Innovative events and swag that stands out

Innovative events and swag that stands out

Each month, Epoch gathers leaders in employee experience to exchange insights, collaborate, and support each other! Scroll down to see key takeaways from the conversation!

Innovative event ideas

TDLR: Folks shared a diverse array of engaging events and initiatives that they run throughout the year and find successful with their teams. From traditional celebrations like Thanksgiving potlucks, where the company provides the main dishes, to innovative virtual holiday parties with cooking classes and even virtual magicians, were seen as highly popular amongst their teams. They’ve found creative ways to celebrate national events, such as catering burgers on National Burger Day. Check out Epoch’s Employee Experience calendar for more ideas and days to celebrate. One company has been able to engage with their local community by organizing beach cleanups. A few teams incorporated fun and interactive games like The Go Game to celebrate Halloween, even in a fully remote setting. During holiday parties, attendees found that hosting team award presentations were highly sought-after, and a way to break the ice amongst the team. 

Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) have also been instrumental in organizing meaningful events tailored to specific interests and demographics within the company such as a speaker series on Pride Month. 

Hosting regular in-person happy hours with complimentary food and drinks is always a hit with their Sales Teams. The EX leaders have discovered that providing name tags with engaging questions such as “What is your favorite hobby” is a great way to steer the conversation away from work. Additionally, allowing employees to write identifiers that resonate with their sense of belonging and identity on their name tags, such as being first-generation, LGBTQ+ identifying, or passionate about golf, is an excellent way to cultivate inclusivity and foster connections during these gatherings. 

Swag that stands out

TDLR: Attendees shared innovative ideas for company swag that go beyond the traditional options. One suggestion was to offer company-branded socks, providing both comfort and brand representation. Another proposal was to work with Tinggly, offering physical experiences instead of tangible items. Additionally, instead of conventional swag, one participant suggested sending out a cookbook followed by a work team cooking class. The use of Snappy Gifts caught attention, allowing employees to choose from various themed collections or donate the allocated budget to a charity of their choice. 

Sustainability was also a key theme, with ideas such as distributing reusable straws to promote eco-friendly practices. Reusable utensil kits comprising of essentials like straws, cleaners, forks, knives, and spoons were found to be a practical and sustainable swag gift. 

Measuring engagement

TDLR: As for measuring the impact of employee experience programs, the conversation delved into the challenge of quantifying subjective feelings. However, suggestions included tracking metrics like employee referrals, turnover, and retention rates, but the ultimate goal remained to ensure employees feel happy and connected with their organizations. Strategies to gauge happiness and belonging are as simple as asking employees about how connected they feel to colleagues and the company through face-to-face conversations or anonymous questionnaires. 

Quantitative measures used to measure employee satisfaction include Net Promoter Scores and attendance rates. However, one attendee was quick to emphasize that if you’re using attendance as a measurement, give yourself some grace on the expectation of a 100% attendance rate and focus more on increasing the number of attendees. Ultimately, their goal is to translate qualitative feedback into meaningful quantitative data to assess the efficacy of their employee experience initiatives. This is important for gaining leadership buy-in, which can be challenging when budgets are constrained. Epoch’s content feature can also help with measuring engagement! 

Communication channels and methods 

TDLR: Attendees share strategies on internal communication methods and frequency. One approach highlighted was the use of shared calendars with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), ensuring events are promptly listed to prevent scheduling conflicts. Additionally, communication via Slack was emphasized, providing a platform for leaders to convene monthly meetings, and facilitating collaboration and idea-sharing through dedicated channels.

Attendees also emphasized the importance of regular updates, such as monthly newsletters detailing upcoming events and sending out calendar invites simultaneously. For one attendee, her events span a range of interests, including nutrition and fitness classes, burnout prevention sessions, and employee-led lunch and learn sessions, creating both personal and professional development. One individual found that for her team, individuals would forget about events when they sent out monthly newsletters. To ensure engagement, they incorporated weekly employee email newsletters, complemented by posting the newsletter on their intranet.

Epoch is also a powerful tool that can help streamline internal communications to ensure folks know about events, and the communications meet them where they already are, whether it’s Slack, email, and more.

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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