Employee workshops range from fall-asleep-boring to over-the-top entertaining. On one hand, you want to make your upcoming workshops as informative as possible without lulling employees to sleep. But if you make workshops too explosive and stimulating, the information will get lost in all of the activity. Fortunately you can find a balance to create a memorable, informative program. Here’s how to make your next employee workshop pop without losing its fizzle.

Social Media Spotlight

There are a lot of applications for social media in employee programming these days. The Society for Human Resource Management explains that leveraging social media for employee workshops can improve learning, increase collaboration, and boost engagement among employees in the program.

To get these benefits, incorporate social media before the workshop, during the session, and after the workshop is completed. For example, set up an online community on your company’s social channels (LinkedIn, Google+, etc.) for employees to discuss ideas regarding the workshop topic. Encourage them to create content related to their ideas and to share it via social media with links back to your corporate social pages.

Loosen Up!

People might roll their eyes at icebreakers, but sometimes it’s all you need to get the ball rolling in a workshop. I’ll speak for myself, but I definitely feel energized and more comfortable after a goofy icebreaker that I initially dreaded. If you’re over your go-to icebreakers, read our article for some new ideas.

Surprise And Delight

Everyone likes to be rewarded for their efforts, and I certainly won’t say no to fun giveaways, such as gift certificates, branded swag, or a free lunch. Incorporate this within your workshops. Set up a table in the back of the space with several small rewards, such as trendy stress relievers or gift cards to local restaurants. Announce at the beginning of the session that those who participate and engage will be randomly selected throughout the workshop to receive these treats.

Make It Personal

Going to a workshop to learn about yet another company policy can be taxing. After all, it’s no fun to sit and listen to tough team changes or compliance training, yet it must happen. Take a different approach that will make your employees less blasé about workshops. Make them personal.

You’ll need to work on this in advance of your workshop. Meet with attendees ahead of time, chat in the break time, invite them to sit with you at lunch, or join in on the water cooler conversation. Get to know them and find out who they are outside of work. Is Jack going to his family’s country house for the weekend? Did Vivian purchase a new house? Are Xavier and Callie creating a soccer team that is sponsored by the company? Tie these types of tidbits into your workshop to make the employees feel special, and to keep everyone on their toes.

Factor In The Fun

Good luck keeping the attention of employees workshop after workshop in a stuffy conference room. Switch up the setting and make things more exciting. Try hosting a workshop in a park, where you can take stretching breaks between talking points. Encourage video conferences for meetings during busy workweeks. Or even go out to a restaurant and host a meeting over lunch!