Posts tagged Collaboration

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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Save the Date: Trends in Telemedicine and Collaboration Seminars – March 6 and 8

The Affordable Care Act, as well as an aging population and dispersed patient base have ushered telemedicine into the spotlight, providing a new age of remote patient care and education. AVI-SPL has teamed with Polycom, a top leader for Unified Communication solutions, to help shed light on a series of innovative advancements in this field.

Participants can choose from two open house dates at Polycom’s Executive Briefing Centers for this FREE event, including Tuesday, March 6 (Irvine, Calif.) and Thursday, March 8 (Santa Clara, Calif.).  Seminars at each location will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. PST, and includes continental breakfast and lunch as part of the day’s agenda.

Our featured speaker over video will be Dr. Deborah A. Jeffries, Director of Healthcare for Polycom. By joining us at our open house, you’ll learn just how technology is revolutionizing the delivery of healthcare services, and how its making a positive difference in extended access and patient care. You’ll discover best practices behind the implementation of these technologies into your own organization, with application examples and a special discussion on grants.

Dr. Jeffries is a state and national expert and speaker on telehealth technologies, with 25 years in telemedicine, information systems, medicine, education and physics. She recently teamed with AVI-SPL’s University webinar series to present a webinar on the video communications platform for healthcare environments. To download the webinar recording, please click here.  

Topics:

  • Innovative telemedicine technologies that improve outcomes, expand specialist services and save money
  • Challenges and opportunities in healthcare
  • Community-based patient centered care
  • Prevention and wellness
  • Demonstrations of healthcare applications, video streaming
  • A special discussion on grants for healthcare

Register today – seating is limited. To learn more about the event locations and to register, please visit the links above or call 877-440-6205 to reserve your seat.

Could Google’s Latest Move Spell Trouble for the Unified Communications Market?

Over the last few years, the battle for the desktop has been intensifying between some of the biggest technology names in the world. It wouldn’t surprise folks to see Microsoft, IBM and Cisco all pitching to convince companies to use their platform and suite of applications across an enterprise.

However, just as the line has blurred between work and play, the traditional “enterprise” players are seeing new entrants join the fray. Frost and Sullivan’s recent article on Google’s acquisition and development of a Unified Communications (UC) and Collaboration suite reveals the heightened interest of traditional consumer-based players, as they try to penetrate the workplace as well. They do have a ways to go to before they can compete with the established, feature-rich solutions provided by the traditional players. However, the brand recognition and “cloud”-based approach Google will most likely take with its UC offerings could enable them to make inroads into the corporate world.

Here at AVI-SPL, we take a neutral approach to technology solutions. We help our customers deploy and leverage UC tools and applications, and are focused on solutions that best fit their requirements and budget. We do not see Google UC gaining a large market share in the enterprise in the near future. In the next few years, however, we expect that Google will be considered a viable option for corporations on a wider scale.

The above is written by Michael Brandofino, executive vice president of VTC and UC, AVI-SPL.

As momentum on this story grows, we’d like to hear from you too. Does Google have what it takes to become a strong contender in such a tightly-established market?