Every business is trying to find ways to engage its employees and promote learning in the workplace. Not only is it important for employees to stay current on company procedures and product changes, but continuing education can also help them feel invested in their work. Many businesses are turning to lunch and learn as a way to engage employees in learning new information.
While lunch and learns can be a great way to promote employee engagement, they can also be quite dull and unproductive if they are not well planned. If you’re looking for virtual lunch and learn ideas that will engage your employees and promote learning, here are 10 tips to get you started:
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Use creative tools like video or interactive content
Software and apps like GoAnimate or Adobe Spark make it easy to create professional-looking videos without a lot of experience. You can use video to introduce new topics, break up the lecture with occasional activities, or even create an entire virtual lunch and learn session that is interactive and engaging.
Get employees involved in the planning process
When you involve employees in the planning process, they are more likely to be engaged and invested in the lunch and learn. Ask for suggestions on what topics they would like to learn about, and allow them to help choose or create the materials that will be used during the session. This will help ensure that the lunch and learn is relevant and interesting to them.
Make it interactive
Nobody wants to sit through a long, boring lecture. To keep employees engaged, make your virtual lunch and learn interactive. This can be as simple as incorporating questions and polls into the presentation or setting up breakout rooms for small group discussions. You can also use interactive tools like Prezi or Google Slides to create an engaging presentation that employees will want to participate in.
Take advantage of social media
Social media is a great way to promote interaction and engagement during a virtual lunch and learn. Use hashtags to encourage employees to share their thoughts and ideas on the topics being discussed. You can also create a private Facebook group or LinkedIn group for employees to connect and continue the conversation after the session is over.
Encourage employee participation
There’s nothing worse than sitting through a virtual lunch and learn where the presenter does all the talking. Encourage employees to participate by asking questions, inviting them to share their own experiences, or even incorporating some friendly competition into the session. The more employees feel like they are a part of the learning process, the more engaged they will be.
Make it fun
Some may think that organizing a virtual lunch and learn is difficult when it comes to incorporating fun, but it doesn’t have to be. You can use games, trivia, or even humor to lighten the mood and keep employees engaged. There are a lot of online games for groups that you can use to get employees to interact with each other. You can also find a variety of virtual icebreakers to help everyone get to know each other better.
Nothing motivates employees quite like the chance to win prizes. You can use a virtual lunch and learn as an opportunity to reward employees for their participation. Offer small prizes for those who answer questions correctly or give correct answers to polls. You can also use a raffle system to randomly select employees to win bigger prizes.
Keep it short
When it comes to virtual lunch and learn sessions, less is more. Employees have a lot going on during the workday, so it’s important to keep the session short and sweet. Aim for a maximum of 60 minutes, and make sure to include breaks so that employees can take a break from the screen.
Employees will appreciate it if you provide them with resources that they can use after the virtual lunch and learn is over. This could include links to articles, websites, or even PDFs of the presentation. You can also create a follow-up email with all of the resources included so that employees can refer back to them later.
Make it a regular thing
If you want employees to benefit from virtual lunch and learn sessions, make them a regular part of your company culture. Schedule them for once a month, or even once a week, and make sure that employees know about them in advance. The more often you have virtual lunch and learn, the more engaged employees will be.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your next virtual lunch and learn is engaging for all involved. Employees will appreciate the opportunity to learn and interact with their colleagues, and you’ll be able to promote positive company culture.
Mike Farrier possesses over 18 years of hands-on experience in software and web development, SEO, social media marketing, eCommerce, and digital marketing. He has been active in the online domain since 2019, serving as a seasoned SEO and digital marketing consultant.
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