Employee engagement needs your attention now. According to a recent study “DNA of Engagement: How Organizations Can Foster Employee Ownership of Engagement,” conducted by The Conference Board, only 13 percent of employees globally are engaged at work while the balance either are neutral, or worse, actively disengaged.
One way to activate your employees is through webinar technology. You can connect them directly to one another, boosting collaboration, and tie them closer into the organization, creating loyalty and affinity.
Nine Tips to Ensure Employees Remain Active Participants in your Webinars:
1. Know what you want to say before you say it
Never hold a webinar just for the sake of holding a webinar. Think about the message you want to communicate to your audience before you decide to bring them together. And make sure that message is finely tuned – improvisation of the main theme is a sure way to turn off employees.
2. Understand employee schedules and workflow before setting a time and date for your webinar
Just because your east coast audience is raring to go at 10 a.m. does not mean employees on the west coast or elsewhere in the world will be awake or available. Look through the time zones of employees you intend to invite and make sure you’re being considerate of their work hours. Also, check the organization’s schedule, travel schedule to conferences, and department meeting schedules to ensure you are not taking them away from other important obligations. For instance, don’t plan an all-hands webcast at the same time quarterly results are due from the financial team.
3. Brand your webinars
If you plan to hold these forums regularly, give them a catchy name so attendees understand their purpose and their frequency. The more your audience is familiar with the gist of the webcast, the more readily they will carve out time to attend.
4. Make it professional
Your registration page, promotional materials, presentation window, follow-up email, and more should carry your organization’s branding. The more polished the webcast is from invite to broadcast to after-event communication, the more seriously employees will take their participation. If the invite seems off-the-cuff, they will not feel as compelled to attend or engage.
5. Make participation simple
Don’t make users download a plug-in or get a new app they don’t already have in order to register or participate in the webcast. Make sure the platform is easy to access, can bear the volume of viewers you expect and still maintain high performance and quality, and can be interacted with similarly from any device. This might require test-driving your planned agenda from a mobile device using cellular service. Make sure the experience is consistent across all points of entry.
6. Offer prizes
There’s no better way to boost engagement than with prizes. Webcast Pro lets you announce prize winners on the fly through the platform. So if you want to award the first person to answer a question correctly or the 10th person to answer a poll, you can easily do so in real time.
7. Bring in special guests or mystery guests
Make part of the agenda a controlled surprise – meaning attendees know the content ahead of time but not the identity of the presenter. You could bring in a customer or a supplier – someone unexpected who will provide a unique viewpoint on a topic.
8. Get the on-demand version online quickly
The longer it takes you to turn around a link to an on-demand file of the video broadcast, the less your employees will be likely to share what they learned with coworkers who couldn’t attend or to act on the items you asked them to consider.
9. Have items for them to consider
Never let your employees walk away from a webinar without giving them an action item or takeaways. They should be noodling over these final words for some time and are prepared to answer a question in a follow-up email or to collaborate with their colleagues on whatever request you’ve made, such as finding a new way to attract customer.
Most of all, convey fun in your webcasts. Unless the topic involves something serious such as cutbacks or layoffs, engage employees through enthusiasm, excitement, and humor. Webcasts shouldn’t be stoic events void of enjoyment. The more casual your delivery of information, the more likely your attendees are to participate during the event and engage as necessary after it.
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