After successfully planning and facilitating an engaging and productive virtual meeting, your job isn’t quite over yet. It’s not just about planning and facilitating the meeting itself; there’s also the important task of effective post-meeting follow-up with the participants. This final process is instrumental in securing the full success of your virtual meetings. In this post, we will explore four steps that facilitators should take post-meeting to sustain momentum, accomplish the set objectives, and set a precedent for future successful meetings. In line with our previous posts, we’ll relate each step to the SCARF Model to support the social needs of the meeting participants within each of the model’s five domains (Status, Certainty, Autonomy, Relatedness, and Fairness).
Step 1: Detailed Review of Meeting Notes
Once the meeting concludes, take the time to thoroughly review the meeting notes. Pay attention to key points or action items during this review to make sure they don’t slip through the cracks. Make use of different colors, highlights, bold text, and bullet points to emphasize these key points. It’s also important to revise the notes for clarity and accuracy in reflecting the meeting discussions.
By doing this, you’ll ensure that all vital points, decisions, and action items have been accurately captured. Furthermore, this review will help identify any areas that require further clarification. Providing participants with a clear summary of what was discussed and agreed upon alleviates uncertainties and promotes a shared understanding of the meeting outcomes.
SCARF Domain: Certainty
Step 2: Monitor Action Items
A critical component of the post-meeting follow-up involves tracking the progress of action items. As you review the notes, assign responsibilities and ensure clear communication with the responsible individuals. This instills a sense of ownership and accountability. Make a note of any deadlines and encourage participants to contribute their ideas and strategies, thus empowering them. Regular check-ins or follow-up meetings may be required to assess progress, offer necessary support, and ensure tasks are progressing as planned. Recognizing participants’ contributions and progress fosters a collaborative environment and enhances their status within the group.
SCARF Domain: Status, Certainty, Autonomy
Step 3: Encourage Feedback for Continuous Improvement
Success is fostered by feedback. Actively seek opinions from participants about their meeting experiences. You can do this through short surveys or informal chats. All feedback, be it positive or constructive, is valuable. Show your commitment to their input by implementing changes and accommodations where needed.
Collecting feedback identifies areas that require improvement and highlights where the meeting process is working well. This allows for continued good practices and enhanced future meeting planning. Engaging participants in this way nurtures a sense of relatedness, fostering a collaborative and inclusive atmosphere.
SCARF Domain: Status, Relatedness, Fairness
Step 4: Send a Follow-Up Email
Once you’ve reviewed and refined the meeting notes, promptly share them with participants via email. A well-composed post-meeting email clarifies the meeting objectives, outlines next steps, and provides an avenue for any further queries or concerns. A thorough and thoughtful follow-up email not only reinforces the meeting’s effectiveness but also promotes a culture of accountability and collaboration within the team.
Here is an email template you can use for your follow-up emails.
A thorough review and diligent follow-up are crucial to ensure the success of virtual meetings. It ensures that your hard work in planning and facilitating a participatory meeting does not fall by the wayside. By consistently applying the SCARF Model, we highlight the importance of addressing participants’ social needs in the virtual space, fostering engagement, trust, and a sense of belonging. The insights and strategies provided in this series are designed to help facilitators elevate the quality of their virtual meetings, foster meaningful connections, and drive success. Keep in mind, the SCARF Model is a valuable framework guiding your planning, facilitation, and follow-up efforts, ensuring your virtual meetings are not only productive and engaging but also impactful.
Are you interested in learning more about how you can develop your facilitation skills? Join us in the New School of Participatory Change in our Participatory Facilitation course. In this online cohort experience, you’ll work with us to develop your own practical approach to facilitating participatory conversations, whether in front of a computer or in front of a room.
Click here to learn more about the New School and how we can help you become a better participatory facilitator and changemaker.