An important first step is listening to employees who are reluctant to keep the camera on and understanding where that may stem from, says Courtney Altamirano, senior director of human resources at the University of Phoenix, in Mesa, Arizona. “Listen with the intention of understanding their perspective and see if you can meet in the middle,” Altamirano says. “Many times, there's a reasonable compromise that everyone can live with, such as using different filters and backgrounds or offering camera-free Fridays.”
Managers can offer words of encouragement for camera-shy employees who show their face by sending a note thanking them and acknowledging that they understand how challenging it was for them to do this, Altamirano adds.
Managers can also remind employees of the potential damage they are doing to their own careers by staying off camera. “Remember, when we were all in person, if you didn't show up for a meeting, you may miss career opportunities [or] chances for exposure or to network,” Altamirano says. “Whether it is fair or not is somewhat irrelevant. If people cannot see your face, your intentions, your engagement, it's less likely you will be top of mind for that next special project or promotion.”