Employees spend 37% of their time in meetings – equaling nearly 96 days a year – according to the American National Statistics Council.
As integrators, we do what we can to propose technology solutions that enhance employee productivity and reduce travel costs to help clients make meetings worthwhile.
But we all know that many meetings are delayed or rescheduled because of technology problems: equipment disappearance or failure, system misconfiguration, software issues, lack of training on how to use the technology, etc.
Many times, it’s not clear whose responsibility it is to address technology issues as they arise. Sometimes the facilities management team is asked to come take a look; other times, it’s the IT department that needs to get involved. (Or, depending on the situation, sometimes the integration firm is called back in.)
To make the use of meeting-room technology as smooth and simple as possible, here are some tips to share with your clients before, during, and after a system is implemented.
1. Align Facilities, IT, and HR
When designing meeting rooms, selecting technology, and training staff to use the technology, the facilities, IT and human resources teams should be on the same page.
When organizations realize that people, place, processes, and technology are connected, it also follows that workforce, workplace, and technology strategies are interdependent. Creating a relationship among these internal groups will help make sure that “interconnectedness” can actually happen.
2. Standardize Technology
Establishing the same meeting-room technology standards throughout the organization ensures that employees only have to learn one system or process. It can also lead to reduced equipment maintenance costs when you can buy necessary supplies in large quantities for use across any meeting room.
3. Provide Quality Service
The group(s) that will manage and diagnose meeting-room technology problems will need cross-functional expertise: the ability to understand AV technology, unified communications, IT, and training. As you can imagine, these skills aren’t typically found in one person or in one group – which is why facilities, IT, and HR are often all involved.
When multiple groups are involved, it’s important to establish a clear process for reporting issues so that employees know who to call for the fastest response.
Depending on the size of the organization, some choose to outsource their meeting-room help desk services – a service that integrators can offer to clients. “There is a movement to fill this skillset gap by providing managed services to organizations. Conference room technology becomes more ‘mission critical’ as we become more dependent on it. At the end of the day, managed services can improve meeting-room quality of service, increase employee productivity, and save costs,” says Chuck Wilson, NSCA executive director.
Industry pioneers like ClearTech work hand in hand with facility managers to develop and define managed services.
As ClearTech President Christina DeBono states: “Through our managed services program, our help desk provides our clients with support and service via remote management and monitoring, team training, and preventative maintenance. If there is an emergent need, we provide immediate telephone support and on-site support, and even equipment for loan if necessary. Using remote management, equipment faults can be traced in real time with early detection alerts to prevent meeting-room mishaps. These alerts extend the life of assets and warrant that the technology is consistently operating at its peak potential.”
4. Offer Continuous Training
Lack of knowledge and user error are primary causes of meeting-room technology problems. Many companies use managed service providers for ongoing training and troubleshooting. “Train-the-trainer” programs can also be established, where super users are trained by integrators and then designated as internal trainers.
Clear and concise instructions on technology usage should also be available and easy to find in each meeting room, including Wi-Fi passwords, authorization codes, etc.
5. Obtain and Act on User Feedback
Once the system is in use, obtain user feedback and act on feasible recommendations. The feedback collected can also help you form upcoming training sessions. –Diane Coles Levine, Principal, Workplace Management Solutions
This information is excerpted from FM Link’s 5 Ways to Improve the Employee Experience When Using Meeting Room Technology: Avoiding Hitches, Glitches and Fumbles