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How to Build Huddle Rooms That Increase Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is a crucial success factor for staff retention and company profitability. Gallup reports that “companies with highly engaged workforces outperform their peers by 147 percent in earnings per share.” Meanwhile, “87 percent of employees worldwide are not engaged.” What does this mean for you?

The challenge is on to create workplaces like huddle rooms that inspire collaboration and employee engagement.

How do you deliver a digital workplace where on-site and remote coworkers can easily connect and share ideas? Offer plenty of video-enabled huddle spaces for small, impromptu working sessions. Need inspiration? Follow this roadmap to build huddle rooms that increase employee engagement.

Create your huddle room success team

Start by creating a huddle room success team. Include stakeholders who support or will benefit from attracting and retaining top talent through employee engagement. Consider the desired huddle room user experience or UX, before you build or upgrade collaboration spaces.

  • It’s essential that the group represents the departments that hold the project’s purse strings too.
  • Consider huddle room build, design, video conferencing systems, support, and software budgets.
  • The team may consist of C-Suite members, end users, human resources managers, workplace strategists, IT staff, and facilities managers.

Define employee engagement benchmarks and goals

Next, define what successful engagement looks like by identifying benchmarks and setting goals. Example benchmarks include average employee tenure and current conference room utilization and the number of video meetings booked each month. 

Third-party focus groups and one-on-one interviews can also help you define current engagement levels and collaborative workspace preferences. Now set goals based on how much you want to improve these metrics each quarter, or annually after you’ve installed your huddle rooms. 

Develop a huddle room video adoption plan

Beautiful huddle rooms outfitted with the latest digital workplace solutions won’t necessarily increase employee engagement if your small collaboration spaces sit empty. Before the team starts construction, write a video adoption plan to encourage huddle room utilization.

  • The adoption plan should include employee training and a way to measure room and technology use.
  • Staff must know how to reserve huddle rooms and use new video conferencing and collaboration tools.
  • It’s also helpful to identify an influencer at every level from executives to end-users to champion video adoption and encourage employee engagement.

Design a user-friendly huddle room

Ever have to wait 10 minutes for a video conference to start? To encourage video adoption and engagement, ensure that huddle room equipment is easy to use. Include equipment and software staff members prefer, and that IT can easily support. Refer to your research to review which collaboration tools staff members like to use.

You can track current conference room usage via existing support software, or your scheduling system such as an Outlook calendar. Look at which rooms employees reserve most often. Study what type of video conference equipment is in your small meeting rooms.

Also, track how many employees were in the room and the number of remote employees that logged in to each meeting. Use this information to determine how many huddle rooms you need, and the room sizes that work best for your teams. Consider how to support bring your own device (BYOD) preferences when designing your digital workplace.

Use Room Standards to Create a Replicable, Positive User Experience

Based on your research and goals, develop huddle room equipment and software standards. Your standards are a finite set of hardware and software options. Most importantly, stick to these guidelines when building new collaboration spaces.

With standardization, employees will be familiar with meeting room controls. End users can walk into any huddle room and start the meeting quickly and easily. Remember that meeting that took too long to start? Standards help eliminate wasted meeting time. Limiting available options can streamline the IT support process also.

Positive user and IT staff experiences can lead to increased video conferencing adoption and employee engagement. Ask for staff suggestions on how to make meeting room control more user-friendly too. Allow users to provide feedback anytime through apps or email.

Consider Huddle Room-Specific Devices and Software

The popularity of huddle rooms has sparked suppliers to create hardware and software specifically for use in huddle rooms. When outlining your room standards, consider these collaboration solutions designed specifically for small meeting spaces. Huddle room gear can be more affordable than hardware designed for larger areas. Streamlined collaboration solutions can also be installed faster than more complex systems.

Cisco Webex® Room Kit Mini

Cisco’s Webex Room Kit Mini huddle room solution is easy to install and use. It’s a single device includes the codec, speakers, microphone, and camera.  This Cisco hardware is ideal for teams of two to five people. It allows users to connect to laptop-based video conferencing solutions via a USB connection.

