Are your employees hungry to learn? Build better teams (and keep them fed at the same time) with lunch and learn programs they’ll actually want to attend. You can cover work-related topics as well as topics to improve health and well-being by creating a calendar of learning and development events to keep your staff engaged and inspired.
Scheduling training sessions over lunch works well for busy teams who may not want to take time away from their work day, and also is a great way to reward them with a delicious, catered meal. Not only do your employees enjoy a perk at work, it’s also an affordable way to encourage further training and development.
Ready to get going with your lunch and learns? Here are some topics to try.
Top Lunch and Learn Topics: Work-Related Topics
If you want to help grow your business, it’s important to help your employees to grow at the same time. Providing the right training is key, so consider having lunches while learning about the following topics.
1. The basics of using a “power hour”
Teach your team how to identify the time of day when their brain is working most effectively, the “power hour.” According to experts, there are different times each day when your brain is most or least active, so arranging your work to fit into those power hours is best. Better creativity? The prime time for creativity may be between 9:00 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. Handling tough tasks? Buckle down between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.
2. Vision board session
Having goals is important in and outside of the workplace. To learn more about your employees and what they want out of their time in your business, gather a selection of magazines and newspapers and invite workers to make their own vision boards. After writing down their goals, leave some time to discuss their top wants and needs that apply to your workplace, so you can help improve the work environment or consider certain people for the roles they’d like to move into.
3. Lunch with TED
TED Talks are a great resource if you need to put together a lunch and learn on a budget. Pick one that lasts around 15 to 30 minutes, and play the video in the conference room while everyone eats. Afterward, you can host a short discussion about the topic. Since people might still be eating if the TED Talk is short, consider pairing up two talks to give your employees at least 30 minutes to each comfortably.
4. Job introductions
Not everyone in your workplace knows each other, so it can be helpful for them to talk about who they are and what they do. Think of this like a team-building exercise, because as people realize what each person has to handle, they’ll know who to turn to for support or who is handling things behind the scenes for their department. Keep the introductions short, allowing two or three people to share information about their job each session. Leave time for a conversation about how each of them work and their preferred methods of contact.
This lunch hour is also an excellent way to build public speaking skills and confidence in the workplace.
5. Building creative and productive workspaces
A boring workplace can lead to quick burnout, but creative spaces can help. Offer ideas about how employees can adjust their workspaces to meet their professional needs. For the creative team, you might discuss ways to add color and positivity to create a more inspiring area. Don’t forget to discuss organization options. For an added perk to draw your employees to the luncheon, have organizational or decorative items there to use in the office (or have a free raffle as a fun way to spread joy).
6. Looking after your eyes at work
If your employees regularly work at the computer or with hazardous materials, it’s time to go over their eye safety training. Discuss ways for employees to protect their eyes during a long day in front of the computer or when around chemicals or debris. Consider having someone from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration stop by for the discussion.
7. Networking for beginners
It’s important for people to network, and you want to be sure they’re representing your business in the right way. During one lunch, discuss networking events. Consider providing helpful conversation starters and information about what you’d like your employees to share about your business. Then, listen to their feedback to have a positive discussion over the lunch hour.
Lunch and Learn Topics: Personal Interests and Hobbies
Sometimes, you can help your employees learn more about their health or wellness as well as how to do their jobs or advance their careers. Here are a few lunch and learn topics that you may want to weave into your lunch and learn program for a well-rounded touch.
1. Strategies for improving your personal financial situation
You can bring in an accountant or a financial planner familiar with your company’s retirement and health care plans, for example, to present a selection of helpful, actionable tips employees can use to improve their finances and make better long-term decisions based on the benefits they’re offered. Make sure to allow plenty of time at the end of the session for questions (a good rule of thumb is 30 minutes for the presentation and 30 minutes for questions and answers).
2. Meditation 101: Office edition
Start by discussing the benefits of meditation for dealing with stress and increasing happiness. Then, explore ways for employees to squeeze in quick meditation sessions at their desks. Focus on meditation sessions between 1 to 5 minutes long.
3. DIY basics
Everyone wants to feel more competent, both at home and in the office. To help, start a lunch and learn series that teaches a variety of basic life skills. You might include topics like changing an oil filter or tire, fixing a leaky tap, making the perfect roast chicken, or stitching a button back onto a suit. Personalize the series by accepting anonymous suggestions from your employees in advance.
4. Cooking classes with a nutritionist or dietician
Ask a nutritionist to demonstrate healthy cooking strategies for people who are busy and potentially cooking on a tight budget. Choose a theme, such as heart-healthy recipes, foods to stabilize blood sugar, or ways to cut calories without cutting nutrients or flavor. Use the office kitchen to show how to cook meals quickly on an average break, or consider hosting an event on slow-cooker recipes to make sure your employees have dinner ready when they get home.
Are you ready to take your lunch and learn series to the next level? Offer employees a free meal while they learn. Contact us at ezCater to order business catering for events of all sizes.
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