by Brenna Adkins , , September 01st, 2022


3 women on stage during corporate event
Over the last few years, corporate events have undergone drastic changes. Because of the state of the industry, everyone has been waiting to see what happens next while the events industry has continued to adapt to meet the needs of the hour. But even with all of the changes and adjustments, the truth is hosting a corporate event now is more important than ever.

Not only will hosting an event benefit your employees, but it will also improve your organization as a whole. With baby boomers beginning to retire and millenials and Gen Z expecting more from work (including social events and activities), the office environment is shifting dramatically. These expectations can make hosting an event an important step to attract and retain employees who value socialization beyond the typical workday. Also, consider the fact that in 2022, 4 million people left their jobs, and recent research suggests that currently 40% of workers are considering quitting soon. Obviously, now is the time to evaluate your efforts in employee satisfaction, or there’s a significant chance you could be an employer who loses a portion of their workforce.

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What Is a Corporate Event?

Corporate events are business sponsored activities, conferences, meetings, workshops, or gatherings that typically focus on both business and leisure activities. They don’t always have to be elaborate events, incentive trips, or destination meetings, but those are certainly among the most desirable corporate events (and the kind that reap huge benefits for employees and organizations alike). While there are many different forms that corporate events can take, there should always be a business goal acting as the driving force behind any of them. 

Types of Corporate Events

Corporate events vary in size and purpose. Depending on your needs, organization, and audience, you may choose a variety of corporate events to host. But to ensure employee satisfaction and retention, consider the following employee-focused corporate events:

Conferences, workshops, and seminars – Typically, these events are focused on professional development for your employees with entertainment and leisure built into the schedule. The advantage of these kinds of events is that both professional development and the leisure aspect appeal to your employees.

Incentive programs and appreciation events - Instead of enhancing employee’s professional development, incentive programs reward participants for goals that have been achieved or milestones that have been met. These types of events are less formal and more focused on entertainment or group activities in order to celebrate top performers’ hard work.

Organizational celebrations - Much like incentive programs or appreciation events, the focus of an organizational celebration is to socialize and have a good time. However, these kinds of celebrations are centered around an organizational milestone, such as growth or longevity, rather than the personal achievements of associates.

Team-building events - While the focus of team-building events isn’t necessarily business, these events can teach valuable lessons. One of the primary elements of corporate events focused on team building is the inclusion of challenges, puzzles, or real-world problems faced by your organization. These can be competitive or just for fun (think relay or Olympic-style competitions), and they foster relationships among employees. In fact, building friendships and team camaraderie is an important aspect of work for most employees.

Benefits of Corporate Events

While corporate events are an opportunity to have a good time with others in your organization, there are benefits beyond the fun and entertainment value provided, and those benefits are significant.

Improving Employees’ Mental Health

The COVID pandemic changed people’s lives immensely, and the impact continues. In fact, an American Psychological Association study in 2022 revealed that more than half of Americans (63%) believe the pandemic forever changed their lives. The primary impacts were decreased mental health, physical exercise, and sleep, along with an increase in unhealthy habits. Of course, all of these issues impact an employee’s work performance, which is why hosting an event now is so important. In fact, doing so can boost employee mental health and morale.

Hosting an event increases connectedness between your employees and can decrease feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety. Because the pandemic caused a lack of connection and a rise in these negative feelings, bringing people back together will help alleviate these issues. Further, you can include health, wellness, and well-being into your event to build new habits and improve employee health!

woman discussing corporate growth during corporate eventImproving Your Company’s Health

Still not convinced that you need to host an event? It’s not just about your associates’ health–corporate events can also boost your company’s health, too.

First, attending to and working to improve employee mental health and well-being helps your business. Don’t believe us? An AP report suggested that employees’ mental health issues may cost businesses up to $300 billion annually (that’s billion, with a “b”). This is due in large part to increased absenteeism and decreased productivity related to mental health issues. And remember those younger workers? They are more likely to experience mental health challenges, so ensuring you’re doing what you can to help them is vital. 

But it’s about more than addressing challenges; it’s also about being proactive in building your team and encouraging positive behaviors. In fact, hosting an event can lead to more motivated employees, especially with many continuing to work from home. According to Pew Research, 36% of teleworkers find it somewhat or very difficult to be motivated to work at home, with those aged 18-29 finding it the most difficult; 53% of this age range found it difficult to find motivation while working remotely. Even if your company works in office, it is still important to note that 32% of all American employees are finding it harder to be motivated now than before the pandemic, according to PR Newswire. What is one way you can help your team feel more driven at work? No surprise – the answer is once again an event.

This newly generated motivation could lead to another added bonus of corporate events: an increase in productivity. Research shows that team-building activities can create greater engagement in your employees, and engagement leads to 38% more productive employees. If your entire workforce is engaged, your team will have a 202% higher cumulative performance. On top of that, research suggests, “Organizations with higher than average levels of employee engagement realized 27% higher profits, 50% higher sales, 50% higher customer loyalty levels, and 38% above-average productivity.” 

Celebrating employees at corporate eventCelebrating Your Employees

After we’ve accomplished a huge goal we’ve been working toward or met a tremendous milestone, what do we do? We celebrate with friends, colleagues, teammates, and the people who helped us realize our objectives. In fact, social psychology research shows that building relationships through shared goals boosts not only employee performance but also builds leadership.

Further, researchers found that employees are spending far more time in the home office than they did in the regular office, sometimes finding it difficult to know when to end the workday. Commitment like this deserves celebration, and an event is a perfect way to show your appreciation for their hard work. In addition, celebrating this hard work and commitment communally builds important work relationships. And if you need more proof that this is a good idea from a business standpoint, keep reading.

Similarly, incentive programs and celebrations are invaluable. If you think that an incentive program to reward your top employees isn’t necessary, consider this survey of the employees that found, “The presence of a corporate incentive program motivated 66% of employees to stay at their job.”

Still finding it difficult to justify celebrating your team? According to research, 40% of Americans would work harder if they were recognized more often. The same research also states the number one reason people plan to leave their current job is lack of recognition. These statistics prove how vital it is to your organization’s continued success to show employees how much you value them with a celebratory event.

Gauging ROI on Corporate Events

Even with the demonstrated employee and organizational benefits of hosting a corporate event, you’ll want to gauge your own success and the ROI. Prior to being able to evaluate ROI, you need to be clear about your goals. Are you anticipating increased morale, better employee retention, improved employee satisfaction, a boost in recruitment, or a boost in productivity? You want to know what you hope to achieve before trying to measure your efforts.

With S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind, you’ll want to be sure the goal you choose is something measurable. When it comes to employee satisfaction and engagement, post-event surveys are an excellent way to track the success of your event. For other metrics, you’ll be able to measure those by tracking retention through HR and tracking key organizational goals and objectives through management.

Based on observable and anecdotal research, you’ll likely find that corporate events are one of the best (and most fun) ways to improve employee experiences. With the struggle to find quality employees and hold on to them, now is the time to start planning, and a corporate event is a smart investment in both your business and employees.

If you’re ready to talk to a team with the experience and expertise to help you boost business and employee happiness, turn to the JOY creators at Bishop-McCann! For years we’ve been helping businesses like yours deliver unforgettable experiences for their employees. Reach out today, and let’s get started!
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