optimism when everyone needs it the most.
Top Six Apps that Facilitate Video Communication for Businesses
Where every other business is badly affected by COVID-19, business video conferencing apps are an exception. This particular business domain is booming and making revenues more than ever before.
Let’s have a look at examples of video conferencing solutions that have been making remote work possible.
- Zoom — Zoom collaboration platform can scale up to 1000 participants in real time without much hassle. Zoom also allows inviting outside participants to join a call, without an exception. It can be used on both desktop and mobile.
- Goto Meeting — You could call it a go-to video communication platform for webinars and video conferencing. The option to record meetings and share them makes it easy to conduct one-to-many sessions for your remote teams.
- Webex — It is a Cisco-product that facilitates different video conferencing tools that are divided into several rooms for conducting meetings, events, training, and remote technical support.
- Adobe Connect — The video conferencing product can enhance engagement with quizzes, polls, games, and even simulations. The Backstage feature takes the brownie points for allowing the hosts to collaborate exclusively when on a live call.
- Microsoft Teams — This video communication platform by Microsoft suits every business type, be it healthcare, government, education, or the corporates. Their latest feature that allows changing the backdrops while on a video call is making collaboration less reluctant.
- Slack — Video calls on Slack are only available on the desktop and at max, 15 people can join a video call (under a paid subscription). One of the best features of Slack is its screen sharing that allows conducting virtual learning sessions.
In this time of crisis, being agile-driven is the only way forward. Whether it is gaining the trust of your employees or your customers, continuous communication should be given utmost priority.
The approach should be to try types of video communication applications available and check reviews before zero in on with one. Or, you could also outsource or build a video communication application, i.e., your personal in-house app, customized for your business & functional requirements.
The idea is to have resiliency planning to make remote teams work and stay connected with each other and the customers. After all, the show must go on!