5 Ways To Create A Successful Lunch and Learn
Lunch and learn events are a great way to provide an element of fun during a lunch break. This can engage and motivate employees (if done successfully).
In this blog post, we’ll look at how this concept may boost employee morale while also inspiring them to keep learning. In order to avoid the issues, we also point out situations where this approach may not be appropriate.
Furthermore, we will provide you with 5 suggestions for conducting successful lunch and learn events that benefits everybody.
What is a lunch and learn?
A lunch and learn session (also referred to as “learn at lunch” or “brown bag” events) is a 30- to 45-minute training or presentation session. A company or a team arranges this for employees, volunteers, or others during the lunch break.
These events can be quite affordable to conduct and educational and fun for employees. They are also an excellent method to get teams together and educate them on a variety of topics.
A guest speaker usually presents a topic at a lunch and learn, and the firm usually serves lunch for their employees. Some firms encourage employees to speak on areas about which they are competent, which also helps to cut costs.
These events should be voluntary because they take place during lunch. However, they are a fantastic way to keep employees engaged, present them with fresh and interesting knowledge, and bring them together.
What are the benefits of a lunch and learn?
In today’s tough market, there are several advantages to organising a lunch and learn. Some of the more evident advantages are listed below.
- Boost the morale of your employees.
- Improve team communication.
- Develop strong teamwork abilities.
- Generate employee excitement and optimism.
- Provide a chance for networking.
- Encourage a learning culture.
- Encourage collaboration and teamwork, and assist in the dismantling of silos.
- Improve the professional growth of team members.
A lunch and learn event can also provide a “safe” setting for people to practice public speaking and presenting. Standing up in front of your co-workers over lunch can be considerably less frightening than taking centre stage in front of an audience of potential clients. It may also be a good method to indicate that the company values its employees and their efforts.
What are the potential drawbacks of a lunch and learn?
Obviously, there are risks and drawbacks to every training session or presentation.
Not all lunch and learn sessions will be a success. Here are some examples of how a lunch and learn might miss the mark.
- Compulsory attendance can lower enthusiasm.
- Providing skills that aren’t applicable to the participants.
- May take up too much of your people’s personal time.
- Tends to filter out part-time and remote workers.
- Not offering a wide variety of subjects that interest participants.
Why you should also host a virtual lunch and learn?
As mentioned above, lunch and learn events tend to alienate remote and part-time workers.
Therefore, the solution would be to hold a virtual lunch and learn so that everyone may participate. They are an excellent method to keep your remote employees motivated, strengthen connections, and acquire new skills.
It is also even easier and more cost-efficient to host than in-person lunch and learns since they don’t require a physical venue. They can also be just as engaging and enjoyable if they are well-planned.
People can bring their own food to a virtual lunch and learn, and it does not have to be held during regular lunch hours.
However, if the organiser/employer wants to go all out, they can provide employees with a takeaway meal stipend.
Loving Life offers wellbeing webinars to companies that may be included in lunch and learn events to encourage healthy mental and physical health.
We can also provide face to face wellbeing talks should a company prefer that.
5 ways to create a successful lunch and learn
Proper advertisement can get employees enthusiastic for their next lunch and learn. Posters, email reminders (but not too many), sign-up forms, and business calendar updates will keep the the event at the forefront of everyone’s minds.
An organised lunch and learn is well-publicised ahead of time so that participants may make the necessary schedule arrangements to ensure that they can attend. That might entail rescheduling lunches with colleagues or clients, rearranging their schedules, not packing their lunch that day (or packing their lunch that day) etc.
Decide on a learning objective and goals
This will assist you in determining if a topic is appropriate for the event. You want a topic that’s substantial enough that attendees leave the session believing they got so much more than just a “free lunch”. In fact, you want them to be speaking about the topic thereafter.
One suggestion is to ask employees (via a survey, for example) what is important to them both at work and outside of work, and what they want or need to learn.
Provide good food
Obviously, delicious food is required for any lunch and learn event. If you’re going to pull an employee away from their own lunch break, when they might have gone to their favourite local diner or packed their own lunch, you may as well make the meal you give them similar, if not better.
Instead of opting for junk food, try to be more creative with your dietary choices.
A build-your-own salad bar, sandwiches from a neighbouring deli, quesadillas from a local caterer. All of these (and many more) options will reinforce the idea that this isn’t your typical lunch & learn.
Wellness should be your main focus as HR professionals, and junk food isn’t exactly delivering that message.
Send out a follow-up survey
After each session, send out follow-up surveys to figure out what succeeded and what didn’t, as well as what employees would like to see more of or less of. You’re involving them and giving the impression that you’re paying attention.
Make sure it is brief, but always leave room for feedback.
A real lunch and learn will be presented by a specialist or organised by someone who has invited expert speakers and other presenters. If it’s a presentation on physical wellbeing then you want to have a presenter who is knowledgeable on this topic.
Tyler Lowe, the founder of Loving Life, is a dedicated health and wellbeing speaker.
For more information on wellbeing webinars or presentations click here.