One might think that internal events are not a priority for companies, which currently have to mobilize on a plethora of strategic subjects, including economic recovery. “Employees need these collective and festive moments. The question is not whether companies want to organize them but rather how they can do it while respecting health constraints”, corrects Patrick Bois. For the founder of the firm Albus Conseil, corporate events are all the more important as employee engagement was compromised during confinement. “The risk would be to fall back on hyper-rational and forget that these moments of humanity constitute vital necessities for the company, which has a social role”, he adds. “We see events as an excellent opportunity to engage our employees, to create links with them, to promote their feeling of belonging to the company”, explains Benjamin Cluzel, communications and engagement director at AXA France.
Enforce Barrier Gestures
These company gatherings can take place while respecting barrier gestures. The Com2Gever agency, specializing in the organization of team building, ensures that this is the case for 80% of its activities. The choice of location has a lot to do with it. Amusement parks, for example, allow outdoor activities. Parc Astérix, which used to host companies during seminars or conventions, continues its event activity. “In recent weeks, we have received schools, but also companies, whose events have adapted to the health protocol in force”, explains Marion Lardic, in charge of communication.
However, employers have a health and safety obligation towards their employees. This is the reason why so many precautions are taken when events are carried out internally at income tax seminars. At Total, for example, the organization of seminars, evenings and team building is governed by strict conditions, dictated by the government and applied to the letter. “It is requested that conviviality and celebration events be organized internally only by respecting the barrier gestures as defined by local regulations, that the number of participants be limited to half of the capacity of the rooms, that meals are taken seated and served, respecting a distance of at least 1 meter between the guests and a maximum of 6 people per table “, indicates the group.
Instructions that go against the grain of the festive spirit that characterizes corporate events? “Employees know the constraints inherent in the organization of internal events. Even if these collective moments are less qualitative than the previous ones, the teams will know how to be forgiving. The expected effect – bringing employees together for a while friendly – will still be reached “, reassures Patrick Bois.
To promote the engagement of their employees without jeopardizing their health, the majority of companies however switch their events online. Integration of new recruits, internal promotions, retirement parties, incentive seminars, after work, team building … It is through interposed screens that work groups meet and celebrate their successes at the time of Covid-19.
“Rather than organizing our events in a physical way, we are relying on digital. We are creating new formats that we want to be as dynamic as possible. We have launched podcasts in particular during which our general management or our managers speak. We note that the voice allows us to convey a message while creating a close link with the listeners “, indicates Benjamin Cluzel. In the same vein, the group specializing in insurance records an internal television newscast: with their smartphones, several speakers film their testimonials or their sharing of good practices. “To break the coldness induced by exchanges by interposed screens, we have changed the tone of our speeches. They are both lighter and more sincere”,