It’s not uncommon to find a company that hired a coach to take their employees to a seminar, conference, or simple social event but were subsequently disappointed with the results.
Here we are going to look at some of the common causes and their solutions.
Bad participation / response to invitation
This is a common frustration expressed in many organizational departments.
Ignoring mechanical causes (such as poor communication from the ‘we weren’t told’ variety or insufficient notice), this is often attributable to:
low morale in the company;
a lack of interest in the event concerned;
conflicting priorities (your event was scheduled for a time that conflicts with other things).
There is no easy answer to this and just making attendance mandatory is probably not the answer. You may need to analyze the causes in more detail.
Dissatisfaction with the quality of transport
In the 21st century, professionals expect corporate transport to be modern and comfortable.
If an “old banger” from a trainer comes in early, then your session is already struggling due to creating a bad impression.
Be prepared to spend some money here to get a comfortable limo bus.
Impact on personal life
Today, most people expect and demand a work-life balance.
Thus, anticipate dissatisfaction and dissatisfied participants if they have had to get up at 4 a.m. to meet the scheduled departure time and / or if they will not return home until early morning.
A luxury coach can help alleviate some of these problems with comfort during the trip, but that in and of itself will not be the solution.
Impact professional life
On a theme similar to the above, asking people to get home very late, while expecting them to be back in the office at 8 a.m. and firing on all cylinders, is likely to be a recipe for discomfort.
Provide or arrange refreshments
If people have been asked to get up unnaturally early and have been in a trainer for a while, then it’s really good psychology to provide (or stop for) refreshments.
A little caffeine and calorie intake can ensure that people arrive at their destinations eager to start rather than tired, bored, and looking for a reason to complain.
Ideally, your corporate event should be so desirable by its very nature that your coworkers should fight for the chance to participate.
Only use “attendance is mandatory” approaches as an absolute last resort, as discussed above.
If you see a lack of interest and willingness to participate, something is wrong and an overhaul is needed. People generally don’t respond well to being forced to attend corporate events.
Connect with the wider world
Remember that a corporate event will be seen by many in a much larger context of the larger business world that you share with your colleagues.
So expect a very negative reception for (for example) a corporate team building exercise held in an expensive external location, if only a few days before the company announces significant benefit reductions accessories for employees due to economic conditions.