Barco Clickshare CS-100 Huddle

Barco’s Clickshare CS-100 Huddle wireless presentation system helps small teams collaborate with fast and easy screen sharing. Users can share content from any laptop, tablet or smartphone using the Clickshare app or button.


Monitor huddle room devices and track room utilization

Tracking the goals your team set at the start of your project is essential to measuring room utilization and employee engagement. AVI-SPL’s Symphony user experience application makes it easy to monitor global room and device usage on a single screen, from anywhere.

Symphony proactively monitors conference room equipment. Your staff can address issues before they negatively impact huddle room user experiences and employee engagement. If your IT resources are already strained, consider a managed services solution as well.

Keep in contact with end users and IT support

While you deserve to celebrate your huddle room success, don’t disband your team once your small conference rooms are in use. Review end-user feedback to find ways to improve the meeting room experience and increase room utilization rates.

With your huddle room utilization rates in hand, measure them against changes in staff turnover. Look for correlations between employee engagement via collaboration in huddle rooms, and longer employee tenure. Update your room standards as needed.

Get more huddle room planning ideas

Ready to get started? Check out the How to Create Inspiring, Collaborative Huddle Rooms guide for further details on how to build small collaboration spaces that increase employee engagement. Read ideas on how to determine the number of huddle rooms you’ll need and how to estimate costs. Download the huddle room guide now.

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The Role of Workplace Intelligence in Today’s Business

Organizations are on track for success when they see workplace intelligence from two related perspectives: 1) as information that shapes the individual’s ability to take the actions that achieve business goals; 2) as information that shapes a company’s approach to achieving business outcomes.

“When AVI-SPL talks about workplace intelligence with companies, we focus on the data that predicts user needs for routine tasks in meetings, particularly where collaboration is involved,” says Tim Riek, SVP of services for AVI-SPL. “Typically we’ll have conversations about issues like what functions should engage when they enter the room and how to make this process consistent across all their meeting spaces.

The intelligent workplace empowers people to work smarter rather than longer or harder. For businesses in any industry, this approach reduces the cost of wasted effort and inefficiency. At the AVI-SPL stand at ISE 2020, which is the world’s largest AV and systems integration show, guests representing businesses like yours will talk to our collaboration experts about their approach to designing a workplace that optimizes for the user experience.

“We want employees to be agile and efficient,” says Riek. “The solutions that support that agility will attract and keep the talent that drives a company’s success.”

Workplace intelligence is also the information that arises from the ways employees are using their collaboration spaces and room devices – and how often. Companies can use that information to predict user needs for routine tasks, technology needs for meetings and collaboration, and work space needs for organizations and businesses.

Consider both perspectives and we see that workplace intelligence:

  • Springs from actionable business intelligence gleaned from rich technology and space utilization analytics
  • Gives back crucial resources, like time to employees (work smarter rather than longer or harder), and wasted costs to the business bottom line
  • Improves the effectiveness of workforce and the efficiency or agility of the business
  • Understands and optimizes user experience
  • Makes a healthier, more successful business

At ISE 2020, which runs from February 11-14, AVI-SPL is going to help its guests understand workplace intelligence, including its importance and how to gain its benefits. Guests at ISE will see how the AVI-SPL Symphony application offers a window into ROI through workplace data like space and device utilization analytics.

“Symphony delivers workplace intelligence by which companies can assess the value of their investment in their collaboration solutions and spaces,” says Riek. “Combine that with our services and support, and we can help them reach their business outcomes.”

If you’ll be attending ISE 2020, visit AVI-SPL at stand 11-C155.

If you want to know more about how AVI-SPL can deliver the workplace intelligence you need to work smarter, contact us.

Why You Need Actionable Business Intelligence to Develop Your Workplace Strategy

When you’re developing a workplace technology strategy these days, you have a million aspects to consider:

  • Is the technology accessible to the entire workforce across generational, geographic, and cultural boundaries?
  • Is it easy to use, intuitive, and sophisticated – but not intimidating?
  • Does it provide instant, usable data (not just a flood for the sake of data)?

