Why and How You Should Host a Lunch-and-Learn Program for Your Team

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Lunch-and-learn programs have become very popular in the business world in the last couple of years because they provide employees from different teams to meet and share their expertise. As the name suggests, these programs take place during lunch and are usually voluntary.

This event usually lasts anywhere between 30 and 45 minutes and every lunch-and-learn is typically less formal than a seminar or a training session. If you’re on the fence about starting your own lunch-and-learn program, here is why you should organize one, and how.

Improve employee morale and decrease turnover

When you organize a lunch-and-learn program, you provide your employees with a relaxed atmosphere where they can learn about various topics in a fun way. This type of positive and fun environment will improve morale significantly and contribute to a strong business culture.

As much as 76% of employees agree that business culture affects their productivity and if you manage to improve business culture, as a result, you will decrease employee turnover. With a lunch-and-learn, you have a great way to create a team-oriented business culture. These programs allow you to show your most valuable employees that you care about their success and well-being while also building more meaningful relationships with them.

Encourage teamwork

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Lunch breaks provide employees with a great opportunity to interact and build stronger relationships, which will, in turn, create stronger teams.

Another great thing about lunch and learn programs is that they’re company-wide and provide employees who would usually never interact with a chance to meet and have meaningful conversations and build trust.

By planning the right activities for your lunch-and-learn, you can ensure that all of these employees find a way to work together and have fun outside of the office, on top of creating stronger teams and allowing them to learn each others’ fortes. 

Educate your employees

Most business owners and managers think that they don’t have to educate their employees any more than they do during employee training. However, keep in mind that this training is very specific and only relates to the job that an individual needs to do.

On the other hand, when you organize lunch-and-learns, you educate your employees on numerous topics. This way, your employees can develop useful skills and gain knowledge from people in other departments they never even considered before.

Providing your employees with the opportunity to understand the basics of another job, especially one that’s performed by someone from a different department, can save a lot of time in the future.

This is because they won’t have to bother coworkers and take up their time with simple questions and will understand the answers to more important questions easily.

Build employees’ leadership skills

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Since you will be able to cover a wide range of topics during your lunch-and-learn programs, you will also provide your employees with opportunities to showcase their skills. Put employees in charge and allow them to lead sessions and educate their coworkers on their areas of expertise.

This will not only help them learn skills for business leadership but also build time management and organizational skills. And as an extra bonus, if any of your employees aren’t good at public speaking, this will help them improve their communication skills and get used to talking in front of crowds.

How to organize a lunch-and-learn program

While there are no specific rules you should follow, here are a few guidelines you can use to make sure your lunch-and-learn is a success:

  • Decide what you want to accomplish during this program and see if your event will be relevant and interesting for employees.
  • Send out invites to people at least a week before the event and ask them to respond promptly so you know the exact number of people that will attend.
  • Agree with your HR department on a budget that would be appropriate for the event since the company will be paying for the food.
  • Think about the type of food you want to serve and if there are any dietary restrictions you need to take into consideration.
  • Choose the best venue for your lunch-and-learn and decide if you want to host it onsite or offsite. If it’s offsite, make sure to book the venue in advance.

Final thoughts

The popularity of lunch-and-learn programs keeps rising every year and for a good reason. Taking your team out for lunch and giving them a safe and fun space where they can interact and discuss business freely has a lot of benefits.

And if you’re a smart business owner or manager, you’ll organize your own lunch-and-learn program. Now that you know why and how you should do that, nothing is stopping you.