While making the shift from working in the office to working remotely due to COVID-19, wellness has been at the forefront of every firm’s mind. We quickly realized the importance of keeping employees engaged and interested in the corporate culture, in addition to providing options that will support both mental and physical wellness. In order to make this a known priority to employees, we created three different threads of purposed events stemming from wellness to entertainment to engagement, all of which in empathetic response to the pandemic.
A series of events and references that emphasize the importance of staying healthy and keeping employees updated on the current state of COVID-19. Such offerings included:
- Ted Talk-style podcasts with basic information, education and resources related to COVID-19 hosted by a chief medical director.
- A selection of apps with free memberships for employee to use, including access to CALM, which helps to improve sleep and decrease stress; Journey Meditation, which provides access to guided mediations; Waterminder, which assists with tracking daily water intake; and providing Zoom for personal use to keep in touch with family and friends during this time.
- Several online workout classes with a variety of options from yoga, boxing, high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and Zumba to meditation.
A series of events to provide employees an entertaining, stress-free break from their days. Participants were encouraged to have housemates join in the fun!
When selecting the activities and entertainment, we had a few key points to keep in mind. We wanted all offerings to appeal to a large group of people, so we included entertainment for all ages, and we wanted to provide a diverse selection of talent. A few of the offerings included:
- Summer BBQ Chef Demo – A classic summer theme that incorporates healthy options. A list of ingredients were sent out ahead of the event so attendees could make the meal on their own.
- Songwriter Session – A positive, upbeat musical session, which includes hearing stories of how the songs were written and working with the artists who recorded them.
- Magician/Mentalist – a Distant Deceptions virtual high-energy performance with mind-blowing tricks that included live participation with attendees.
- Comedy Show – Customized programming to incorporate hilarious comments on homeschooling and other relatable COVID-19 challenges faced over the last few months.
A series of virtual team-building events for our interns that started – over 60 of them – virtually! Both events were app-based games that allowed the teams to receive points for completion.
- The goal of our first event was to introduce the groups to each other and facilitate “getting to know you” activities to demonstrate what it’s like to work together in groups at the firm. Our first event included an app-based game, similar to the Amazing Race, which was great for introductions and icebreakers for the group. Several challenges were created to encourage group participation, with a bunch of trivia questions and tricky puzzles.
- Our second event was more business-oriented – think Shark Tank. The participants needed to set up a company, brand it and record an elevator pitch. Teams earned points for specific challenges during the event, and then the top three teams entered the finals. In the finals, the three company pitches were shown to the group and the participants voted for their favorite pitch, who became the winners!
By offering a variety of events, we were able to create experiences that were attractive to all employees and resulted in high participation. Transitioning to virtual events was different and unexpected to say the least, and we believe that they will stay post-pandemic in some form. Although, we can’t wait to see everyone face-to-face, these events served as a great means to connect in this virtual world.
VP/Senior Manager of Events