Hosting internal events for your employees is a valuable way to foster a strong company culture and build a positive workplace environment. With that said, it is important to ensure that your internal events are created with an equitable experience in mind to avoid exclusion. With the future of work accommodating in-person, remote, and hybrid employees, make sure that your events are hosted with everyone in mind!
What is an Equitable Experience when it comes to Events? 🖥
Within the workplace, it is important to provide everyone with an equitable experience, regardless of their working conditions. Now what exactly does this look like? Creating equitable experiences with internal events looks like providing in-person and virtual attendees with a similar experience and full impact of the event. These are known as hybrid events, and they are becoming ever more popular as some employees are back in office and others are remaining remote. By combining the elements of the physical and online world, hybrid events allow the participation and attendance of all employees in company-wide events.
The Importance of Creating an Equitable Experience 💡
With the return to in-person work, employees will have varying levels of comfort and preferences regarding in-person, remote, and hybrid activities. Some may prefer returning to the office and socializing with their co-workers while others may prefer working from home and saving the daily commute to the office. Regardless if they are working remotely, in person, or in a hybrid model, it is important for all employees at your company to have an equitable experience. Those who choose hybrid or remote work options should not be punished for their personal preferences and should be offered similar experiences as those who choose to return in-person. Providing an equitable experience will avoid exclusion and emphasize your company’s commitment to creating a workplace in which everyone feels comfortable and included in, which will create a better work environment and culture for everyone overall!
Ways of Creating an Equitable Experience for All 🌏
1. Host hybrid events
- No matter where your employees are working (in the office or at home), strive to create hybrid events that have similar in-person and virtual components so that any and every employee can attend.
- Put someone in charge of the in-person experience to direct employees where to go and have another person in charge of the virtual event to monitor the online chat. By allocating a dedicated individual to monitor each aspect of the event, it will ensure a smooth experience for all. Regardless of how they are attending, your employees will feel welcome and right at home.
- For hybrid events, ensure employees have access to the physical location address and/or a virtual link for remote employees.
- Make a point of ensuring the virtual audience feels included and is acknowledged.
- If you are streaming the event make sure the cameras are set up and tested prior to the event starting.
- If you are recording the event to share with remote employees afterward, ensure they know where they can find the event recording link. To make the virtual attendees feel more engaged and included, host a showing where everyone can watch the event recording together and have a discussion.
- Be prepared for all aspects of the hybrid event and ensure there is an event facilitator who is in-person at the event location to ensure everything runs smoothly.
- Need inspiration? Check out these event ideas for hybrid events to implement at your workplace!
2. Host events for each office location regardless of size
- While some global offices may be larger than others, it is important that every office feels heard and recognized regardless of their size.
- Ensure that events are not only happening at the larger offices and at HQ, but at smaller offices as well. Otherwise, employees can feel excluded, left out, and even a disconnect from the company culture and values.
- Empower individuals from every office to plan and host their own events to build a strong community and culture at their unique office.
- If your workplace offers remote work options, have your remote employees recognized as a “remote office” and host virtual events for them as well.
- Each office will have unique local customs and quirks that may contribute to their office culture. Host office-specific activities that can be tailored to accommodate each location, such as events celebrating local holidays.
3. Make events private if they are only open to select employees
- Sometimes, there are events, workshops or meetings that are only open to select employees. In order to avoid giving employees a feeling of exclusion, make these events private so that only those invited can see that it’s happening.
- Have a disclaimer that private events are invite-only, so that attendees do not share the event with others or tell people outside of the guest list.
- By taking these measures, employees won’t be aware these events are even happening and won’t feel excluded.
By keeping all employees in mind, creating equitable experiences will provide a more comfortable and inclusive environment for everyone. Hosting events with these intentions will allow all of your employees to feel a sense of belonging and acceptance at your company, as well as empower them to believe that they can each participate in and contribute to building a strong workplace community and culture.