This story was updated on July 21, 2018.
Deloitte surveyed 3,300 HR leaders from around the world and found that lack of employee engagement is the top issue facing 87 percent of them. To re-engage their workforce, HR leaders are turning to more unorthodox approaches.
Unique corporate events, which have the potential to improve employee engagement, as well as other HCM initiatives, is one of those approaches. According to U.S. News and World Report, corporate outings can be effective if they "bolster the work employees complete together, or provide a genuine opportunity to relax and unwind."
Are you thinking about revamping your own corporate events? Here are four unique events that global organizations are offering to enhance their HCM initiatives.
1. Community Service
According to the ADP Research Institute® Evolution of Work: The Changing Nature of the Global Workplace report, 81 percent of global employees have positive feelings about working on personal interests that impact society. Community service can tap into that quest for meaning in your employees' personal and professional life. At the same time, participation fosters relationships between employees.
Forbes writes that diesel engine manufacturer Cummins started a program called Every Employee Every Community in which employees are encouraged to perform at least four hours of community service a year during company hours. ADP provides each employee with eight hours of paid community service per year.
2. Celebrate Milestones
Celebrating key milestones can provide opportunities to improve employee engagement, as well. Bayer, the global pharmaceutical organization, celebrated its 150th anniversary by hosting an event at the BayArena in Leverkusen, Germany. Approximately 30,000 people attended, including employees from all over Germany, family members and friends and retirees. By opening up the event to non-employees, Bayer also improved its recruiting pipeline by providing prospective candidates an opportunity to see an organization acting authentically in non-work-related events.
3. Improvisation Is Fun and Improves Teamwork
Improv is really catching on with large organizations. Harvard Business Review reports that The Second City, the comedy theater and school of improv attended by many famous comedians, runs 400 engagements per year, with half the participating organizations in the Fortune 1000.
Through various improv activities and exercises, employees learn an important lesson: Always take care of your partner. People learn to work together and build on other people's ideas by using phrases like "Yes, and" instead of "No, but," according to Slate.
4. Get Outside
Many organizations may think to plan events during the spring and summer months, but there are plenty of outdoor activities to take advantage of in the fall and winter, as well. Alaska Pacific University has a unique corporate event that encourages employee health and teamwork. Every other Friday afternoon, employees "leave the office to participate in activities including yoga, cross-country skiing, and volleyball," according to U.S. News and World Report.
Employees benefit from the physical activity and have the added incentive of ending their work day early if they participate.
Be Aware of Personal and Cultural Preferences
Although offering unique corporate events as a means for enhancing HCM initiatives is becoming more popular at global organizations, employers should be aware of the differing cultural needs and preferences of employees. For example, not everyone feels comfortable performing in front of groups, as in the case of improv activities. And offering strenuous outdoor activities may not appeal to everyone.
As a guideline, organizational events should not put people in embarrassing or uncomfortable situations, and instead offer a range of event types that suit varying employee interests. Team building activities should instead focus on a building a spirit of community or simply providing employees with an authentic chance to relax.