Hybrid Summer Events & Employee Activation | July 2023 🌟

Hybrid Summer Events & Employee Activation | July 2023 🌟

Employee Experience Roundtable

Every month, Epoch is bringing together Employee Experience and Workplace leaders to share learnings, compare notes, and lean on each other! Scroll down to see key takeaways from the conversation! 

Roundtable topics ✨

3 main questions were the points of discussion for July’s roundtable around the theme of hybrid summer events & employee activation: 

  1. How to scale events for globally distributed audiences, low-cost engagement activations, and designing post-event surveys?
  2. How events are driving connections in a hybrid world?
  3. Summer programming (what’s top of mind?)

Scaling events for globally distributed offices

When organizing events on a global scale, it is important to strike a balance between creating consistent experiences across the company while considering regional and cultural differences. Roundtable participants shared their experiences in effectively engaging employees, both in the office and in remote hubs, to foster a sense of community in the organization.

Employee Experience experts discovered a few successful strategies, such as encouraging employees in metro areas to gather together regularly. One person suggested hosting quarterly company happy hours in different regions to boost engagement. Additionally, they have implemented a virtual "cafe" dedicated to honoring work anniversaries and welcoming new employees. Every fourth cafe is dedicated to diversity, offering a platform for celebrations or fireside chats. It is important to consider different time zones when scheduling events so you can be accommodating to all employees and ensure a consistent experience for everyone involved. 

Project management tools

Finding a project management software that effectively cascades tasks and important information throughout the organization can be quite challenging. 

Many participants expressed their satisfaction with using Asana. They particularly appreciate its ability to assign specific roles to employees, which creates a clear sense of ownership and accountability. Moreover, Asana's versatility allows it to be used across various functions, making collaboration a breeze. Another individual mentioned that their team relies on Smart Sheets, which is widely adopted and familiar to most functions and departments within the company.

Engagement surveys & teambuilding activities

Creating team-building activities that promote engagement and inclusivity is crucial for fostering a strong sense of connection within the team. While some employees may be less social than others, it's essential to create a comfortable atmosphere that allows everyone to participate. One effective activity is People BINGO, which involves finding specific individuals based on criteria like nationality or language spoken. This encourages interaction and helps employees get to know each other. Additionally, organizing activities where employees submit pictures to be eligible for prizes, promotes ongoing engagement and ensures that time constraints don't limit participation.

Employee retention

It is crucial to establish a correlation between employee experience, events, and programming to showcase the value of employee experience to leadership. A notable observation made by a company was the trend of employees leaving their roles around the two-year mark. This prompted them to investigate the reasons behind this trend. Why are employees feeling forgotten and disconnected from the company?

To address this, they analyzed data and consistently ran surveys asking employees if the events made them feel more connected to the company. This allowed organizations to cater events to what people enjoyed the most and boost employee retention across the organization. 

To demonstrate the value of these initiatives to leadership, it is essential to articulate the data in a manner that the executive team can comprehend. For instance, one CEO initially failed to grasp how fun activities impact the organization, but after educating the executive board on the significance of such moments, they now fully understand. Additionally, tying the event to company values can help with leadership buy-in. Fun activities can play a crucial role in retaining employees, even with limited budgets.

Navigating return to office and setting headcounts for catering

Navigating the return to the office and managing catering headcounts can be complex. One effective approach is to utilize tracking data from security to accurately forecast headcounts for events. Additionally, analyzing trends in desk bookings can provide valuable insights. In cases where there is low turnout, some companies have opted to stop catering and instead allow employees to order their meals through services like Relish to reduce food waste. Leveraging Envoy metrics can help identify average attendance and plan specialized food events to attract employees to the office. 

Another effective strategy is to maintain an internal calendar that indicates who will be present in each office. This information can be shared with executive assistants and workplace teams, enabling them to promote the presence of specific individuals and encourage more people to attend.

Low-budget ideas to build a connection

An excellent low-budget initiative is to organize a market where Etsy creators are invited to showcase and sell their products to employees. This not only boosts office engagement but also supports local businesses. Researching local markets and inviting them to participate can add to the appeal. Moreover, these markets can be themed around specific days, like Earth Day, where sustainable vendors can come and share their services.

Another effective strategy is to create Slack channels that foster connections among employees based on common interests. This creates an internal community and encourages people to connect with like-minded individuals. These communities can also be set up at a low cost. Additionally, organizing various challenges such as plank challenges, hydration challenges, or walks can further promote engagement. Winners of these challenges can be rewarded with swag. Hosting engaging discussions within the channels, such as "Worst Advice You've Ever Gotten for Execs," can also drive participation and interaction.

For summer activities, consider offering cheap baseball tickets or creating opportunities for employees to donate or pay to see an executive get dunked or have a water balloon thrown at them. These fun and interactive ideas can add excitement and entertainment to the workplace.

Want to be part of the conversation?

Join the Epoch Employee Experts community, an invite-only community for like-minded individuals in the Employee Experience space. Get access to a private Slack community and receive event invites first. This safe environment fosters meaningful conversations and connections. Apply here to be a part of future conversations!

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