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4 Ways to help employees find their voice… from home

Build a Dream President & Founder Nour Hachem-Fawaz

Employers have a new challenge: helping female employees find their voice… from home. When a conversation is held over an online communication tool, often enough one or two people dominate the conversation. In a face-to-face meeting, the less outspoken employees may gesture or make eye contact to make it known that they have some input. In a virtual environment, these cues are much harder to notice and valuable input may be missed.

As a meeting manager, here are a few tips on how to help the situation:

  • In the beginning of the meeting set a time limit for input (30 seconds, for example) and state that feedback that takes longer to communicate should be emailed. This gives you the power to later say “Great feedback so far, can you email me the rest? We need to hear from others.”
  • Give people their turn to speak. Remember that even if someone took longer than expected to make their point, others have something to say. You could pass a proverbial microphone to someone else by directly asking quieter attendees, “What do you think?”
  • Communicate that you are open for additional ideas and feedback after the meeting in a one-on-one call or email. Maintain open lines of communication in programs like Microsoft Teams, Slack or Skype.
  • If someone is not participating and does not reach out after, but you know they may have input, reach out and initiate that new conversation.

Keeping your employees engaged during this difficult time will provide them with emotional security, confidence, and enough comfort to remain productive. Contact Build A Dream for more ideas on creating a safe and inclusive environment both in-office and online.

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