Due to the pandemic, many companies have opted into remote meetings to keep millions of employees safe. Since we’ve paused water-cooler catch-ups and in-person icebreakers, instructional designers are now tasked with navigating these personal touches in a digital environment to create more training sessions.
More than ever before, virtual meetings are an integral part of increasing employee engagement, interaction, and retention. However, after a few months of working from home, many employees are experiencing meeting fatigue. With some workers reporting a 10% increase in meeting time each day, many of us are feeling geographically disconnected, sluggish, and unenthusiastic when another Zoom training session is put on our calendar.
How can we turn our virtual employees from zombies into hand-raising participants in remote meetings?
How Instructional Designers Can Create Fun Remote Meetings With Games
With proper planning, activities and games can develop a more interactive learning environment for employees. Not only do they encourage an understanding of the training material, they can also help develop deeper human connections and a more valuable company culture.
Here are five activities learning and development professionals can implement to create a more impactful virtual environment:
Trivia games with a makeshift question-and-answer format or a ready-made Jeopardy!® framework (which the training platform I co-founded makes available) can include all the classic rules and styles in an interactive format to assess prior knowledge and ensure employees retain the training material. Instructional designers can customize the game with images or videos and personalize the topics to reinforce significant concepts.
2. Co-Worker Quizzes
Developing simple quizzes to learn more about fellow employees helps them spark new conversations and feel more connected. Try including quizzes before or throughout the training session to capture attention and break up more complex content. Training managers can utilize online training platforms like Kahoot to run quizzes on:
• Matching colleagues to personal facts.
• Answering tasteful “would you rather” questions.
• Playing themed trivia around celebrations, fun facts and more.
3. Photography Challenge
If your team is composed of more visual or creative learners, a photography challenge is a great way to increase engagement and unite the whole team. Photos are a simple form of self-expression and allow employees to show off something unexpected. Encourage employees to submit a meaningful photo — something capturing lifestyle, a hobby, family, etc. — and ask them to explain the story behind it. After the entire group has shared, employees can vote on their favorite for a themed prize at the end.
4. Online Team Bingo
Bingo inspires employees to participate and pay close attention to virtual training sessions. Give participants a bingo board with a set number of accomplishments and action items. Throughout the session, employees can mark off the spot when an action occurs until someone gets bingo. Have a little fun with the board, with options like:
• Spotted a pet in the web camera background.
• Said, “Can everyone see my screen?”
• Raised hand in the comment section.
5. Summarize It
To help employees retain training information better, ask participants to summarize what they learned throughout the session. In this activity, employees must use the chat feature to reflect on the content and summarize it in five to 10 words. During the next break, ask them to summarize in three to five words, and so on until the training is finished. Summarizing helps employees reflect more deeply on the content and think of creative ways to express themselves to peers.
Develop Engaging Games And Activities For Virtual Meetings
When creating a memorable virtual event with games and activities, consider the following tips:
• Develop an agenda and share it with attendees.
• Build activities that promote inclusive interactions.
• Take plenty of breaks to keep everyone’s attention.
• Include incentives that encourage engagement.
• Encourage participants to use the chat and video features.
While virtual training rooms may have their challenges, they also provide a new way for employees to connect and engage with your material.