How to engage your employees with creative events
It’s no secret that both employee retention and talent acquisition are becoming greater challenges for UK businesses. Organisations with a more engaged workforce are more productive and better at retaining talent. But how do you engage employees?
We know that today’s modern worker is looking for more than just a great salary – they want to work somewhere that will provide a great work/life balance, they want to work for a responsible employer and they’re looking for somewhere with a unique company culture. We’ve also seen the new generation of employees place a greater emphasis on unique experiences, rather than just a good salary.
With this in mind, employee events are a great way to engage your workforce and meet their expectations. They allow you to communicate company messages to employees creatively, whilst also demonstrating the benefits of working at your organisation.
Done right, employee events are brilliant, but let’s face it, they can often leave a lot to be desired.
Are you running events as part of your internal communications strategy that just aren’t hitting the mark? Follow these tips and find out how you can engage your employees with creative events.
Messaging is key
Always keep your key message at the centre of your planning. It’s easy to get caught up in gimmicks when planning an event for your employees. Yes, you want them to have a great experience, but you also want to communicate why you’re a fantastic organisation to work for.
Think about why you want your employees to attend the event, what message you want to communicate and what you want your employees to take away.
Top tip: Give all of your attendees a ‘takeaway’ – something that they can absorb in their own time that will remind them of the event and the company message. This can be as simple as a branded USB with the company slogan on it, loaded with company collateral.
You need to be able to communicate vital information to your employees prior to an event, including where it will take place, timing and the overall purpose.
There is some great event tech out there that can help you communicate effectively with attendees ahead of your event. Our tool, DelegateManager, allows you to easily manage important delegate data, and communicate with them with ease.
Top tip: Invest in an attendee management tool. Being able to successfully communicate with all attendees in one place will make your life so much easier. This will save you money (and stress!) in the long run.
Whereas previously employees might have been content with being passive audience members at an event, today the workforce wants interaction and the opportunity for their voices to be heard. Giving your employees a chance to be part of the action is a great way to keep them engaged, and to convey the important message that their contribution is appreciated.
Creating breakout sessions throughout the event gives attendees the opportunity to participate on a smaller scale. Think about topics that are relevant to your teams – can you bring in relevant speakers or activities? You could also consider entertaining ice-breakers - for example, get delegates to set up their own seating using recyclable boxes which can be branded with key messages – simple and effective.
Top tip: Digital signage can also help to make an event interactive. If attendees are tweeting about the event, display their messages on screens throughout the venue and let their thoughts be aired.
Think outside the box
Your employees are looking for a unique experience when they attend your events, so give them one. Don’t be shy, be creative and think outside the box. Your employees will thank you!
When Standard Life Investments approached us to produce a recent employee event, we turned their relationship with the British Lions into something truly special. Steering away from what could have been a simple meet and greet, we turned the event into a ‘Top Gear’ style TV studio, where British Lions legends took part in a post-match discussion, giving genuine insight into the game. This was a really unique and memorable experience exclusively attended by Standard Life Investment employees that reinforced the benefits of working for the organisation.
Top tip: Involve members of different departments at the planning stage of your event. You’ll get some great insight into what will impress your employees if you involve some of them!
In an unpredictable time for UK businesses, retaining and attracting the best workers has got to be a priority. Investing time, money and resources into developing creative engagement events as part of a wider internal communications strategy will help convince employees that they are on the winning team.