Too often team events and workshops are at best seen as a nice thing to do and at worst a waste of time and money. Poor HR events are difficult to measure and ineffective at retaining staff or helping the business to grow.
It’s not for the lack of trying.
HR leaders are always looking to innovate when it comes to team workshops and events.
Employee wellbeing, engagement and team productivity are all individual areas of focus. There is no shortage of inspirational wellbeing speakers, team building providers and engagement boosting ideas from surveying apps to cinema tickets for your staff.
So what approach should you use when trying to use engagement, wellbeing and team workshops to drive business growth and reduce HR costs through improved staff retention?
The answer is first and foremost a joined-up approach.
Firstly, when choosing between engagement, wellbeing or team productivity you’ll need to make peace with the fact that you’ll ultimately need to address all of them.
By focusing on team productivity, as Dermot Crowley’s 2018 book – Smart Teams suggests, how a team communicates, congregates and collaborates should be considered.
Equipping your team with the tools to be more productive is the first step towards a great team BUT if you neglect their engagement in your business or their wellbeing their productivity will fall.
If you target engagement through listening, aligning to purpose, recognition and creating more connections in your business BUT ignore productivity and wellbeing – then even those with your company logo tattooed on their arm will start to struggle or even leave.
Tackling employee stress through a wellbeing workshop is good, but if your team isn’t aligned to your vision and their daily experience in their team isn’t a good one then the business won’t grow or retain its staff.
The answer is a programme of workshops and events that target team productivity, employee engagement and wellbeing in order to drive business growth and reduce HR costs.
Listening to someone’s tale of personal triumph for an hour can be inspiring. Your team may leave the wellbeing seminar feeling ready to change.
A well delivered team workshop may equip your team with the insights to boost their personal productivity moving forwards.
Offering perks as a one off might make your people smile and improve the atmosphere in the office that week.
Without thought to how your workshop or event feeds into your work environment it will all be quickly forgotten and the impact of your investment lost.
All too often teams and their environment are simply not set up to leverage on key insights. Very often your workplace culture pulls teams back into a non-productive, disengaging or even down right unhealthy way of working.
Have you ever attended a personal productivity course that advised you to have fewer meetings? How will your boss feel about that?
Ever attended a nutrition workshop about making healthy choices?.. Then rushed to the cafeteria for a can of cola and a chocolate bar because that’s what on offer?
Ever sat through a values workshop and witnessed the management team behaving contrary to those values one week later?
The answer to ensuring that engagement, wellbeing and team events and workshops sustainably drive business growth and reduce HR costs is twofold:
Employee behaviours around good team productivity, wellbeing and engagement are essentially habits. James Clear’s bestselling book Atomic Habits shows us that to one of the biggest factors affecting habits is environment.
Creating an environment for success is key to ensuring that the lessons learned in any team workshop have a much greater chance of sticking.
If you run a healthy eating workshop.
If you run a team productivity workshop
If you run a quiz night for one team
The second part of the answer is that your initiatives have to be supported from the top in order to drive business growth and reduce HR costs.
If the Senior Leadership aren’t behind your efforts to leverage on engagement levels, wellbeing and team productivity in this way then it won’t work.
Very often this simply requires Leadership to give it a little bit of time and space to allow the improved working environment to have a positive effect on habits. A little bit of time will also generate the data to evidence your intervention’s impact on growth and HR costs.
The reality is that if driving business growth through productive teams and keeping your best people could be achieved in a 90 minute, lunchtime, workshop then life would be a hell of a lot easier.
If you’d like to discuss a joined up approach to improving your team productivity, wellbeing and engagement to drive business growth and reduce HR costs then we’d love to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
“EML were great to work with, really responsive & flexible. Our team was in need of some quality time together having been working from home for so long. Neil’s excellent facilitation helped us to learn more about each other, strengthen our connections, and build some shared goals in a really fun and safe way.”
Amy Taylor | Clinical Lead | NHS
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