You have a variety of methods available to figure out this strategy: Survey your population and hope you asked the right questions and that it gets completed accurately; stake out your conference rooms and record what goes on for a month; find a consultant who may or may not be versed in your particular needs.AVI-SPL Symphony Analytics screenshot

Business technology investments are too important to just throw up your hands and settle for a solution that may not meet the needs of your team.  We’ve designed AVI-SPL Symphony to provide the type of data that you need, the actionable business intelligence that will make a real difference in how you design, deploy, and manage your collaboration environment.

Actionable business intelligence – what Symphony provides – enables evidence-based decision making that translates into effective communication, collaboration, and unlocks real business value.  It’s not a single report or a bunch of statistics: It’s a daily observance of what works, what doesn’t, and what engages your workforce. This long-term data allows you to track the changes in employee behavior with experimental equipment, see which manufacturer’s equipment is preferred (and which causes the most trouble), and determine the load that collaboration is placing on your larger network.

Employee preferences depend a lot on your workforce composition – age, gender, and location, among other factors.  Often, the preferences in one locality don’t extend to others, leaving you with the possibility of supporting multiple types of equipment or standardizing on technology that leaves some users out.  With Symphony’s analytics you can find those few items everyone agrees on and utilize them as the basis for building a collaboration solution that meets end user preferences and provides you with standards for the corporate environment.

Root cause analysis is invaluable for a variety of different applications for both your IT team and your AV team.  Are jitter or poor performance caused by network issues or bad design choices?  Is the network functioning, but your AV or UCC are configured incorrectly?  Is your network great, but suboptimal equipment choices in your AV are causing a poor user experience?  Without finding the real cause of any issue or set of issues, countless hours and dollars can be spent without improving the quality.  Actionable business intelligence ensures that you can narrow in on the root cause of an issue, spending less time and resources spinning your wheels.

Symphony isn’t just a tool in your toolbox – it is a complete solution to the challenge of excellent user experiences with collaboration technologies.  Actionable business intelligence gleaned from the deployment of Symphony on your networks will enable you to spend less time and effort while still receiving a better end user experience. 

Contact us for a demo today. You can also demo these features at ISE 2020 at AVI-SPL booth 11-C155.

Five Steps to an Outstanding Video Conferencing Experience

A big part of the user experience in meeting rooms is the user interface. And by that I just mean the control panel that participants will use to start the meeting, video call, and sharing capabilities. As I’ve learned from AVI-SPL’s programmers, these control panels should support the different ways people want to work in these spaces.

David Thorson, vice president, programming at AVI-SPL, reviews five steps to building a video conferencing user interface (UI) that delivers a positive meeting room user experience (UX) in your digital workplace. Thorson will help you understand issues like:

  • Defining user expectations for the meeting room experience
  • Creating the UX architecture
  • Choosing the right hardware and software based on your user interface blueprint
  • Using meeting room standards for a consistent experience
  • Monitoring the usability of your solution

You’ll also learn about some specific Crestron solutions that help meeting attendees experience an outstanding video conference.

Read “User Experience-Driven Meeting Spaces Meet the User Interface” >

 

How to Create Meeting Room Standards

If you want to encourage effective collaboration within your organization — and who wouldn’t? — then you need to establish standards for your collaboration rooms and the technology within them. “Why is that?” you might ask. Well, in this AVI-SPL white paper, you’ll discover the benefits of creating meeting room standards for your workplace. You’ll also learn:

  • 5 keys to successful collaboration
  • How to choose solutions for different types of rooms
  • How to know if your standards are working

After reading this paper, you’ll understand how to create technology standards for different rooms and how those standards can make your meetings run smoothly. This will lead to a better user experience during collaboration sessions, and your employees will increase their use video collaboration in dedicated spaces.

You’ll also have a concise resource you can go to again and again. This guide includes a table of the common types of meeting rooms and the technology systems that usually go in them.

Get your copy of “The Enterprise Guide to Creating Meeting Room Standards” >