Three Tips for Moving Forward with Virtual Implementation Meetings Amid the COVID-19 Era

April 24, 2020 Natalie Campbell

The impact of COVID-19 has been challenging for all of us on so many levels. Q1 of 2020 was full of grand strategies for exciting new initiatives. Most of those plans came to a screeching halt.
We’re grateful that 100% of our newest client partners have chosen to forge ahead with implementation planning in spite of the pandemic. We adjusted some timelines and then kept moving forward with new service onboarding activities for these clients, using virtual working sessions and, of course, being mindful of their need to focus on other more immediate business priorities.

The implementation steps we take at the outset for a new or transitioned mobility programme lay the foundation for lasting success. While virtual implementations are not new, it’s important to adjust a few established best practices to make the most of these meetings when building this partnership.

Our long history of successfully orchestrating global implementations has made us nimble and well-prepared to adapt to the virtual nature of today’s business landscape. For us, this is business as usual.

Here are three things to keep in mind when implementing a new mobility programme using virtual communication technology:

  1. Build off what works during in-person meetings. You know what it takes to run a successful meeting in-person. Use those same principles to manage successful virtual meetings.
    • Establish a detailed agenda ahead of the meeting.
    • Keep things on track and define objectives.
    • Work toward a definitive ending time since many people schedule back-to-back meetings throughout the day
    • Identify roles and responsibilities prior to the meeting
    • Present clear visuals to help maintain engagement and subject clarity
    • Build in time for breaks – some implementation meetings can last well over an hour depending on the subject matter
  2. Establish a virtual platform. With so many online meeting programmes available today, be sure everyone has access to the virtual platform of choice. Everyone should use the video option – be sure this expectation is communicated ahead of time. (There’s nothing worse than being the only person not prepared to be on camera!)
     
  3. Embrace the imperfections. Be patient and understand the unique circumstances we all are working through. Be comfortable with the unexpected – including the occasional dog bark or baby giggle. Think of the unexpected as personal touches. Just as unplanned things happen in person, you can’t always plan for the unexpected during virtual meetings. While maintaining a professional setting is important, it’s okay to have a bit of fun with meetings and to be yourself. (Have you seen the Zoom backgrounds?) After all, this is what ultimately builds the bond between teams.

Even if you’re not implementing a new mobility programme, you can leverage these tips in all your virtual meetings as we continue to work together in an increasingly virtual environment. If you’d like to learn more about our virtual implementation process, please click here or reach out to your Graebel contact.

About the Author

Natalie Campbell

In her current role, Natalie serves as Vice President of Implementation Services. Natalie brings 19 years of global mobility expertise in international assignment management and client facing technology to Graebel. In her previous positions, Natalie was responsible for leading major company wide IT initiatives and centralizing departments to increase customer satisfaction and operational efficiency. Natalie is a graduate of Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute. She holds CRP®, GMS® and CERP designations and is a Sigma Six Green Belt. In addition, she is a member of ERC’s young professional committee.

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