Are you tired of seeing employees eating at their desks or alone during lunch hour?
It may be time to start offering lunch and learn trainings.
Lunch and learns are customizable, informal, short training sessions held during typical lunch times. Utilize lunch and learns to offer short training sessions throughout the year — as often as once a week or once a month — to bring your team together.
Regularly scheduled lunch and learns can help boost morale and develop employee skills when done in a relaxed atmosphere instead of an uptight “meeting” setting. It’s also a perfect time for wellness committees to distribute valuable information to a captive audience in an informal setting.
Ready to get started? Here’s how:
What Does a Lunch and Learn Setting Look Like?
One of the best parts about lunch-and-learns is it can easily double as an enjoyable lunch hour while also incorporating necessary trainings or meetings. Some employers may choose to have a catered lunch, while others may encourage employees to brown bag it. If the company would benefit greatly from the training, then providing lunch is a nice gesture.
A lunch and learn usually follows these parameters:
- 30-45 minute presentation or session
- Informal and group participation is typically encouraged
- Not mandatory
- Topics can be on any type of subject
When asking employees to give up their lunch hour, it’s smart to bring in an incentive to increase participation. An on-time drawing for a book on time management — if the presentation is about productivity, for example — may draw more participants.
Benefits of Lunch and Learn Events
Ideally, you want lunch and learn events to be useful for both participants and the company. Whether you decide to cover personal or professional development, make sure your employees feel as though they are benefiting from the training. It’s also a great opportunity to have fun options, too, like a team-building game day meeting. These group settings encourage employee interaction and saves time, so make it enjoyable for everyone.
A few of the big benefits of lunch and learns:
Saves time - Short, concise meetings are time savers. Cover upcoming policy changes, new culture updates, and more in these short gatherings.
Customizable to your company - Cover topicsto meet your company needs. Ask for employee requests on topics they’d like to see covered.
Open floor for everyone - Laid-back meetings often sparks better, more direct conversations with management and colleagues.
Creates togetherness -These short gatherings reminds employees of company values and builds culture. It’s a great reminder of why they came to work for the company in the first place.
Starts a company huddle trend - When employees feel more relaxed, they're able to retain information better and be more receptive. It also allows management to communicate efficiently with the entire organization at once.
Reminds everyone “There's no I in team” - Use sessions to lead team-building activities that increase communication skills, teamwork skills, motivation levels, and boost overall morale.
Shows employee support - Communicates that the company is concerned about employee satisfaction and well being by covering topics employees care about like building wealth, wellness, and personal development.
Showcases your best team players - Highlight, recognize, and share individual strengths and talents with your whole team there.
Offer updates - Highlight current events or address a recent company change to keep employees in the loop.
Celebrate successes - Reward teams for meeting objectives.
Engage with your community - Create networking opportunities with local businesses by bringing in local experts and guest speakers.
Make mandatory trainings less boring - Satisfy training that may be legally required based on your industry.
Plan Your Lunch and Learn Topics Today
Plan, host, review, tweak, and repeat. That’s the name of the game when it comes to keeping lunch and learn topics effective and enjoyable.
Essentially, you can consider these short meetings that benefit everyone in a big way.
Work with feedback from management and employees to perfect your process and create new events. Schedule lunch and learn events regularly and don’t forget to add some fun topics throughout the year, too.
No matter how you choose to plan your lunch and learn, remember that the best part is every piece of it is customizable. Ask others in your industry how they do lunch trainings. If your company is open to it, you’ll find there’s always a creative way to present old information and get your team excited about lunch and learn sessions!
For inspiration, check out our Ultimate Guide for Planning a Year of Lunch and Learns below!