Monday, 10 August 2009

T&E Plus: Virtual Meetings: Eight Motivating Factors

Consider the eight motivating factors for changing employee perception and behaviors when implementing a virtual meeting program. These motivators, and remedies to change behavior, are described below. If these eight motivating factors prevent travel reduction, then select the appropriate remedies to change behavior.
T&E Plus: Virtual Meetings: Eight Motivating Factors

Common motivators that may derail a Virtual Meeting Program

Motivator:  Job Performance



Employees believe that:

·          Building relationships increases camaraderie thereby enhancing job performance

·          Participating in person will enhance visibility thereby enhancing job performance

·          Participating in face-to-face meetings is highly valued and considered "achievement"

·          Leading or participating in new project or initiative requires face-to-face meetings

·          Change performance metrics to encourage "less travel"

·          Encourage  virtual relationships

·          Modify communications

·          Scrutinize travel requests with strict approvals

·          Improve policy

·          Modify project expectations to increase virtual meeting usage

Motivator:  Knowledge

Employees are:

·          Uninformed about current technologies and why to consider them

·          Unaware that higher quality tools will enhance the experience

·          Uninformed about the cost of using technologies

·          Increase communications and marketing efforts on virtual communications technologies applicability

Motivator:  Skills


Employees are:

·          Uneducated on how to use technologies

·          Unsure of the process to reserve the technologies

·          Less confident in abilities to prepare content to fit virtual delivery

·          Provide training and support

Motivator:  Social

Employees believe that:

·          Customs, ethical, religious and other social reasons may encourage  face-to-face presence rather than virtual methods

·          First meetings often require face-to-face meeting to build camaraderie

·          Provide support and leadership expectations that second meetings and follow up meetings should be conducted using virtual communications technologies

·          Set clients expectations by helping both traveler and clients save money by additional use of virtual communications tools.

Motivator:  Environmental

Employees believe that:

·          Internal content, technology and logistics support may not be available

·          Time zones may affect available technology support during meeting time

·          The organization is offsetting travel carbon footprint

·          Provide support structure to assist with process, reservations, virtual communication choices, content creation to match format, and technical support.

·          Use carbon footprint as a change management driver that is acceptable to clients, government agencies and private sector

Motivator: Political

Employees believe that:

·          International, national, regional and local laws and any aspect of the political environment might influence the initiative.  An example may be that a face-to-face class is needed to fulfill a continuing education requirement and a virtual communication tool is not a viable replacement


·          Determine the travel requirements during the budgeting process for travel activities

·          Determine essential, versus non-essential travel and communicate to all employees

Motivator:  Attitude


·          Perception about the technology quality, content delivery, purpose or experience may affect the willingness to accept change within the environment.

·          Develop a change management plan including incentives, communications, training, and leadership expectations.

Motivator:  Compensation

Employees believe that:

·          Traveling increases take-home pay

·          Traveling increases rewards and perks that can be used for personal travel

·          Traveling is an entitlement and one of the reasons for working at the organization

·          Require supplier receipts (hotels, transportation)

·          Require per diem pay-backs if monies are not used

·          Incorporate corporate credit card program for travel expenses

·          Strategically source hotel and other transportation suppliers for improved discounts; require compliance to preferred suppliers

·          Modify pre-hire perceptions about  travel opportunities


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