Meeting Equity: How Does Being Inclusive Benefit a Workplace?

Jeff Boggess  

Meeting equity is essential for modern businesses. Now that remote meetings with team members spread far and wide have become the norm, ensuring inclusivity has never been more important.

Fostering greater meeting equity has significant benefits in modern workplace culture. So, how could it benefit your organization?

In this article, we look closer at meeting equity and the numerous benefits it brings to any business.

Overview of Meeting Equity

With hybrid work more common than ever before, holding inclusive meetings where everyone is involved is crucial. Meeting equity simply means making sure that all participants have an equal opportunity to contribute, wherever they are located.

This means ensuring ease of communication for all participants so they can raise points and share ideas freely.  An employee working remotely deserves the same access to the information shared in the meeting.

Difficulties contributing to the discussion can lead to reduced participation, which can be frustrating as well as increase feelings of underappreciation, which can damage morale.

Let’s take a closer look at how being more inclusive via better meeting equity can have important benefits for your organization.

1. Improve Communication & Collaboration

Communication is essential in any workplace, and especially during meetings. Those meetings where one person does the speaking and no one else contributes are never ideal. But the worst meetings are those where participants want to communicate but don’t feel like they can.

Better communication leads to better collaboration. The goal is to encourage people to talk, interact, and share their ideas. You want to hear from everyone in the meetings, including different viewpoints and perspectives, and meeting equity ensures this is possible.

People should feel free to share their views, no matter how different they are. They need the opportunity to do this effectively, and collaboration is far more dynamic when everyone involved feels that they can contribute.

Group of professionals having a meeting in a conference room

2. Boost Creativity & Problem-Solving

Leading on from the last point, more communication and collaboration will increase the chances of boosting creativity and problem-solving.

Holding more inclusive meetings where everyone can contribute freely will lead to more voices being heard, more points of view coming across, and more potential solutions to problems arising.

You need fresh ideas, new perspectives, and inventive solutions in business - but this simply won’t happen without meeting equity.

3. Improve Decision-Making

Making decisions is tough, but it becomes a lot easier when everyone has been involved in the process.

You want to hear from everyone on the team and their different views to come to a decision that is fair and considers all viewpoints. This leads to a far more sustainable outcome.

People who are working remotely want to be involved in these decisions that could affect them, and decisions should reflect different perspectives. Meetings that are run fairly will naturally promote more inclusive decision-making.

4. Make All Participants Feel Valued

All your employees are important, and they all have a role to play. So you want them to know that they are valued.

You won’t achieve this if you prevent them from communicating effectively in meetings and getting their views across.

By making sure every voice is heard by holding inclusive meetings, you can ensure that all employees feel valued and part of the team.

Group of professionals having a meeting with an interactive screen

5. Generate More Engagement

Meetings are not just about communicating but also generating engagement. When every participant feels valued and knows that they have an opportunity to share their own views and ideas, you can almost guarantee more engagement.

When people don’t feel included, they have less desire to share their views. When there is meeting equity, there is a level playing field that increases motivation and helps to build stronger relationships, especially between those working in the office and those working remotely.

6. Avoid Groupthink

Groupthink is something all organizations should aim to avoid. Unconscious biases can be a problem, and by encouraging greater inclusivity, these are often brought into the open.

When a meeting is more inclusive, the status quo is challenged and bias is reduced, leading to better outcomes.

7. Increase Employee Retention

Greater employee retention is a goal of most organizations. But how do you achieve it? It starts by ensuring that employees feel valued.

When people are unhappy in their work, they become unengaged and are more likely to seek other opportunities.

By increasing meeting equality and making sure everyone’s views are heard, you can help employees feel more engaged and more committed to their work and the organization.

Other benefits include increased productivity and a better work environment, all of which can help to increase retention so you can hold onto your best employees.

8. Improve Company Culture

Better meeting equality and overall better equity in the office can help to strengthen company culture. When you promote inclusivity, you’re reinforcing a culture of respect and belonging where everyone is valued.

A stronger company culture focused on these values can help to boost morale and make your organization more attractive—not only for current employees but also for people outside the organization, which can help to attract top talent.

Group of guys sharing a laugh while looking at a laptop

How to Improve Meeting Equity

With all the powerful benefits of meeting equity, the question for many organizations is how to improve it. If your employees are finding your meetings unengaging, it could be that they don’t feel they are being given the opportunity to have their voices heard.

Here are some strategies to improve meeting equity:

Improve Your Video Conferencing Technology

When employees are working remotely, they need to be able to join meetings effortlessly without being impeded by technology.

Avoid the risk of technical problems having a negative impact on meetings by using better equipment. This includes using screens and microphones that provide clear visuals and audio, making it feel like everyone is in the same room.

Use technology that makes it easy to share written and visual documents, including interactive collaboration tools like digital whiteboards. These will make it easy to collaborate effortlessly. You may also need to provide adequate training to ensure everyone feels comfortable using the technology.

Set Clear Procedures

Make sure everyone knows what to expect by defining the rules of your meetings both for in-person attendees and those joining remotely.

This could include rules on the time that people can speak for and the expectation of participation.

Put someone in charge of the meeting who sets the agenda and invites people to speak and share their views. They could even start with some ice-breaking questions. Using these inclusion activities in meetings can help to get everyone involved.

This also involves building a culture of respect, including setting rules about how people respond to different viewpoints. The idea is to create an inclusive environment where all participants value different points of view.

Review Your Meetings Regularly

Constantly review your meetings and methods to find ways to improve. Analyze your practices and look for ways to increase equity.

Are your meetings as inclusive as you want them to be? Why are some people not contributing and what can you do about it?

This could include regularly asking for feedback from employees and then taking action when needed.

Laptops, pens and papers on a table

Improve Meeting Equity in Your Organization

Every organization can benefit from better meeting equity. Even simple changes can have a huge impact on company culture and staff morale.

How could you improve your meeting equity? Do you need new and better equipment? Should you place an increased focus on improving your meeting procedures?

Evaluate your current situation and implement changes to ensure better meeting equity as well as overall equity in the workplace. This will ensure you create a better experience for all employees, both those in the office and those working remotely.

Avocor has a range of meeting room solutions designed to improve a company’s meeting equity and generally increase communication and collaboration in the workplace - browse to find the perfect solution for your business.

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