It’s easy to get caught up in the planning and logistics of virtual happy hours and overlook some of the smaller details that can make or break the event. This is especially true when you’re trying to accommodate a large team. However, even the best-laid plans can go awry if your team isn’t on board with the idea.
You have to be strategic about approaching virtual happy hours if you want them to be a success. You must ensure that your team is buy-in and that they see the value in attending. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck with a group of people just going through the motions and not really enjoying themselves. Here are a few potential reasons why your team may not love your virtual happy hour ideas:
1. The Format Doesn’t Work for Everyone.
Not everyone is comfortable with the virtual format. Some people may prefer in-person interaction and find it harder to connect with others online. If your team is made up of people who are hesitant about the virtual format, they will not be as enthusiastic about attending a virtual happy hour.
Try to mix up the format of your virtual happy hours so that everyone has a chance to participate in a way that makes them comfortable. You could use video conferencing and audio-only options or even have some people join in from their phones if they cannot be at a computer.
2. It’s Not Really a “Happy” Hour.
Your team may not be loving virtual happy hours because they’re not actually all that happy. If the event is more like a forced social gathering than an actual opportunity to relax and have fun, then your team will resent it. Make sure your virtual happy hour has a relaxed and fun vibe if you want your team to enjoy it.
Encourage your team to participate in activities they actually enjoy during virtual happy hour. This could be anything from playing games to sharing stories and jokes. The goal is to make it a time for your team to relax and have fun, not a time for them to feel like they have to perform.
3. It’s Not Really About the Team.
Your team may feel a virtual happy hour is more about you than theirs. If they feel like you’re using the event to further your own agenda or to promote yourself, they’re not going to be very enthusiastic about attending. Make sure that your team feels like they’re the focus of the event and that it’s something that’s being done for them.
Make an effort to get to know your team members personally and ensure that the conversation during virtual happy hour is focused on them. Ask about their families, their hobbies, and their favorite things. The goal is to make your team feel like they’re the show’s stars and that you genuinely care about them as people.
4. It’s Running Late.
Because it’s becoming late and they have other things to do, your staff might not appreciate the virtual happy hour. If your team feels their time is wasted, they will be less likely to attend future events. So to ensure your team doesn’t feel like their time was wasted, begin and stop on time.
Make sure that you start and end virtual happy hour on time. This will show your team that you respect their time and value their attendance. If you need to, set a timer, so everyone knows when it’s time to wrap up.
Virtual happy hours can be a great way for your team to connect with each other, but only if they’re done precisely. If you’re struggling to get your team on board, try using one of the solutions we’ve provided. By creating an interactive and fun environment, you’ll be able to increase attendance and help your team bond over virtual space.