4 Tools To Help Foster Better Collaboration In Workplace Meetings

How To Foster Better Collaboration In Workplace Meetings

The average worker today is part of three to five teams, according to a Collaborative Strategies Inc. survey. More than 77% of employees are working simultaneously on two to seven projects. Not one of these workers wants to spend a good chunk of their day in meetings, and yet it is vital that they work with up to date information and are clear about goals and deadlines. When they do attend meetings, either in person or more likely virtually, they are upset when there is no clear agenda, people push their personal agendas, key stakeholders send their regrets, and the discussion slides into a rehash of what has already been discussed.

Despite the push towards increased collaboration in the workplace, too many companies still allow the inefficiencies of meetings to take up as much as 40% of their worker's day.

One way to decrease that time and make meetings more effective is to engage meeting tools that help teams stay focused and make decisions at meetings. These programs or apps are useful for achieving both collaboration and distributed collaboration.

In terms of meetings, collaboration involves multiple team members coordinating their interactions and transferring complex information in meetings for common goals and purposes.

Distributed collaboration is a group of people working as a team at a distance, across both time and space, to co-ordinate on a specific goal or purpose.

Here are 4 of these tools that will help foster better collaboration in workplace meetings:

1. BoostHQ

BoostHQ is an interactive content hub that allows your teams to share, collaborate and drive action on content from anywhere. It becomes your online workplace where team members can share important content and share feedback so precious work hours aren't taken up to do it in person. Team members can add action items such as polls and checklists (which you can assign to members) to content pieces to drive work forward.

With embedded Google Drive, live collaboration can happen. Best part is that with the BoostHQ Chrome Browser extension you can share any link, from anywhere into your BoostHQ channels.

BoostHQ drastically reduces the amount of time spent doing in-person meetings and creates a virtual workplace but without the hassle of dealing with lost content and less context that other online collaboration tools include.

2. Powernoodle

Deb Krizmanich was a team member leading a highly challenging project for a large technology firm that involved senior executives from many divisions around the world and she needed to get all of them together in one room for two days to get some key decisions made. She tried for two solid months to accomplish that, but it wasn't happening.

She decided the solution was to use software that would allow for a virtual meeting to take place with all focus on making clear decisions and discovered that what she wanted didn't exist. So she created Powernoodle, where she is now CEO.

She had experience working with different and diverse groups trying to reach a common goal. To create the software, she teamed up with co-founder Frank Erschen. Together they wanted to leverage the diversity of team members and create a process of finding great solutions where everyone involved is comfortable participating. They wanted meetings to stay on track and to diminish the issues of having barriers like physical distance between people. They also needed to leap across gender, generations, personality, and work styles and cultures.

Today Powernoodle is available in the cloud to enable organizations to work in real time and make decisions or to work asynchronously (you don't have to finish one task before starting another) depending on the schedules and availability of team members and schedules.

3. ThinkTank

ThinkTank is a digital engagement system for business leaders to outsmart workplace politics and bias to deliver amazing results during meetings about critical projects.

Founded in 1989 at the University of Arizona, it was designed to be a digital solution to problems with traditional ways of collaboration. It is now a key driver in the Collective Intelligence movement.

4. Facilitate

Facilitate helps companies run high performance meetings and create collaborate environments to innovate and learn. It is the work of a group of facilitators, process consultants and software designers. They designed a collaborative tool that is easy to access and install and is intuitive to adapt to different meeting purposes. It also provides training programs.

This 17-year old firm has a history of working with corporations as well as government agencies in the United States and Europe. It is distinguished for its promotion of innovative thinking and the creation of a new learning environment.

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