How to engage your employees in a virtual setting.
The transition to virtual has sparked a lot of creativity over the last year. Keeping the attention of employees and attendees of virtual events is a challenge. One we have thoroughly risen to excel at. Below you’ll get a glimpse into our reimagined world of employee engagement.
Celebrate Company Culture –
Know your company’s culture and regularly reinforce those values and beliefs. You’ll connect your group with these shared experiences and create meaningful memories.
Putting your company’s culture at the center of your virtual event ensures that whatever engagement you do get is well invested. What that culture is helps define nearly every aspect of your event, from the platform to the entertainment. Our event planners take the time to get to know your company to help you align your event elements with your culture.
Elements like team building activities help reinforce a collaborative culture. A virtual escape room is a great example of this. For the elite cultures who want to see change in the world, we can do competition games like Jeopardy for Charity. For the culture that likes to take chances, we have virtual roulette and card games. For the corporate class clowns, we recommend the virtual photo booth and a headliner like a comedian.
Ask and Listen –
Nothing is more important in ANY relationship than asking for and listening to the feedback of the other party. In a world where in-person communication is replaced by screens and text, giving your employees plenty of opportunities to be heard is vital. Ask about their week. Ask about their families. Ask about how they are doing in this new world. Ask if they need help or resources to do better. These simple questions open the doors for communication and provoke your employees into conversations where valuable information can be shared. And, even more important than asking the right questions is LISTENING to their answers.
In a virtual event, such as a company meeting, polls and questionnaires can be included as a stand alone element or as a popup (preferred method) to act as a catalyst to great communication and engagement. A live Q&A or chat feature with a real person answering in real time is another great feature to think of when selecting a platform. A great host can also help break the text-only conversation with queued questions and group answers through a variety of methods. This adds a level of “gamification” to the conversation making it fun and exciting as well as engaging. We love the idea of using white boards or paper and pencil/pen/marker to get them physically involved with the conversation.
Production quality is also important to consider when the event goal is engagement. Lighting, camera angles, music cues and posture (standing vs sitting) can help create the right first impression in a virtual setting.
Captivating Content –
Compelling content captivates, regardless of its setting. In a virtual event, content is one of the few elements that you have total control over how it is presented. Higher production allows for better editing and Hollywood worthy storytelling.
If you do not have a budget for a Netflix mini series, consider keeping it spontaneous and off the cuff. Rehearsed content is great, but it should not be scripted in a way that is unnatural or sounds as if it is read from a prompter. Keeping it casual brings a human element to the content that is charismatic and alluring. Consider a host and platform combo that allows for easy switch between content display and speaker display along with some fun screen animations during the switch to keep engagement up and screen fatigue down.
Get Casual –
Host events that are not structured to meet company goals. Instead, offer them a chance to network and make meaningful connections with each other in a social setting. Use these virtual social gatherings to promote health and wellness, both physical and the mental. The transition to the virtual world has turned our previous commute time to a hyper production pace that we all occasionally need a break from. Give them this time, without expectations, to express themselves, relax, and recharge. The result is almost always to the benefit of the company with spikes in creativity, productivity and retention of your most valuable employees.
Let’s Play –
Never underestimate the power of play. Nearly all animals and humans use play to learn new skills and connect with others. In the virtual world, we call it “gamification”. We use games specially designed for the virtual setting in our events. We include supplies that are either sent to the homes prior or common every-day items that are reimagined. These games are strategically placed throughout the event to keep attendees engaged, give a mental break, and stimulate or reinforce an event goal.
We believe you build excitement through participation. Our hosts are professionals skilled in the virtual world, ensuring that every member of your team feels seen and included.
The Human Element –
COVID19 has forced many of us to become socially distant and interaction with each other now happens behind a veil of caution and cotton. Now is the time to put PEOPLE first and build a future we can enjoy, TOGETHER. Virtually, we can still accomplish this by creating something together through the use of individual submissions. Pre-event activities like coloring contents for children, words of gratitude, nominations, pre-recorded video clips, and photos can be submitted pre-event and put together to display during the event. Winners announced with a virtual wall of honorable mentions for arts and crafts. A word based gratitude tree created for the event background during awards or a short video created from clips and photos give a sense of “togetherness” that can all be accomplished virtually.
When Your Ready –
In-person events are happening in small pockets around the country, and even bigger gatherings are just around the corner. We have a vaccine. We have methods of fighting the spread through enhanced disinfection and cleaning methods. No longer do we need to put a disease in the center of our world. Instead, we can joyfully take a human-centric approach to our lives, abet carefully.
We do face challenges, like how “normal” feels foreign after a year of chaos. But if 2020 taught us anything, it’s that together, we can overcome anything.