Meeting Equity: What Is It And How To Improve
Now more than ever before, companies and organizations must continually consider how they can improve communications within their teams. As such, it is no surprise that topics like meeting equity have only increased in their relevance. Despite that, many working professionals still don't have a firm grasp on what meeting equity is and how improving it can benefit just about any organization. For those not yet in the know, this article will give you a quick introduction to what meeting equity is and how to improve it.
Defining Meeting Equity
As a guiding principle, meeting equity means ensuring that all members of a meeting have equal access and ability to participate as is appropriate for their role. Much like the more general concept of equity, meeting equity creates an environment where all people have fair footing from which they can feel confident and capable when contributing their thoughts and inquiries.
Any organization that strives to create a fair and equitable environment and regularly conducts meetings between team members is wise to set meeting equity as a top priority. Doing so comes with specific benefits, which we'll touch on later, that cause organization leaders to be keen on making meeting equity improvements.
Ways to Improve Meeting Equity
Now that you have a basic understanding of what meeting equity is, it is likely that you also have some understanding of why it is incredibly valuable. Still, figuring out how to improve meeting equity in reality is a far more difficult task that requires a considerable amount of forethought. Below, you can learn about a few of the most impactful steps you can take to boost equity for your next meeting.
Rearranging seating is a simple but effective means for building meeting equity that is so simple that organization leaders often overlook it. Generally, aim to arrange meeting seating so that everyone can have a clear view of other participants and speak at a comfortable level that is neither too loud nor too soft for the space provided.
When meetings take place in a hybrid location that includes members using a phone or video to connect, choosing a proper seating arrangement can be difficult. However, the same general principles outlined above should remain your main focus for the purposes of improved meeting equity.
Finetune Acoustics and Audio
The ability to effectively hear other meeting members when they speak is vital to the success and efficiency of any meeting. Due to that importance, meeting leaders within an organization should take time to invest in audio equipment that best serves their meeting teams.
High-quality microphones, speakers, and other standard audio equipment all play an important role in the audio quality of a meeting. Similarly, for hybrid and remote meetings, fast connectivity on all ends also facilitates excellent audio quality. A provider like Level 3 AV can even provide AV as a service (or AVAAS) to ensure your technology can keep pace with the evolving landscape.
Along with having the right equipment and capabilities, the space in which you conduct a meeting also contributes to the audio quality. Taking time to ensure good acoustics in your meeting spaces goes a long way towards supporting active listing while also making meetings more accessible to those who are hearing impaired.
Increase Effective Lighting
After audio quality, visual quality is nearly as important to meeting equity. After all, visual cues during meeting communication help to emphasize and better convey ideas so that they are easier to digest and understand.
One of the best ways to improve the visual quality of your meeting is by improving the lighting in your meeting space. A quality lighting design for your most important meeting spaces lets meeting participants see each other more clearly and thus feel more engaged in the conversations that unfold.
Level 3 AV offers various types of meeting rooms with excellent and effective lighting. The meeting room is the cornerstone of the modern office environment, and with the rise in flexible work arrangements, meeting room design, and conference room technology are more important than ever.
Set Clear Expectations
While the previous tips focused on how you can improve meeting equity by altering your physical meeting environment, there are also subtler yet equally powerful ways to improve meeting equity.
Assigning clear, predetermined roles before a meeting helps each participant understand the degree to which they should contribute. Meeting equity also improves when you set expectations regarding general etiquette and meeting norms so meeting participants can feel comfortable in knowing how they should behave.
Plan Each Meeting
Finally, our list tip for improving meeting equity is to create a strategic plan for each meeting you hold. The best and most equitable meetings are those that have a clear direction and space within which each team member can contribute to the meeting goal as their unique skill sets allow.
There are plenty of ways to plan a meeting, but one of the simplest and most effective is to take a three-pronged approach. That approach includes setting a meeting agenda, being punctual with both meeting start and end times, and defining a clear course of action for meeting participants as the meeting concludes.
While planning a meeting takes more time, it ultimately leads to better productivity. It also helps each meeting member grow in their understanding of your organization's mission and how they can contribute to it.
BENEFITS OF IMPROVED MEETING EQUITY FOR YOUR ORGANIZATION
By now, you likely have some idea of the ways that improved meeting equity benefits your organization, but before we conclude this article, we decided to highlight a few main benefits of improving meeting equity so that your teams can be as collaborative as possible.
Better Inclusion Engagement
The primary benefit of improving meeting equity is that each member of your organization will feel a greater sense of inclusion within their team. Better meeting equity also improves engagement, which means more of your team members will have the confidence to express themselves and help the team towards success.
Positive Workplace Culture
Improved meeting equity also leads to a generally more positive workplace culture as well. The idea behind this benefit is simple. When members of an organization feel an equal role in the organization's success and a stronger communicative bond with their collaborators, it leads to positive feelings that permeate throughout every level of your organization.
Efficient Hybrid and Remote Work
Lastly, improving meeting equity is crucial to the success of hybrid and remote work. While many companies and organizations continue to struggle with collaboration while team members are in separate locations, those that focus on improving meeting equity are already more capable of supporting successful hybrid and remote work.
If you’re looking to improve your meeting equity and boost effectiveness in your organization, contact Level 3 AV for ways to integrate technology into your team.