Much of the organizational psychological literature over the past year has touched on the noticeable drop in employee engagement and how to get it back. People want to feel engaged by what they are doing at work and those that do typically end up working much more productively. One way to help build this engagement that strengthens the organization in a variety of other ways is through planning and hosting regular company events.
Having regular company events helps improve employee engagement by allowing the organization to communicate and reinforce its culture. Guest speakers, speeches from leadership, company colors, iconography and providing better insight into corporate directions and goings-on help to make the cultural aspects of the company more present in the minds of employees.
Having a regular company event schedule also helps to establish culture because the event schedule itself eventually becomes a ritualistic part of the organizational culture. Certain company cultures are known for their gatherings and events while others are not. Even the lead-up to these events can be rejuvenating for employees and produce positive effects on engagement.
Undoubtedly one of the most engagement-related benefits of regular company events is the opportunity it provides employees to form personal relationships with one another. Research indicates that people are over ten times more likely to remain in their current job for the sake of workplace friendships than they are for a pay raise. Events get coworkers together and allow for more informal interactions and a chance to eat, drink, learn and even party together.
As social creatures, human beings need meaningful relationships with the people around them–friends, family and coworkers–in order to feel fulfilled and giving employees a chance to build and nurture these relationships on a regular basis is part of a sound engagement strategy. It is also a valuable opportunity for workers from different parts of the organization, who may not work with one another frequently, to get to know each other and form strategic working relationships as well.
Contact With Leadership
Giving employees access to leadership, and particularly uplifting and inspiring messages from leaders is an important aspect of employee engagement. Leaders are responsible for communicating company goals, delivering praise and recognition and, by making themselves accessible to employees, help demonstrate to workers that they are not invisible to upper management.
Contact with leaders is also an important part of career development for employees, allowing them to start valuable mentorship relationships and speak one-on-one to managers from different parts of the organization. It is especially important for employees that this happens in informal or less formal settings.
Humanizes the Organization
It can be easy to feel atomized and isolated working for a company, especially a large one, and even more in this era of remote work. If a person does a lot of independent work, he or she may only get to work and collaborate with others face-to-face occasionally, and even then, the number of people they are exposed to may still be very small. This can have a negative effect on employee engagement and it certainly makes the organization seem less human.
If you really want to showcase the human side of the organization, regular events are great because they not only bring people into close proximity with their coworkers and fellow employees, but they allow the organization to focus on celebrating things like diversity, employee achievement and recognizing people for their hard work. Many companies talk about “family” and being a part of one, but what defines a family is the time its members spend together, and unless there are regular events where this actually happens, employees are unlikely to feel like they are a part of someone larger than themselves. These events also come with the added benefit of helping humanize the organization for its customers.
Scheduling regular company events also helps to break up what for many workers can end up monotonous daily routines. This is especially helpful for employees who may do repetitive or otherwise unfulfilling work. Events that are interspersed through the quarter, year, or even week, especially regular ones, can be a ray of light for people looking for something out of the ordinary at work once in a while.
Breaking routine can replenish tapped out creativity, introduce novelty into the work environment and give people something to look forward to.
Hosting regular company events, whether your employees are remote, on-site or hybrid, comes with a number of engagement-boosting benefits to keep people stimulated by what they are doing and connected to the people they work with, including leadership. Additionally, these events help to reinforce and highlight company culture, humanize the organization and break routine in ways that can refresh and inspire. In summation, regular company events are one of the best and most accessible means of building that necessary employee engagement.