Messaging in Meetings

Contrary to popular belief, we are not slaves to our technological devices. Checking our Twitters, Facebook, Snapchats, and even emails during meeting can definitely be avoided with some discipline.

We really have to ask ourselves, “Where do we draw the line between professional and unprofessional smartphone usage?” The key to that answer is time and place, when and where plays a factor in distinguishing between professional and unprofessional smartphone usage.

Many employees are spotted getting on elevators, walking down hallways, and attending meetings while on their devices! This occurrence is generally frowned upon by upper management at best, or a cause for discipline worst case scenario.

It has been found that millennials are often the users and abusers of their phones during business meetings. Meanwhile, those over 40 would most likely put down their devices to focus their attention on their surroundings.

Establishing a protocol during meeting offers clear boundaries for employees. Here are a few tips you can implement in your morning meeting to make things run smoothly.

Clear Rules

Before getting into the crux of your meeting, ask everyone to please switch their phones to silent mode or shut them off completely. Explain that you require their undivided attention to be as productive as possible during the meeting. If you do spot someone in the crowd going against your request, then encourage them to step out of the room to address whatever situation requires their attention.

The Basket Method

Have a basket by the door with a sign that says “phone drop-off” alongside a pad of sticky notes and markers. This allows those entering a chance to switch their phones over to silent, writing their name on a sticky note and leaving the device in the basket. After the meeting, as everyone leaves, they may grab their devices out of the basket.

No Phone Zone

If you don’t want to part everyone from their phones using the basket method, try sticking a few signs around the conference room that say “No Phone Zone”. This way, the message is clear to those who enter. You could still establish your ground rules to reinforce the concept that phone usage is not condoned during meetings.

Let your office culture be the guide when establishing phone usage rules. If you know most of your employees are rule abiders, then maybe talk to the few employees about their phone habits individually. Having a meeting environment that is conducive to work is the primary goal when establishing phone rules, be sure to convey that to your employees  to ensure you have cooperative participants.