If you’ve seen a decline in morale and enthusiasm among your staff, maybe a lunch and learn event would be a perfect idea to shake things up. Having a lunch and learn session is a great opportunity to teach your employees something new, express your gratitude (who doesn’t like free food?), and foster collaboration.
In addition, it’s a fantastic venue for encouraging open dialogue about wellbeing, diversity, inclusion, and other issues that may help you better assist your team.
With the rise of hybrid workplaces virtual lunch and learn sessions are growing popular, however, they risk becoming boring after a while. Especially if you and your coworkers always end up eating the same take-out and talking about the same topics. Because of these aspects, it can often be hard to engage your audience.
On that account, we’ve compiled a few fresh approaches to the traditional lunch and learn that are sure to energize and interest your staff. Let’s get into it.
Table of Contents
Set the Agenda and Choose the Presenters
First, you need to decide what you want to talk about and who will be speaking. Depending on your demands, you can choose between different lunch and learn ideas that might consist of a single presentation or a series of demos by experts in the field.
Get everyone on the same page about who is going to talk and when. Also, have a neat list ready to give out to all of the guests so they can prepare themselves. It is strongly suggested that the speaker’s contact information be included so that attendees may get in touch with them before or after the event for additional information.
Conduct a Pre-Survey
It would be unfortunate to hold a lunch and learn session that nobody found beneficial. That’s why it’s smart to test the waters with a casual approach before diving in headfirst.
Check with your coworkers informally to see whether they find the proposed hours and topics acceptable. This is an important consideration since participation in lunch and learns is entirely optional.
Discuss What to Eat
The term “lunch and learn” implies the presence of a meal. Keep it in mind and don’t ignore it when organizing a virtual meeting.
When having a meeting in person, it is customary for the host to provide lunch. The host of a virtual meeting does not need to provide lunch for the attendees, but should instead provide them with notice to get something to eat and drink at the appropriate time. If your budget allows it, you can consider offering gift cards attendees can use to buy meals from local restaurants.
Spread the Word About the Event
Nobody shows up to events they aren’t aware of. Spread the word about the lunch and learn if you want people to show up.
It’s smart to send out exclusive invites to influential individuals and secure their support beforehand. The next step is to spread the word to a wider audience by sending out a company-wide email or Slack message. How many attendees show up depends entirely on you and your efforts.
Make Sure Your Virtual Logistics Are Well Communicated
Share links to virtual collaboration tools such as Zoom in meeting invitations. People will set aside time and be prepared to sign in with this information.
Since most people would not appreciate being caught off guard, it is best to lay out the plan from the beginning. Include a brief agenda outlining the event’s topic and structure in the invitation. Make it clear in the schedule that there will be time for discussion and questions from the audience.
Figure Out How to Break the Ice
As with any meeting, people might get nervous when participating in a virtual lunch and learn event. So if you can figure out ways to break the ice, everything will go smoothly from there.
It’s best to keep the conversation light and easy in the beginning. Having everyone introduce themselves, for example, is a great icebreaker. However, make sure to keep the introductions short to prevent any uncomfortable situations.
A wonderful method to bond the team and encourage everyone to learn from one another is to host regular virtual lunch and learn sessions. This may be done with the click of a mouse, regardless of where the participants are located or what time zone they happen to be in. Why not take advantage of it? You have nothing to lose, start organizing your first lunch and learn session right now.